Sexual Assault Civil Claims: Suing For Financial Recovery

Find A California Personal Injury Attorney For Sexual Assault Civil Claims

An attack on a person that is sexual in nature, such as unwanted and inappropriate touching, is known as sexual assault. On the other hand, the legal definition of sexual assault differs significantly from state to state. Set an appointment with a California Personal Injury Attorney to review your civil case options.

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Is Sexual Assault Just A Criminal Claim?


Rape is synonymous with sexual assault in some places, whereas other states use terms like criminal sexual penetration, sexual battery, or criminal sexual contact to characterize the offense. These can cause a variety of mental and physical problems. Therefore, a sexual assault case can involve both a criminal and a civil claim.

Sexual assault accusations range from groping to battery to attempted rape. Even though they share a few essential aspects, the terminology, structure, and breadth of sexual assault offenses vary widely between states. Your California Personal Injury Attorney will be able to tell you these specific details.

The offender may employ coercion, force, or the victim's incapacitation to perpetrate sexual assault.

The statute considers a victim unable to consent if:

  1. They were either physically incapable of expressing themselves or showed signs of inability to engage in sexual activity.

  2. They lacked the mental capacity to grasp the substance of the sexual act.

  3. The use of date rape drugs or alcohol, rendering the victim unable to give legal consent, is occasionally involved in charges emerging from the victim's incapacitation.


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In addition, sexual assault laws in numerous states have been expanded to include spouses. This was accomplished using one of the three ways listed below:

  • Getting rid of the spousal assault exclusion.

  • Marriage is being phased out as a defense to a case of sexual assault.

  • Enacting new legislation prohibiting your husband from abusing you sexually.

Sexual harassment laws now cover non-consensual sexual activity with people of any sex and age, not just between an adult woman and a man. Many states also use the term "sexual harassment" to refer to other offenses such as unwelcome sexual contact or rape.


Other states distinguish between penetration-related charges and those involving forced or coercive contact. In this scenario, the latter is a first-degree (aggravated) felony, whereas the former is a lesser-level misdemeanor. Consult a California Personal Injury Attorney to help you sort the claims you can file.

Rape or Criminal Sexual Penetration

Sodomy, or sexual penetration without consent, is the term used in this situation. Additionally, aggression, terror, threats of violence, and the use of narcotics and other intoxicants may all be used.

Criminal Sexual Contact and Sexual Battery


Even if it does not involve oral sex, sodomy, or penetration, most states have declared it unlawful to engage in sexual intercourse without the other person's consent. Sexual battery occurs when you enter an intimate area of another person's body (clothed or unclothed) without their permission for sexual enjoyment or arousal. It also includes forcing others to have access to your private parts.

Factors Influencing Sentencing


The case is only brought before a court for sentencing when a jury finds the suspect guilty of sexual assault. Judges consider several factors while deciding on a punishment.


Sexual assault sentencing is usually established in the state's criminal statutes in which the incident happened and usually contains a minimum and maximum jail sentence and probation, fines, and other consequences.

In a sexual assault case, the following are the most crucial considerations that judges consider:

  1. Whether the culprit is a first-time offender or a recurrent offender

  2. If the accused was a co-conspirator or a key suspect

  3. If the defendant was under a lot of emotional stress or duress when the crime was done

  4. Implications of the act, such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases

  5. If the perpetrator was extremely cruel, vengeful, or harmful to the victim, you should report them

  6. On rare occasions, the judge should evaluate whether the defendant is genuinely repentant or contrite.

A California Personal Injury Attorney might be able to further educate you on the specific factors and proceeding involved in your case.

The Victim's Own Words

Under Federal Rule 32(a) of Criminal Procedure, the court must allow your Los Angeles attorney to speak on your behalf. The court will address you by name and ask whether you wish to make a statement or give evidence to reduce your sentence. Most state procedural laws and statutes contain similar clauses.


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In some areas, the victim or survivor of a sexual assault incident is given the option to speak with the judge and advocate harsh or moderate sentencing. In all likelihood, the judge will consider your case's mitigating circumstances and impose a mild punishment. A professional prosecutor who is knowledgeable with the state's sentencing rules and processes should be present.

Sexual Assault Penalties


In many jurisdictions, sexual assault laws that encompass illegal sexual penetration and rape define this as a crime with serious repercussions. In addition, most states classify rape offenses based on their severity.

Some states provide the court some discretion when it comes to the length of the sentence issued. Others have specific sentencing statutes that the court must follow:

  • A mandated minimum prison sentence

  • A life sentence with no chance of early release or probation

  • Penalties for criminal sexual battery and sexual contact

Sexual battery and sexual contact violations that do not involve any form of penetration are not considered as serious as illegal sexual penetration or rape.


As a result, the penalty and sentencing for sexual assault are less severe. A felony is defined as any criminal sexual intercourse conducted with the threat of a weapon, by more than one person, or resulting in personal injury.


Without the use of a firearm, criminal sexual intercourse, including coercion or intimidation is a misdemeanor. A minor conviction might land you in jail for a year. Not all offenses, however, warrant jail.


Participation of the State and Federal Governments


If your case involves a crime against state law, it will be heard in a state court. However, your case can be heard in federal and state courts since both federal and state laws are frequently broken in the same incident. In addition, the United States Supreme Court determined that a defendant's right to be free of double jeopardy is not violated if they face federal and state criminal prosecution.

Convictions, in either case, will result in lengthy prison or jail sentences as well as significant fines.

Find A Sexual Assault Attorney in California

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