If you are accused of aggravated sexual assault, you could be facing a 20-year jail sentence if found guilty of the crime. The best way of avoiding this outcome is to instruct a criminal defence lawyer to act on your behalf. Below is a guide to 3 ways in which a lawyer can help you.
Building a strong case
During your criminal trial, it will be the job of the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you committed an aggravated sexual assault. A criminal defence lawyer will be able to collect and present evidence and statements from witnesses which will help to prove that you did not commit the crime, or at least create a reasonable doubt that you were responsible. When you first instruct a lawyer to act on your behalf, it is important that you are honest with them and provide all of the necessary information about the events leading up to the alleged crime. If you provide incomplete or false information to your lawyer, you may jeopardise your entire case.
Establishing the nature of your relationship with your accuser
Aggravated sexual assault differs from other types of sexual assault in that the person carrying out the crime has some form of power over their victim. For example, if you are a teacher, police officer or manager, you will have certain powers you can use to control and manipulate those under your care. A skilled lawyer will be able to establish the exact nature of the relationship you had with the accuser and will be able to diminish any suggestion that you used your authority to coerce or force them to perform sexual acts.
Entering a plea
Your defence lawyer will also be able to offer you advice on how you should plead when the trial begins. By assessing the evidence they have collected, your lawyer should be able to give you an idea of if you are likely to win the case. In some cases, your lawyer may recommend that you plead guilty to lesser charges in order to lessen the punishment you will receive. If you have broken the law, entering a guilty plea and showing remorse will typically result in a reduced sentence.
If you are facing a criminal charge and would like to find out more about how a criminal defence lawyer can help, you should contact a criminal law firm today for further advice.