Fighting Sexual Assault Charges in Lexington, SC
What constitutes sexual assault in South Carolina?
Have you been accused of committing a sexual assault in Lexington, Columbia or another area in South Carolina? If so, it is important that you understand what type of charges you may be up against – as the term, "sexual assault," can be used to describe a number of different criminal offenses. For example, the legal definition describes this crime as any instance in which one person forcefully suggests, or engages in, unwanted sexual activities with another person.
This could range from grabbing, groping or feeling another person in a sexual manner – i.e. touching their breasts or genitals without consent – to forced penetration. For this reason, it is critical that you understand what type of sex crime you are being charged with, as the subsequent penalties could range from minor to severe. Some of the most common forms of sexual assault include:
South Carolina's Law Regarding Consent
One of the most important aspects of your case will be whether or not the other party had consented to the alleged sexual activities. This is an area that is not exactly black and white, as it is usually a case of "he said, she said." For example, it is not uncommon for two consenting adults to engage in sexual acts, only to have one claim that they had been assaulted later on – either out of shame, regret or revenge. It can be difficult in this instance to prove that they had willing consented, as there usually aren't any witnesses that can testify to this fact.
This does not necessarily mean that their account will be trusted as the truth. The burden will be on their shoulders to prove that you are guilty, rather than on you to prove that you are innocent. In any case, however, it is important to understand the state's laws regarding consent. In South Carolina, one cannot legally consent to any sort of sexual activity until they have reached the age of 16. This means that you could be found guilty of a statutory rape offense if you have engaged in sexual acts with a minor – regardless of whether or not they had done so willingly.
Additionally, marriage does not give you legitimate grounds to prove consent. If, for example, a husband forcible engages in sexual acts with his wife, he can still be found guilty of marital rape. Finally, South Carolina laws state that a person who is intoxicated by either alcohol or drugs cannot legally give consent. For this reason, it is important for you to discuss your case with one of the Lexington criminal defense lawyers at our firm if you have been accused of being involved in any of these situations.
Contact a Lexington Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been accused of carrying out a sexual assault in South Carolina, it is imperative that you act quickly. Accusations of this nature carry the potential for lasting ramifications – as a conviction may not only result in legal penalties, but it may have a damaging effect on your personal life. For this reason, the legal team at the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC encourages you to get in touch with a Lexington criminal lawyer at the firm immediately. We will be able to investigate the circumstances of your arrest and develop a viable defense strategy on your behalf as soon as we have been contacted. To learn more, simply pick up the phone and give us a call at (888) 301-6004 for a
free initial consultation.