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Sexual Assault and Rape Crimes in Phoenix

Phoenix has some of the strictest sentencing laws for sex crimes in the nation. If you are charged with sexual assault, otherwise known as “rape,” you can be facing a very uncertain and emotionally stressful experience.

  • “Rape” is not a legal term in Phoenix. Instead, the terms “Sexual Abuse” or “Sexual Assault” are recognized by the courts

If a prosecutor can prove you are guilty of a sexual assault, you can be convicted and can face prison time, hefty fines, and mandatory registration as a sex offender upon your release. A rape conviction can negatively impact your personal and professional lives both now and in the future. Therefore, if you are charged with any kind of sexual assault crime in Phoenix, you should immediately seek out a competent, aggressive defense attorney to fight for your rights. 

What is Sexual Assault or Rape in Phoenix?

Arizona Revised Statute A.R.S. 13-1406 classifies sexual assault as a class 2 felony that takes place if you:

  • Intentionally or knowingly engage in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact without the other person’s consent
  • Engage in non-consensual sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact during the course of a date, which may or may not involve the use of drugs or alcohol to sedate or tranquilize the victim (also called “Date Rape”)
  • Engage in sexual conduct (not necessarily intercourse) with a person under the age of 18 (also called “Statutory Rape”)

With statutory rape charges specifically, Phoenix has two different classifications depending on the age of the victim:

  • 15 years or older- a class 5 felony if no intercourse took place
  • Younger than 15 years of age- a class 2 felony whether or not intercourse took place

Furthermore, sexual contact with a minor potentially incurs additional charges, which you can learn more about by visiting our Sexual Misconduct with a Minor

How Can a Phoenix Criminal Attorney Defend Your Sexual Assault Case?

In order to be found guilty of sexual assault, the prosecution must prove that:

  • You engaged in sexual intercourse or oral sex contact with your accuser in the first place
  • The sexual contact/conduct was not consensual (in the case of an adult)

In many sexual assault cases, the prosecution will introduce DNA evidence taken as part of a medical exam following the alleged incident. If this occurs, a defense attorney can build a defense based on:

  • Whether the DNA found resulted from consensual sexual contact that your accuser then changed their mind about (in the case of an adult)
  • Whether the exam took place under appropriate industry conditions
  • Whether the exam took place within an appropriate time frame from the time the alleged sexual assault occurred
  • Whether the DNA found matches yours

What are the Penalties for Sexual Assault Convictions?

If you are a first time offender found guilty of rape in Phoenix, you face:

  • A minimum of 5.25 years, a presumptive sentence of 7 years, and a maximum sentence of 14 years, all served in prison

If you have a prior felony conviction, you face:

  • A minimum of 7 years, a presumptive sentence of 10.5 years, and a maximum sentence of 21 years, all served in prison

If you have two or more prior felony convictions, you face:

  • A minimum of 14 years, a presumptive sentence of 15.75 years, and a maximum sentence of 28 years, all served in prison

Additionally, you face:

  • Fines totaling up to $150,000 per offense, plus any other civil liabilities you might incur
  • Mandatory registration in the sex offender database
  • Supervised release and strict probationary terms
  • A permanent criminal record that can restrict your living situations, employment opportunities and social participation for the rest of your life

What Other Sentencing Considerations Exist for Rape Cases?

According to A.R.S. 13-1406, the following aggravated considerations exist in the case of rape or sexual assault:

  • If serious physical injury or death was inflicted, a minimum sentence of 25 years to life in prison can be imposed
  • If the defendant was an adult (so 18 years of age or older) and the victim was under the age of 12, a minimum sentence of 35 years to life in prison can be imposed

Trust Phoenix Criminal Attorney With Your Sexual Assault Crimes Defense in Phoenix

The consequences for being convicted of sexual assault or rape in Phoenix are nothing short of life altering in the most fundamentally disastrous ways. Therefore, it is essential to consult a defense attorney with proven experience defending sexual assault cases of all severities. We will not stop fighting for your rights, by making sure that every possible legal option and defense strategy is available to you. If you are facing any kind of sexual assault or rape charge in Phoenix, no matter how severe, contact Phoenix Criminal Attorney Law Firm today for a private, no obligation consultation at 602-551-8092.

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