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Defense options for allegations of rape and sexual assault

| Feb 4, 2021 | Sex Crimes |

Indiana laws regarding rape and sexual assault are specific and cover a broad range of prohibited sexual acts and conduct. Many factors can influence the type and severity of sex crime charges against an individual, including but not limited to the alleged victim’s age, mental capacity, and level of intoxication or incapacity. Any sex crime allegation should be taken seriously, and those facing sex crime charges can contact trusted criminal defense attorneys for support.

When a sex crime is alleged, a defendant has the right to build their own case to prove their innocence. The defenses that they can use will vary based on the facts and circumstances of their own case. This post will introduce some possible defense options for sex crime defendants, but no part of this post should be read as legal advice.

Sex crime defenses

Defenses to sex crimes generally fall into two categories: affirmative defenses and complete defenses. An affirmative defense is one in which a defendant does not deny the conduct alleged against them, but rather offers an explanation to show why the conduct was not criminal. A sex crime defendant may claim that their alleged victim consented to the sex act that formed the basis of their charges. In such a defense, the defendant does not state that they did not engage in the sex act, but rather that both parties were willing participants.

Complete defenses are defenses that can deny conduct or allegations and that cause criminal claims to fail. An example of a complete defense to a sex crime charge could be innocence. A defendant may argue that police officers arrested the wrong person and they that they are innocent of the charges brought against them.

Why defenses matter

In Indiana, sex crimes classified as Level 1 felonies can be punished with up to 40 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. Even a Level 6 felony may result in a sentence of more than 2 years and similarly exorbitant fines. An individual charged with sex crimes has an interest in fighting the claims made against them with solid defense strategies. An attorney can provide guidance and knowledge to ensure a defendant is prepared for their trial.