Being convicted of sexual assault is a serious crime, and the consequences stemming from a sexual assault charge can be severe. Typical penalties for this crime include jail time, hefty fines and being registered as a sex offender. If you face sexual assault charges in Utah, you need immediate legal representation. Salt Lake City sex crime defense lawyer, Darwin Overson explains more about common sexual assault charges in Utah. To schedule a free consultation on your case, call Overson Law at (801) 758-2287 today.
What Is Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is not a particular crime in Utah. Instead, “sexual assault” follows the common definition of the act of engaging in sexual relations without consent. In other words, trying to force your way into having sex with a person, without his or her permission, is sexual assault. Other actions such as sexually touching a person without consent can be seen as a sexual assault as well.
Common Examples of Sexual Assault
There are multiple sexual offenses in Utah. These crimes could all be considered various types of sexual assault, even though they go by different names. The following offenses are some of the most common examples of sexual assault in Utah:
Aggravated Sexual Assault
Unlike sexual assault, which involves any sexual intercourse without consent, aggravated sexual assault charges require the use of force and violence. According to Utah Code 76-5-405, aggravated assault occurs when the actor uses violence, uses a dangerous weapon, threatens the victim with kidnapping, or performs certain other actions during the course of a rape. Aggravated sexual assault is considered a first-degree felony punishable with up to life in prison – depending on the circumstances surrounding the case – and thousands of dollars in fines.
Forcible Sexual Abuse
An actor commits the crime of forcible sexual abuse if they touche any part of a minor’s genital area (for a minor 14 years of age or older), or if they touch a female’s breast area. The actor must have the intent to cause physical or emotional harm to the victim for this to be a crime. This crime also applies to cases where the defendant touches the victim for sexual gratification. Utah Code § 76-5-404 considers forcible sexual abuse charges second-degree felonies carrying a prison sentence of up to 15 years. However, if during the violent sex act the defendant caused serious bodily injury to the victim, then he or she could face life in prison.
According to Utah Code § 76-5-402, any person who engages in sexual intercourse without the victim’s consent commits the crime of rape. A rape offense carries severe penalties for the defendant. Rape is considered a first-degree felony, which is the most severe type of criminal charge a person can face. Sentences for rape include thousands of dollars in fines and prison time of no less than five years. However, if during the commission of the crime, the defendant causes serious bodily injury to the victim, he or she can be sentenced to life in prison. According to Utah’s Violence & Injury Prevention Program (VIPP), rape occurs more frequently in Utah than in other states.
Under Utah law, a person can be charged with forcible sodomy if he or she engages in a sexual activity involving the mouth or anus of a victim, who is 14 years old or older. This crime is considered a second-degree felony. As stated in Utah Code § 76-5-403 sodomy carries a penalty of up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Indecent liberties criminalizes improper sexual actions performed in front of or to a minor; it does not necessarily require having sexual contact with the victim. This is one of the primary offenses dealing with unlawful sexual activity with a minor. For instance, simulating a sexual activity or exposing the genitals to the victim can be the basis for indecent liberties charges. Indecent liberties is classified as a Class B misdemeanor punishable with up to six months in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Penalties can be harsher if the offender had a previous criminal history or if he or she is classified as a sexual offender.
Sex Crime Defense Lawyer Serving Salt Lake City, Utah
Sexual assault charges in Utah are severe. We cannot stress enough the importance of retaining skilled, experienced legal representation after being charged with committing a sex crime in Utah. If you were accused of a sex crime in Salt Lake City or anywhere else in Utah, there is no time to waste. Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson can step in and make sure your constitutional rights are protected at all times. To learn more about your case, call our law offices today at (801) 758-2287.