Rape/Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault Defense Attorney

What Does It Mean to be charged with rape/sexual assault?

Rape and sexual assault are (simply put) improper sexual intercourse, activity, and/or contact between a person and another person. Since there are so many levels of sexual offenses in Arkansas, what a person is charged with usually depends on the level of contact. 

Rape generally refers to engaging in sexual intercourse or activity with a person who did not or was not capable of giving consent due to age or mental/physical condition. Consent is not available as a defense if a person is under a certain age, is related to the accused, or if the accused is in a position of trust or authority over the person. 

Rape is a Class Y felony that can come with 10 to 40 years or life in prison. If the alleged victim is younger than 14 at the time of the allegations, that can be bumped up to 25 to 40 years or life. If a person is given a number of years in prison (not life), they will have to serve at least 70% of the sentence before being considered for parole.

These cases can get really sticky, so it’s critical to call a sexual assault defense attorney the moment you hear of even the possibility of allegations against you. 

Sexual Assault has four different degrees in Arkansas

1st Degree Sexual Assault

1st Degree Sexual Assault is the most serious. There are a few variations of this charge, but the most common is when a teacher, school employee, pastor, counselor, etc., has sexual contact with a student, parishioner, or another person they have trust and authority over. Consent is NOT a possible defense for this charge. This is a Class A felony and can be punished with 6-30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000. At least 25% of the prison sentence must be served before parole consideration. 

2nd Degree Sexual Assault

2nd Degree Sexual Assault is very similar to Rape, except it only requires sexual contact, not sexual intercourse or activity. This is a Class B felony and can be punished with 5 to 20 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $15,000. Sometimes, this can be a Class D felony, punishable with 0 to 6 years in prison and/or a fine of up $10,000. At least 1/6th of the prison sentence must be served before parole consideration.

3rd Degree Sexual Assault

3rd Degree Sexual Assault has two common variations. The first is when someone in law enforcement (i.e., a police officer or a Department of Corrections employee) is alleged to have had sexual intercourse or sexual activity with someone who is in the legal custody of their entity. The second is when a minor has sexual intercourse or activity with another minor under the age of 14. Consent is not an available defense for either of these charges. This is a Class C felony and can be punished with 3 to 10 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. At least 1/6th of the prison sentence must be served before parole consideration.

4th Degree Sexual Assault

4th Degree Sexual Assault has two common variations. The first is when a person 20 years old or older engages in sexual intercourse or activity or sexual contact with someone who is under the age of 16. The second is if someone in law enforcement engages in sexual contact with a person who is legally in the custody of their entity. This is a Class D felony if it involves sexual intercourse or activity. It is a Class A Misdemeanor if it only involves sexual contact. 

Need Help Fighting a SEXUAL ASSAULT CHARGE?

If you hear from a family member, a friend, a pastor, or even a DHS employee, that someone may press any of these charges against you, don’t wait until the charges are official. Call a sexual assault defense attorney beforehand to get ahead of the issue. 

Location

316 N. Main St.

Benton, AR