Being convicted of a sexual assault can have life-changing consequences, from lengthy prison terms to having to register as a sex offender. When you have been charged with sex crimes in Denver, see a lawyer right away to begin planning your defense. There are different types of sex assault charges under Colorado criminal law. Here is what you need to know.
Sexual assault, or rape, occurs when one person knowingly penetrates a victim who is unable to give consent. A person can be charged with sex assault after using physical violence or threats to make a person submit, or if he or she uses some other form of manipulation, such as abusing an authority position. Sexual assault charges may also be made if someone has intercourse with a person who is sleeping or otherwise impaired. Sexual assault charges are usually felonies, and additional charges may be attached for things like using a weapon or an assault that caused a serious injury.
Unlawful Sexual Contact
Unlawful sexual contact is defined as inappropriate sexual contact that stops short of sexual penetration. A broad number of charges fall under the category, including indecent exposure and sexual touching that occurs in the course of a medical exam. Depending on the nature of the charge, unlawful sexual contact may be a misdemeanor or a felony. The charges are always more severe in the case of sexual contact with a minor, regardless of whether the charged person knew of the victim’s age.
Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child
Sex assault charges can also apply to the internet-based sex crimes, regardless of whether the accused met the victim. These charges refer to inviting or enticing a child under 15 or four years younger than the accused to expose him or herself or see the accused’s intimate parts via webcam, text message, email, or other digital transmission. Being convicted of this crime means having to register as a sex offender, so hiring a lawyer right away is crucial.