Sexual assault and rape are serious criminal charges in Arizona. Any reader who is facing these significant violent crimes should contact a criminal defense attorney to discuss their legal options for preparing a case-specific defense strategy. This post will briefly introduce several factors that may elevate the sentencing of a rape or sexual assault conviction but readers are reminded that the information contained herein is not legal advice.

Sexual assault in Arizona is generally defined as sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with a person without their consent. The facts of a sexual assault case will play a major role in how a court will decide regarding the potential responsibility of the criminal defendant. A sexual assault conviction results in felony sentencing and the prospect of many years behind bars for the defendant.

A sexual assault charge may become an aggravated sexual assault charge if certain conditions are present during the alleged crime. For example, if the defendant allegedly used a date rape drug to incapacitate their alleged victim, then the defendant may see an extra three years added to their already lengthy sentence. Also, if an alleged sexual assault perpetrator intentionally inflicts serious physical harm upon their alleged victim during the commission of the alleged sexual assault then the defendant’s sentence may be raised to 25 years in prison to life.

All sexual assault and rape charges carry with them the potential to derail a person’s life and set them up to struggle to move their life forward. No person facing these and other serious violent crime charges should do so alone. Criminal defendants have the right to work with criminal defense attorneys so that they have the support they need to face their accusers and fight for their freedoms.