What to know about Arizona sexual assault statutes

In the state of Arizona, a person may be charged with sexual assault by having sexual intercourse of oral sexual contact with another person without consent. If the victim is under the age of 15, there may be harsher penalties for those who are convicted of the crime. In some cases, verbal threats or other forms of intimidation may be used on a victim.

Those who are mentally disabled or are impaired by drugs or alcohol generally cannot give consent to commit a sexual act. If an individual is convicted of sexual assault, that person may sentenced to time in prison. A life sentence may be handed down to those who are convicted of assaulting a person under the age of 15. It may also be possible to receive 35 years in prison before having a chance to be paroled or go on probation.

The defendant will likely have to register as a sex offender in Arizona for the rest of his or her life. Those who have a prior record of sexual assault may face between 21 and 28 years in prison if convicted. An additional three years may be added to any sentence if a person used a date rape drug. If intentional injury is inflicted on a victim, an individual may face a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

A person who is facing a rape or sexual assault charge could be facing many years in prison if convicted. Simply being charged could also cause negative professional or social consequences. Therefore, it may be a good idea to talk to a criminal defense lawyer who may be able to cast doubt on the charge. This may be done by challenging physical evidence or pointing out inconsistencies in witness testimony.