Tolleson Sexual Abuse Lawyer

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Tolleson Sexual Abuse Attorney

Unlike some other states, Arizona defines non-consensual sexual contact and non-consensual sexual intercourse as distinct criminal offenses under separate sections of state law. The former type of sexual misconduct is referred to as “sexual abuse” here. While it is less severely punished than sexual assault or sexual conduct with a child, it is still treated as a serious felony offense which can carry multiple years in prison, even for someone with no prior criminal record.

It is possible to build and present a strong legal defense against an allegation of this nature, but doing so without the support of a private defense attorney can be difficult. From start to finish of your criminal proceedings, a Tolleson sexual abuse lawyer from Grand Canyon Law Group could work to enforce your rights and ensure your case has the best possible resolution.

DEFINING SEXUAL ABUSE UNDER STATE LAW

According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1404, someone commits the criminal act of “sexual abuse” if they knowingly or intentionally engage in “sexual contact” with someone 15 years of age or older who does not consent to that contact, or if they engage in non-consensual sexual contact specifically involving the breast(s) of a girl under 15. In this context, “sexual contact” entails direct or indirect touching, manipulation, or fondling of the genitals, anus, or female breast of another person, either with some part of their body, with an object, or by forcing the targeted person to contact themselves in this way.

Under most circumstances, sexual abuse as defined above is prosecuted as a Class 5 felony, which means someone with no prior felony convictions would be subject to a sentencing range upon conviction of between six and 30 months in prison, and may also be fined at the court’s discretion up to a maximum of $150,000. However, if the person targeted by criminal sexual abuse was under 15 years old at the time, the offense becomes a Class 3 felony with a sentencing upon first-time conviction of between two and 8.75 years of imprisonment.

EFFECTIVELY CONTESTING SEXUAL ABUSE CHARGES

Notably, the age of someone charged with criminal sexual abuse in Arizona has no effect on whether they can be convicted of that offense. Establishing that the targeted person consented to the contact is not a valid defense against prosecution if the targeted person was at least 15 years old but younger than 18 and the defendant held a “position of trust” over them. Outside of that specific scenario, though, proving that the sexual contact was consensual is a strong defense against charges of this nature.

Alternatively, it may be possible to effectively fight sexual abuse charges by proving the defendant’s actions did not qualify as “sexual contact” as defined under state law; or that they did not knowingly engage in such contact with the person. During a private initial meeting, our defense lawyers can discuss what method of approach might best suit someone facing sexual abuse in Tolleson.

CONSIDER WORKING WITH A TOLLESON SEXUAL ABUSE ATTORNEY

Even though it does not carry sanctions as severe as those associated with unlawful sexual intercourse, being accused of “sexual abuse” in Tolleson is still an extremely serious matter. If you fail to fight back against this charge properly, you may quickly find yourself facing life-altering criminal penalties, not to mention suffer substantial damage to your personal and professional reputation.

Assistance is available throughout your case from a dedicated and dependable Tolleson sexual abuse lawyer. Call Grand Canyon Law Group today to discuss your options.