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What Are the 4 Degrees of Sexual Assault?

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A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

Nevada has very strict laws on sexual assault. The basic concept of sexual assault is easy to understand, though the law has varying degrees of this crime in terms of prosecuting offenders.

With sexual assault laws in Nevada, it is extremely important to know the difference between these degrees when you are being accused of these crimes. Having an experienced sexual assault attorney to defend is imperative to navigate the legal system on these types of matters. 

What Are the 4 Degrees of Sexual Assault?
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Understanding the 4 Degrees of Sexual Assault

In terms of degree of severity a first degree sexual assault charge is the most serious form of this crime. That means a fourth degree sexual assault charge is the least, though it is still not something you should take lightly.

First Degree Sexual Assault

Often called aggravated sexual assault, first degree sexual assault is a severe charge. The prosecution must be able to prove that sexual penetration occurred in this case. Additionally, they will try to prove that you as the alleged perpetrator had authority over the alleged victim and that the victim was incapacitated.

If coercion or a weapon was used, or if the victim was injured, first degree sexual assault charges will apply. Ultimately, the decision is left up to the judge in this case, though it could result in a life sentence to prison. 

Second Degree Sexual Assault

Unlike first degree sexual assault where sexual penetration needs to have occurred, second degree sexual assault charges don’t require it. The prosecution must prove that some kind of sexual contact occurred. Aside from the lack of penetration, anything that constitutes a first degree second assault needs to have occurred for them to bring up this charge. 

Third Degree Sexual Assault

Even though a third degree sexual assault charge is considered a less violent crime than the previous degrees, the courts will take it seriously. For a third degree sexual assault, the prosecution needs to prove that sexual penetration occurred along with a minor victim that was either coerced or incapacitated, or both. The penalty for third degree sexual assault also includes a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

Fourth Degree Sexual Assault

With fourth degree sexual assault, the prosecution needs to prove that some kind of sexual contact occurred. Additionally, it will involve either a minor victim as well as force or coercion, or an incapacitated victim. Generally, the punishments for a fourth degree sexual assault charge will vary more widely as they depend more heavily on the circumstances in each particular case. 

Defending Yourself Against Sexual Assault Charges

When facing sexual assault charges, you should also know the difference between sexual penetration and sexual contact. With penetration, it includes vaginal or anal intercourse, oral sex, or intruding on any body part with a foreign object. Sexual contact by contrast involves intentional touching of another person’s intimate areas, even while clothed.

Even with these four degrees of sexual assault, every case is different and may be difficult to categorize into one degree.

It is for this reason that you must work with an experienced attorney in these matters who will help you if you are facing these types of criminal charges.

You can visit https://spartacuslawfirm.com/las-vegas-sexual-assault-attorney/ for more information regarding what to do when faced with sexual assault charges. 

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