Nowadays, sexual assault has become frequent everywhere. Sexual assault is not forced physical intimacy only. It is a broad concept. The case of sexual abuse and assault is increasing day by day for many reasons. Leaving the reasons aside, let’s talk about what to do after a sexual assault happens.
Surviving such a situation requires a lot of mental strength and strong willpower. The physical damages can heal with medication, but the trauma doesn’t leave the victim easily.
The good news is that you can punish the attacker(s) if you can prove them guilty. You can hire a sexual assault lawyer for that. Several laws are there in favor of sexual assault victims.
Punishing a person liable for sexual assault is not only about compensation but also making others aware of the results of it. So, you shouldn’t leave such people.
What is Sexual Assault?
The common definition of sexual assault is- any kind of sexual activity or contact that takes place without the consent of both parties. The definition can vary in different states, but the difference is not huge. So, you can call it a standard sentence that defines sexual assault.
To be a sexual assault, contact is not mandatory. If someone sends pictures of their sexual organs, you can call it a sexual assault. Also, forcing someone to look at sexual images is a kind of sexual assault.
Sexual assault can also be verbal. Threats of rape or sexual texts are also parts of sexual assault.
Types of Sexual Assaults
Sexual assault includes a lot of different activities. These activities are divided into two parts- in-contact and non-contact.
In-contact Sexual Assaults
Activities involving physical contact between two or more people without consent are called in-contact sexual assaults. These are-
- Any type of sexual activity with anyone without consent
- Any kind of sexual activity with someone who cannot give consent (an underaged person as per the state law, someone passed out because of drugs or alcohol, a person who is sleeping, someone having an intellectual disability, etc.)
- Attempted rape
- Unwanted contact with someone above or under the dress
- Sexual Coercion
Non-contact Sexual Assault
These types of sexual assaults happen when someone forces others to join sexual activity through non-contact activity. Some non-contact sexual assaults are-
- Exposing ownself in public or in front of someone without consent
- Watching private sexual acts without any consent of the participating people
- Threats of rape or any other type of sexual harassment
- Sending sexual texts without any consent
- Forcing someone to pose for vulgar pictures
Consent in Sexual Assault
The concept of consent is different for different people. But there should be a common ground, right?
Let’s be clear about the concept of consent.
Without Manipulation: Consent must be given without any manipulation or pressure. If the person is under the effect of alcohol or drug, consent should not be counted.
Reversible: Anyone can change their mind anytime if they feel that something is not right. Even if things are too close, you can still withdraw your consent.
Know ’em All: While giving consent, the person should know everything about it. Starting from the place to using condoms, the person should know everything.
Specific: Consent should be specific to an action. Agreeing to make out doesn’t mean that the person is agreed to sex.
Consent is an important part of sexual relations. If a party doesn’t consent to the activity, it might be called sexual assault.
What Does a Sexual Assault Lawyer Do?
A sexual assault victim should hire a lawyer to punish the assault predator. If you think the person should get punishment and you should get compensation for what has happened, taking the help of a sexual assault lawyer is a must.
Let’s see what a sexual assault lawyer or attorney can do for you.
Discuss the Legal Options:
After a sexual assault, you have several options to punish the person who has done this. Multiple laws are there to support you. Some laws focus on the punishment of the person, whereas some laws look for compensation.
A lawyer can help you explore the available options and possible outcomes of those so that you can select the best option available for you.
Help to Survive the Assault:
Sexual assault lawyers know the options to help you after such an incident. For example- they can help you with picking the best medical attention, counseling sessions, and other surviving resources.
As they’ve worked on such cases many times, they know the options that work the best. You might find the best support to fight the trauma through their suggestions.
Gather Evidence and Talk to Witnesses:
You need to arrange solid proof to prove someone guilty of sexual assault. After such an incident, you won’t be in a situation to gather proof and all. Your lawyer can do this for you.
The lawyer would visit the place of the incident, ask people for information, and collect evidence to bring up solid proof against the person guilty of it. They know how to do this.
Identify the Liable Parties:
In many cases of sexual assault, the person(s) directly involved in the assault is not the only guilty party. One or more parties can be involved in it. Your lawyer can seek the involvement of other parties if there are any.
Work with law Enforcement:
Law enforcement departments look for the guilty person after a sexual assault. In most cases, the person hides somewhere. Your lawyer can work with law enforcement authorities to find out about that person.
