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    Ridgefield Sexual Assault Lawyer

    If you were accused of sexual assault in Ridgefield, Connecticut, you need to take action sooner rather than later. An experienced Ridgefield sexual assault lawyer could be an important ally whether you want to contest your charges outright or simply mitigate potential consequences.

    Are Sex Assault and Rape the Same Thing?

    State law no longer uses “rape” as the technical term for sex assault. Instead, there are now four degrees of sexual assault that encompass what used to be referred to as rape.  Sexual assault in the fourth degree is considered the least severe form of sexual assault, and in fact is the only variant that can ever be classified as a misdemeanor. Conversely, aggravated sexual assault of a minor is considered a class A felony, the most severe category of criminal offense allowable in Connecticut outside of murder.

    How Are the Degrees of Sexual Assault Differentiated?

    The four degrees of sexual assault are differentiated based on two criteria. The first is whether the defendant engaged in sexual activity with someone who materially could not consent or whether they used force to compel sexual activity, and the second is whether the sexual activity involved sexual contact or involved sexual intercourse as defined in C.G.S. §53a-65.

    Sexual assaults involving the use of force and involving sexual intercourse are considered more serious criminal offenses, and the combination of both constitutes sexual assault in the first degree. Additionally, if the alleged victim is a minor, the offense is treated more seriously right off the bat. This could also give rise to an investigation by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, which you can learn more about by clicking here. A Ridgefield sexual assault attorney could offer further clarification about what a specific sexual assault charge means for you or your loved one.

    Is Sexual Assault a Felony Offense?

    As noted above, fourth-degree sexual assault of a person over 15 years old is the only type of sexual assault that is considered a misdemeanor. However, this charge is the most severe form of misdemeanor established under state law, so a conviction could still lead to a jail sentence of up to one year and a maximum fine of $2,000.

    All other variants of sexual assault in Connecticut are felonies, which means a conviction could result in maximums of five to 20 years in prison, along with mandatory minimum sentences for class C felonies are above. Furthermore, the class A felony of aggravated sexual assault of a minor is uniquely punishable by 25 to 50 years in prison.

    A conviction of any kind can lead to problems that far outlast any jail or probation. A dedicated attorney can help protect you in the short term and the long term by fighting for a positive and just outcome.

    Seek Help from a Ridgefield Sexual Assault Defense Attorney

    A qualified Ridgefield sexual assault lawyer could be key to ensuring your personal and professional future remains bright in the aftermath of a sexual assault allegation. Follow this link to go over to avvo.com and read what hundreds of clients have to say about working with us. Call today to schedule a consultation and discuss what may be possible in your case.\