Unique Aspects of Connecticut Sexual Assault Cases
If you were accused of sexual assault, you could face serious legal penalties and other long-term consequences. A conviction could make it difficult to find housing or employment in the future.
The best way to fight these charges is to enlist a top CT sex crimes attorney. The best lawyers understand the unique aspects of Connecticut sexual assault cases, and they could provide expert guidance through the trial process.
Timeline of the Trial Process
Generally, the timeline of the trial process of a sexual assault case is one to two years for a case to be assigned to a trial. Once the case is assigned to trial, there is typically two to three days of jury selection in which the attorneys would have the chance to voir dire jurors. After jury selection, most cases are usually contained within one week. However, some cases go on for months, depending on the situation or the amount of evidence.
Admissible Evidence in Connecticut
In order to meet the burden of proof and prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt, the state will introduce evidence against the defendant. For any evidence to be admissible in a sexual assault trial, however, it has to pass a relevancy test. Common examples of admissible evidence include:
- Witness testimony
- Medical reports
- Police reports
- Police testimony
Other common examples of admissible evidence would be the defendant’s testimony as to what happened, if they are speaking from their first-hand knowledge. The alleged victim also has the right to testify to their own knowledge.
Connecticut has rape shield laws codified in the Connecticut code of evidence and the code of criminal procedure. Any information about an alleged victim’s previous sexual conduct is considered inadmissible evidence in a trial. However, there are some exceptions to this rule if the defendant was the source of a DNA sample or if the evidence concerns the alleged victim’s credibility. This is only allowed if the alleged victim has testified previously in the trial.
All other instances of sexual conduct of the alleged victim is considered inadmissible. The past conduct or behavior of the defendant is also inadmissible, especially if the defendant chooses not to testify in the trial.
If the defendant has previous convictions, this could impact the sentencing for sexual assault convictions by making it harsher. The judge could impose a higher sentence if there is a past history of the same crime. Statutorily, if someone has already been convicted of a sexual assault, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence that they have to complete, depending on what level of sex assault they are accused of.
An experienced sexual assault attorney could help lessen the sentence by giving a sentencing argument to the judge. They would argue why the defendant deserves a lesser sentence and present mitigating circumstances and documents to the judge. Experienced attorneys know what strategies are helpful and most effective when appealing to the judge.
Contact a Top CT Sexual Assault Attorney
Sex crimes charges carry serious penalties as well as social stigma. If you were accused of sexual assault, you deserve top legal representation from a CT attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer understands the unique aspects of Connecticut sexual assault cases, and they could put their experience to work on your behalf. Call today to schedule a consultation and begin working towards an optimum resolution to your case.