Calculate the Damages:
The damage a sexual assault does is not countable, we know. But the economic damage that happens can be compensated. Your lawyer can calculate all the amounts you have to spend after the incident, bring up a compensation amount, and ask for the amount as compensation.
Filing a Lawsuit in Court:
Filing a lawsuit in court is a long process and involves a lot of things. Lawyers know everything about it. So, your lawyer can file the lawsuit fast without wasting time so that you get justice. With time, the evidence starts to fade away.
Communicate with Lawyers of the Other Party:
The other party should hire lawyers once a case is filed. Throughout the case, you might have to talk to the other party several times. This task is done by the lawyer. You don’t have to face the lawyers from them by yourself if you have a lawyer or attorney with you.
Negotiate with the Other Party if You Want:
In case you don’t want to settle the incident outside court, your lawyer can help you with that too. Negotiation with the other party involves a lot of things. If you do it alone, you’ll be oppressed or compensated poorly. Your lawyer won’t let it happen to you.
These are the most common ways your sexual assault lawyer can help you. There are many more ways. You’ll see those while working with them.
Who can Be Sued for Sexual Assault?
In sexual assault cases, the liable party is not only the person who commits the assault but also the people around them who know that the incident could occur. You can sue them for the assault too. Below are the possible parties that can be sued for such an incident.
- The owners of the property where the assault has taken place, if they know the possibility of assault
- People around the place or witnesses who were seeing that an assault is taking place or about to occur
- If it is a planned sexual assault, everyone present at the time of planning is liable
- If this takes place in the office, the employers can be sued if they were informed about the possibility of such an incident previously
The parties you can sue for this incident vary based on the place the incident takes place. So, discuss an experienced sexual assault attorney from your surroundings to know more about it.
Compensation Fields for Sexual Assault
Sexual assault cases can be filed in both criminal court and civil court. However, the criminal court doesn’t focus on compensation. Instead, it focuses on the punishment of the liable person. On the other hand, the civil court focuses on compensation for damages caused by it.
The good news is you can file a lawsuit in the civil court for compensation even after the criminal court punishes the person. Filing a case in civil court would bring you compensation for several factors.
Economic factors are the factors that can be measured by money. For example-
- Treatment and medicine costs for the physical damages caused by the assault
- Transportation fees to the doctors for treatment
- Loss of income
- Loss of employment
- Cost of counseling sessions for psychological trauma
- Expenses of other damages caused by the incident
Non-economic factors can’t be measured by money. Common non-economic factors included in sexual assault compensation are-
- Emotional losses
- Mental trauma
- Loss of social status
- Loss of enjoyment
Cost of a Sexual Assault Attorney
The cost of a sexual assault attorney varies depending on several factors. So, stating a fixed amount is tough. Also, lawyers have different procedures for taking payments for such cases. Let’s see the possible payment procedures lawyers prefer.
An attorney can ask for an hourly payment. Counting the number of hours worked on your case, you should pay. The attorney keeps note of the time worked for you.
An hourly rate is good for them because complex cases may take around 2 years to be solved. Charging hourly helps them to get the appropriate fees for the work done. However, there is a risk too. Even if you fail to pay for this long time, they have to continue because they can’t leave the case until the judge permits.
The common range of hourly rates is $100-$500 per hour.
The attorney can ask for a fixed fee for working on your case. This is a good choice for you because you know how much you have to pay. However, this is a risk for them because they can’t leave the case in the middle even if it continues for a long time.
Phased Flat Fee
Some lawyers may ask for a phased flat fee. The case is divided into multiple phases, and you have to pay a fixed amount after each. This might be a comfortable option for you as you don’t have to arrange a huge fee at a time.
Also, this is a good option for lawyers because the money flow continues as the case continues.
If you file a lawsuit for compensation, another fee structure can be applied for that- percentage fee.
It is a type of fee where you pay a percentage of the compensation you receive from the other party. The typical range attorneys charge is 30%-40% of the compensated amount. However, you may find someone charging less than that.
Such a structure is good for you because you don’t have to spend much if you don’t get the compensation. Also, lawyers don’t take the case unless they’re sure about securing compensation. So, if someone takes the case, you might get a good amount for the damages.
