A sexual offence allegation can be one of the most stressful and upsetting experiences in one’s life. If you have been placed under arrest or called in for questioning for a sexual offence, then you need to speak to a sexual offence solicitor immediately. Sexual offences can have serious implications for the rest of your life and affect your mental well-being and relationship with your friends and family. It is important that a sexual offence is dealt with skillfully by an experienced sexual offence solicitor to help achieve the best possible outcome for you.
A sexual offence is one of the most serious offences covering a range of criminal behaviour, including rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, prostitution and certain forms of pornography. The Crown Prosecution Service deals with sexual offences very seriously, and if you are placed under arrest or invited for a voluntary interview, then it is important that you instruct your sexual offence solicitor immediately. They will accompany you to the police station and determine what allegations have been made against you to prepare you for questioning.
You will be asked if you would like a duty solicitor; however, you should ask for a specialist sexual offence solicitor who is experienced in dealing with high-profile sexual offence cases and can provide a top-quality defence in your favour. It is important that each stage is carried out strategically to pave the way for a positive final outcome.
Sentencing for sexual offence
Sentencing for sexual offences varies according to the nature of the offence and your criminal history. If you are found guilty of sexual assault, you may receive a penalty of up to 10 years of imprisonment; however, if you are found guilty of rape, then you may be sentenced to a maximum of life in prison.
To successfully defend your case, your sexual offence solicitor must prove that consent was given for the sexual activity to take place; this is the key factor in sexual offence crimes. Even if the victim gave consent initially, they are allowed to withdraw this at any time. In most sexual offence cases, the matter of consent is in dispute, and the court will take into consideration the context of the alleged offence. This includes the age, well-being and mental health of the victim and whether or not the victim understood the position they found themselves in or what was about to follow. The court will also take into consideration the history between the victim and the defendant, including any power or authority they may have against one another.
Grooming and exploitation are also fundamental factors in sexual offence allegations, and the court will consider whether or not the victim was vulnerable and whether they were free to give consent. If the victim had been abducted or further criminal activity took place, then the offence will be more consequential.
Speak to your sexual offence solicitor from the outset so that they can achieve the best possible outcome for your case.