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Fairfield Rape Investigation Lawyer

A Fairfield rape investigation lawyer could help assert and preserve your rights during a sex crimes inquiry and whatever proceedings may follow.

What Offenses Can Lead to a Rape Investigation?

Connecticut criminal laws do not use the term “rape” to refer to sexual offenses. Instead, crimes traditionally referred to as rape or statutory rape are known as sexual assault. The state recognizes four degrees of sexual assault, with several variations. The statutes describing these offenses start at Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-70.

What is Sexual Assault in the First Degree?

First-degree sexual assault, under C.G.S § 53a-70, occurs when someone compels another person to have sex by the use or threat of force. The threat must be sufficient to cause a reasonable person to fear physical injury, so a Fairfield rape investigation lawyer might look for evidence regarding the alleged use or threat of violence.

An individual may also be convicted of first-degree assault if they have sex with someone who is under the age of 13 or mentally incapacitated. Sexual assault in the first degree is a class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Aggravating factors such as the use of a deadly weapon can increase the severity of the offense.

What is Sexual Assault in the Second Degree?

Second-degree sexual assault, under C.G.S. §53a-71, occurs in scenarios where one party is not legally capable of giving consent. For instance, if one partner is under the age of eighteen and the other is in a position of authority, such as a guardian or school coach, then sexual intercourse is treated as sexual assault in the second degree. The offense is penalized as a Class B or C felony with maximum sentences between 10-20 years.

What are Sexual Assault in the Third and Fourth Degrees?

Sexual assault in the third (C.G.S. § 53a-72a) and fourth degrees (C.G.S. §53a-73a) involve incidents of sexual contact rather than sexual intercourse. If an individual compels another person to submit to sexual contact, the offense may be treated as third-degree sexual assault, a Class C or D felony. When sexual contact occurs involving someone who is not legally capable of giving consent, then the offense can be prosecuted as fourth-degree sexual assault, a Class A misdemeanor or Class D felony.

How can an Attorney Help During a Rape Investigation?

Having a seasoned lawyer by your side can prevent you from making any statements that could be used against you later. Legal representation can make sure your Constitutional and statutory rights are respected. A rape investigation attorney in Fairfield could also work to minimize the negative impact of the allegations, regardless of the eventual disposition of the case.

The best time to collect evidence is right after the event leading to allegations in part because physical evidence may still be collected and preserved, witnesses remember recent events A lawyer could start working right away to collect and preserve valuable evidence so that it will be ready for use later. Waiting until charges are filed to take action could substantially reduce the availability and reliability of evidence.

Talk to a Fairfield Rape Investigation Attorney

The process of a sexual assault investigation can be slow, and the examination of the evidence behind the scenes may have a big impact. Working with a Fairfield rape investigation lawyer throughout the process can help those involved remain prepared for whatever happens next. To learn how an attorney can help in your case, call Mark Sherman Law.