What is a Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer?
A sexual assault deference lawyer is the opposite of a sexual assault lawyer. They are similar by profession, but their aim is totally reversed.
A sexual assault defense lawyer tries to defend a person accused of sexual assault. They aim to fight against a sexual assault lawyer in court and free their client from the case or minimize the crime.
Anyone who is charged with a sexual assault crime should hire a lawyer to fight for them, especially who haven’t committed the crime.
Ways a Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer Helps the Clients
Arranging the Necessary Information: Once you’re accused of sexual assault, the first thing you need is information about the case. The detail of the case helps to design a defense strategy. Your appointed lawyer can help you with that.
The lawyer knows how to collect information and handle the situation. So you don’t have to be worried about anything.
Looking for Defending Options: When you’re accused of such a crime that you haven’t done, you need supporting information and defending option to prove yourself not guilty. Through discussion sessions with you and other related people, your lawyer can look for effective defense options that can support you.
The possible defense options will be discussed later.
Communicating the Victim: You might have to communicate with the victims, their families, or their lawyer for several reasons. Your appointed sexual assault defense lawyer can handle all these.
Identifying the Actual Liable Party: Your lawyers will do anything to keep you safe from the sexual assault case. If you haven’t committed the crime, your lawyer can visit the place of the incident, talk to the people, and possibly work with the opponent’s lawyer to find the actual criminal.
Defense Options Sexual Assault Defense Lawyers Can Use
Actual Innocence: If you haven’t committed the crime, your defense lawyer can prove your innocence by the proof of your actual innocence. This can be proven by a strong alibi or witnesses at the crime scene.
Consent: In case you have something to prove that the person had consented to the sexual activity done, your lawyer can save you. When there is consent, it doesn’t remain sexual assault.
However, proving consent is not that easy. Also, it happens in private. So, you don’t have anyone to support about the consent of the victim.
Attack the Evidence: Your lawyer can attack the evidence in court. The defense attorney can question the trustworthiness or credibility of a witness, the strength of evidence, etc. This way, your attorney can bring you some time
Or they can prove you innocent by proving the evidence wrong.
Suppression of Evidence: Some evidence can be suppressed because of being illegal. Sometimes police go one step further and collect illegal evidence to prove you guilty. Your lawyer can suppress such kind of evidence to weaken their claim.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is it too late to file a sexual assault case?
It varies from state to state. In most states, the time limit for filing a lawsuit is around 2 years if the victim is 18 years old or older than that. In some states, the limit is 3 years.
In the case of a victim less than 18 years old, the time limit varies widely in different states. In California, an underaged victim can file a lawsuit against it until their 40th birthday. In Pennsylvania, the time limit is 12 years after reaching the age of 18.
Check what the law of your state says about this. We hope it is not too late.
Have you ever worked with sexual assault cases?
Yes, we’ve handled many sexual assault cases. In fact, we have a very good track record in this particular field. In more than 90% of cases, we were successful in fighting against sexual assault.
In our team, we have multiple qualified attorneys who can help you with everything- from filing the case to representing you in court.
We’ve handled several types of sexual assault cases in both criminal and civil courts. So, you can allow us to handle your case without worrying much. We know how to proceed with your case and fight against the sexual assault predator.
How often will you communicate with me?
Well, there is no definite answer to what you’ve asked now. In most cases, we have to communicate with the victim or a representative for the victim frequently, regardless of the time. Obviously, we won’t disturb you at night, except it is extremely important.
So, no matter who is the person(s) to communicate with, they should be available during the case. A physical visit is not that important. But we can reach you anytime for any information required for the case.
How much do you charge?
We have multiple payment systems. Our preferred payment system depends on the type and complication of the case and a few more things. So, we can’t talk about it now. Communicate with us and let us know your situation. After knowing about the case, we can discuss the payment amount and method.
To keep everything easy for our clients, we try to follow the payment process they find comfortable. So, let’s talk about it directly.
Can I sue my boss who sexually assaulted me?
You don’t have to worry about it, whoever has assaulted you. You can sue your boss if you have enough evidence to prove it. Don’t worry about the consequences. Here we ensure the best safety of our clients while serving with legal support.
If your boss sexually harasses you, try to collect proof and come to us with that. We will support you with the procedure of filing a lawsuit against them and punish them accordingly.
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