Sexual offences like indecent assault carry severe penalties and can have a long-term impact on you. Your personal life, relationships and career prospects can all be affected, making it vital that you seek legal guidance as soon as any allegations surface.
What to do if you have been accused of indecent assault
If you are contacted regarding any involvement with an incident of indecent assault, you should contact a specialist solicitor to ensure you fully understand your options and the legal proceedings involved.
Our team of sexual offence solicitors has the necessary experience and dedication to support you from beginning to end, dealing with the extra sensitivities and trauma that any case relating to sexual offences can cause.
How our specialist team handles unique indecent assault cases
We understand that the consequences of sexual allegations go much deeper than concerns surrounding legal proceedings, with the prospect of being branded as a sex offender having the potential to impact the rest of your life. The impact of the stigma of being convicted for a sexual offence can be the most worrying thing, to both your own reputation and the reputation of those around you.
With this in mind every case our specialist indecent assault solicitors deal with is treated fairly and we build our specialist team around your specific requirements based on the evidence presented.
What is indecent assault?
Indecent assault is defined as the crime of attacking someone in a way which involves non-consensual touching or sexual threat, without forcing them to have sexual intercourse. An indecent assault is an assault committed in circumstances of indecency. It must be proven that the accused acted intentionally, with full knowledge of the indecent circumstances.
What is the Sexual Offences Act 1956?
The predecessor to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, the Sexual Offences Act 1956, classified indecent assault and sexual assault as two very distinct offences. Indecent assault is classified as an offence under sections 14 and 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956. Sexual assault under section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 is a virtually identical offence.
The 1956 Act was repealed when the Sexual Offences Act 2003 replaced it on 1 May 2004. However, the 1956 Act still applies to crimes committed before May 2004.
A number of activities previously covered by the offence of ‘indecent assault’ now fall within the definitions of offences under the 2003 Act, including:
- Assault by penetration
- Child sex offences
- Subjecting vulnerable adults to a sexual assault
This means that the offence of sexual assault (section 3) will largely now be used in relation to lesser forms of sexual assault than previously.
What determines indecent assault sentences in the UK?
There are many factors that may contribute to an indecent assault charge. Even the slightest physical contact can be deemed enough to prosecute if:
- The contact is in a sexual or indecent context
- The contact is proven to be more than a usual occurrence in everyday life
Common examples could include:
- An unwanted kiss
- Intentional touching – either under or over clothes – of an intimate area, such as the anus, penis, vagina or breasts
- A groin being rubbed against another person without consent on a bus or train, for example
It must not only be proven that the incident took place, but also that it was a reckless or deliberate act of indecent assault that occurred in the knowledge that the other person did not reasonably consent.
Further factors that will affect the severity of the case can include the age of the parties involved – especially if one or both is under the age of sexual consent – and also whether a position of trust has been abused, such as that of a doctor or teacher. Celebrity status can also be classified as a breach of trust in cases of indecent assault.
Whilst every case is treated differently and on its own unique set of circumstances, a prosecution for indecent assault can result in up to 10 years in prison.
Contacting Lawtons solicitors about an indecent assault accusation
No matter what crime you’re accused of, you should always seek immediate legal advice, even if you’re innocent. Gaining expert legal representation right away is even more important in cases of indecent assault and other sexual offences, because of the severe penalties and far-reaching consequences if you’re found guilty. Your solicitor may be able to get your sentence significantly reduced, advising you on the best strategy to take and finding faults in the prosecution’s evidence.
Even if you’re not guilty, having a knowledgeable solicitor on your side can be invaluable. We can work to have charges dropped, minimising the damage caused to your reputation, personal relationships and professional life.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you or a loved one have been accused of indecent assault. Call us on 0333 577 0522 now.
FAQs about indecent assault
Why have the police taken my mobile phone?
The accusation is false, so surely I don’t need a solicitor?
Our Indecent Assault Solicitors