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What is rape under UK law? A simplified guide from our sexual offence solicitor at ABV

21 July 2021

sexual-offence-solicitor

In the UK, rape and sexual assault are seen as some of the most serious crimes.

And, should you find yourself accused of them, it can be a very daunting and upsetting time.

However, if you have been accused of these crimes recently, the first thing to do is not to panic and do not try to contact the person who has accused you of them. Even if they contact you first, you should cut off all communication as this may be held against you at a later date.

When you find yourself in such an upsetting situation, contact our sexual offence solicitor at ABV. They are specialists at dealing with this very sensitive area of the law and can help you through the procedures that surround it. They will also work to have any initial sentencing reduced at the police station post-arrest and, should it get to court, they will represent you there too.

To ensure that there is clarity and that you understand the charges against you, here our sexual offence solicitor highlights some of the key aspects of rape and sexual assault in the UK, along with the sentencing that accompanies these accusations.

What is rape in the UK?

According to our sexual offence solicitor, rape is when one person intentionally succeeds or tries to penetrate someone else’s mouth, vagina or anus with a penis, when the other person does not consent.

Rape can also occur if the person is unable to give consent, due to being intoxicated, unconscious or having an inability to communicate.

If you have been accused of committing this crime, recently or historically, contact our team for advice.

What is sexual assault in the UK?

Sexual assault is slightly different from rape, but it carries very serious consequences.

If someone touches someone inappropriately or commits an indecent assault psychologically without their consent, this is sexual assault.

As is the way with the rape allegation, this can also occur when someone is unconscious, blacked out or unable to verbalise their consent.

Do there need to be witnesses to be found guilty?

No; there are many ways that evidence can be found which can indicate you in these offences, such as DNA evidence, messages, photos or other forms of media contact.

Once again, if you have been accused of these things, you need legal representation, so please contact our team.

What is the sentencing for these crimes?

For rape in the UK, the starting sentence if found guilty is 5 years; but this can extend all the way to life imprisonment.

For sexual assault, the maximum sentencing is 10 years, if you attend the Crown Court for this sentencing. If you attend magistrates court, the maximum sentence is 6 months; where your trial will take place will depend on the severity and history of the case.

Will my identity be protected during the trial?

Yes, it will.

All defendants in sexual assault or rape trials have the right to have their identity protected under UK law.

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