What Kind Of Penalties Can Someone Expect If Charged With Sexual Assault?

Last updated
June 25, 2024

When charged with sexual assault, it is essential to know what kind of assault you are convicted of. The minimum possible sentence depends on the type of sexual assault you are charged with. It would be in your ultimate best interest to hire an assault lawyer as soon as possible so that you steer clear of the situation before it gets too intense to figure out.

What Happens if Charged with Sexual Assault?

Most people are unaware of which crimes are considered sexual but technically do not come under sexual assault. An example of this could be to invite someone younger than 16 years old to touch a person sexually. Others that can be considered serious examples of sexual assault are those that cause bodily harm or are labeled as aggravated sexual assault.

Any sexual activity that takes place without consent is considered sexual assault. It ranges from rape to non-consensual touching that has happened anywhere. Some of the questions that your assault lawyer in Winnipeg will guide you about include:

  • Was threat or force used during the alleged assault?
  • Was there a rebuttal towards sexual actions or words?
  • Were drugs or alcohol involved in this forced attempt of the sexual act?
  • Was the victim ‘persuaded’ to participate in the sexual act by intimidation due to the position of authority?

Sexual assault can often involve strangers, but they are often enacted by people the victim knows, such as a family member, colleague, or an authoritative figure such as a boss.

Statistics of Canada from 2009-2014

  • Less than half the assault incidents ended up with a charge.
  • Almost half reached court, a bit over half led to a conviction, and barely half were convicted.
  • The number of cases that resulted in a criminal conviction was one in five reported by the police, and only 7% resulted in a sentence.
  • Almost 60% of sexual assault cases were later changed to a different offence upon reaching court, such as physical assault.

Remember that there are three things that need to be proven by a Winnipeg Assault lawyer in order for someone to be found guilty of sexual assault:

  1. Occurrence: evidence that the assault really happened.
  2. Identity: proof that the person being charged is actually the one who committed the crime.
  3. Lack of consent: proof that the act was done without consent from the victim.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Sexual Assault Conviction

A judge is not allowed to go below the mandatory minimum sentence while sentencing. For instance, if a person is being sentenced for a crime with a minimum mandatory sentence of one year in jail, the judge cannot sentence that person to 60 days in jail. He can give a higher sentence but not one that is lower than the mandatory minimum sentence.

Sexual Assault with a Victim Who is Younger Than 16 Years Old

The minimum sentence in Canada is different for a sexual assault depending on the situation. There is a minimum mandatory sentence for sexual assault if the victim is younger than 16 years old, i.e., one year, and the maximum punishment is 14 years in jail.

Sexual Assault with a Victim Who’s 16 Years of Age or Older

There are no mandatory sentences for older victims, but there are maximum sentences. The maximum sentence for a summary case is 18 months but 10 years with an indictable case. The judge has several options with sentences in these cases, and the lowest sentence that can be given is called a discharge. Your Winnipeg Assault lawyer can give you a more in-depth insight into the types of discharge and what they entail.

The Second Offence

A person can be facing a severe minimum punishment if he has committed that crime before. The thing to note is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be the same offence to get a greater punishment. So, if the same second party is involved, there are higher chances of getting a second offence.

Get Legal Representation from Experienced Criminal Lawyers

A sexual assault charge can have severe implications on your life even if you are acquitted. A skilled criminal defence lawyer in Winnipeg can help navigate the complexities of the legal system, protect your rights, and develop a robust defence strategy. Contact us today to ensure you have the expert legal support needed to protect your rights and future.