What to Look for in a Sexual Assault Lawyer

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Accusations of sexual assault or rape are generally prosecuted under the crime of “sexual abuse.” Penalties for sexual abuse vary according to the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident, and there are three main degrees of abuse.

What to Look for in a Sexual Assault Lawyer

A conviction for a sex crime can lead to significant prison time and placement on a public sex offender list. You must get legal counsel as quickly as possible if you are being accused of sexual offenses.

What is a Sexual Assault?

A sexual assault is any act of sexual violence that occurs without the victim’s active consent. It can include rape, oral or anal sex, as well as touching, groping, and forced kissing. Consent is generally only given willingly, and a person cannot give consent when they are asleep or unconscious, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or when they are a child.

Sexual assault may be prosecuted as an aggravated misdemeanor, a Class C or D felony, or both. Regardless of the type of assault, victims who file a report will typically have an investigator assigned to their case to gather as many details as possible from them, including sex crimes and criminal history. These investigators may also have a social worker on their team to help with emotional trauma. A sexual assault lawyer in Iowa can help victims understand these laws and procedures as they take the following steps in their case.

 Penalties

In the state of Iowa, sexual assault and other sex crimes are treated seriously. They can result in fines, restitution, a mandatory rehabilitative program, and time spent behind bars or in prison. Convictions for sex crimes can also require registration on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry. It can limit the type of jobs an individual can have, the places they live, and the people they associate with for life.

Sexual abuse is punishable by state law as a class B forcible crime, which carries a maximum 25-year jail sentence. Suppose the victim sustained a severe injury and the offender is of legal age. In that case, it can be charged as a class A felony that could lead to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

In some cases, sexual abuse victims misidentify their assailants. It is not uncommon, and a qualified attorney may be able to present evidence that the alleged victim identified the wrong person as their attacker.

Civil Remedies 

Sexual assault can carry life-altering consequences beyond fines and jail time. For example, if you are convicted of a sex crime, you will be added to a state database known as RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network). Anyone, including potential employers or people you hope to date, can view your status on this website, which includes a photo, a description of the alleged crime, the penalties you face, and other details.

Additionally, you can be denied child custody and visitation rights over children you have conceived as a result of your sex crime. Finally, some sex crimes require you to undergo chemical castration. A sex crime conviction can also sever relationships, ruin your reputation, and put a strain on your financial resources. A sexual assault lawyer can help you determine your legal choices. They can also represent you in court as you fight your case. You could be able to get financial compensation for things like medical costs, lost income or jobs, mental and physical pain and suffering, and more if you file a sex assault or abuse lawsuit.

How Can a Sexual Assault Lawyer Help Me?

Sex offenses are sensitive and require the attention of an attorney who is highly experienced with sex crime laws and case law. You can fight against accusations of sex crimes like date rape, molestation, indecent exposure, and prostitution with the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

An experienced sex crimes attorney understands that victims of sexual assault can face significant emotional and financial consequences. Victims may need therapy, medical care, and time off from work as a result of the traumatic incident. A successful civil lawsuit can help compensate victims for these damages.