Regardless of where you live, being charged with sexual assault is serious business. This means that somebody accused you of this crime, leading to an investigation and your eventual arrest.
Here is what you need to know: Just because you have been charged with sexual assault does not mean you will be convicted. You can lean on many defense strategies to avoid punishment.
In New York, for example, sexual assault is considered a Class D felony. From a sentencing perspective, this means that the judge has the ability to set the sentence based on the evidence presented. However, he or she must impose a sentence within the range outlined by the law. Furthermore, the judge must set a range of years as opposed to an exact term. This means that the defendant could serve the maximum amount or minimum amount, based largely on behavior in prison coupled with other factors.
In New York, the absolute minimum sentence for sexual assault is one to two years, with the maximum set at seven years.
If a person is convicted of sexual assault, he or she doesn't have to stop there. They have the right to file an appeal with the court, hoping to have the decision overturned.
There is nothing simple about a sexual assault charge, conviction and sentencing. From the moment a person is charged with this crime, there are decisions to make and a legal system to follow. Anybody who finds him or herself in this position should understand the law in his or her state, potential sentencing and what he or she can do to avoid the most serious consequences.
Source: FindLaw, "Sexual Assault Penalties and Sentencing," accessed Nov. 20, 2015