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Much to consider when it comes to sexual assault

It goes without saying that sexually-based crimes are complex matters that are also terrible incidents. When it comes to sexual assault, many people may not actually know what the crime entails, even though it may seem straightforward. Sexual assault law varies from state to state and the penalties and consequences of such a charge vary in the same way.

In general though, sexual assault is defined as a crime that involves an offender forcing a victim to perform sexual touching that is unwanted and offensive. This could mean sexual acts that are coerced, forced, or due to the incapacitation of the victim. How the law defines incapacitation is usually a major part of sexual assault investigations

Sexual assault really is a general phrase that applies to most, if not all, sexually-based crimes. These crimes carry serious penalties and the possibility of punishment that lasts a lifetime -- and goes beyond just the legal consequences associated with the charge. Living arrangements, personal relationships, working relationships, careers: they can all be ruined by a sexual assault charge.

Sexual assault can be more complex when spouses are involved. Here, again, there can be special rules or laws that apply when sexual assault occurs between spouses. Federal sexual assault offenses are even possible.

Regardless of circumstance, anyone who is accused of sexual assault needs to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure their case is handled properly and to make sure their rights are being upheld. Sexual assault is a complex, interpersonal crime that needs to be dealt with properly.

Source: FindLaw, "Sexual Assault Overview," Accessed Dec. 8, 2014

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