What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is a severe crime which affects individuals of all ages, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic backgrounds, educational levels, and gender. In the United States, it is estimated that one in five women and one in 71 men will be sexually assaulted or raped in their lifetimes. Sexual violence is a mental and physical weapon used by perpetrators to hurt and dominate others. This physical crime is motivated by a need to control, humiliate, or harm victims, it is very seldom about sexual pleasure by the perpetrator, and is never the victim’s fault.
Physical Aspects of Sexual Assault
Forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration, is considered sexual assault. Penetration may be from a body part or an object, and it is defined as any completed or attempted unwanted penetration through the use of physical force. Physical force is deemed being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence or threats of physical harm. A Phoenix sexual assault lawyer understands sexual assaults are known to occur when a victim is unable to consent because he or she is impaired by drugs, like date rape solutions, alcohol and the person has passed out, sleep or any other similar impairment of cognition.
Sexual Assault Symptoms
There are short and long term aftereffects of sexual assault which affect the mind, body, and spirit. Many victims of a sexual assault can develop mental effects like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, heightened anxiety, all of which makes it difficult for victims to adjust and cope. Depression is another common symptom which includes feelings of hopelessness, long bouts of sadness, unexplained crying, changes in weight, lack of energy, or the lack of interest in the future. These symptoms freeze a victim’s ability to make good decisions and in extreme cases people can develop thoughts of suicide.
Coping with the effects and symptoms of sexual assault or sexual violence is very overwhelming for victims. Many survivors of an assault may take up severe drinking and drug habits. Also, a sexual assault survivor can lose a sense of security, leading them into a characteristic behavior of self-injurious acts because it serves as a release of tension. Even though these coping mechanisms may seem to bring immediate relief, feelings of self-destruction are only temporary but can easily lead to more harmful and detrimental challenges in the future.
Sexual Assault Sentencing
Phoenix and the state of Arizona have some of the harshest laws for sexual assault in the United States. A Phoenix sexual assault lawyer can help their clients to receive a lesser sentence. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should hire a sexual assault lawyer for the charges awaiting you in Arizona:
• Sexual assault is a class 2 felony
• The guilty perpetrator is not eligible for suspension of sentence, pardons, probation, or any form of early release
• A first time felony offender can receive a maximum of 14 years imprisonment
• An offender with one prior felony conviction receives an immediate 7 years with a maximum of 21 years.
• A felony offender who has two or more historical felony charges receives a minimum of 14 years and a maximum of 28 years.
• “If the sexual assault involved the intentional or knowing administration of flunitrazepam, gamma hydroxy butyrate or ketamine hydrochloride without the victim’s knowledge, the presumptive, minimum and maximum sentence for the offense shall be increased by three years.”
Phoenix Sexual Assault Lawyer
Sexual assault charges are very serious no matter how false the accusations may be, especially since in addition to the aforementioned possible penalties you’ll be labeled as a sex offender, so you should seek an experienced attorney for proper representation as soon as possible. The Phoenix based law offices of Jason D. Lamm, The Phoenix Criminal Attorney, offers clients expert legal advice and sound criminal defense strategies.