Sexual Assault Lawyers

Sexual Assault crimes involve the use of violence or threat of violence to engage in sexual contact. For example, sexual battery in violation of penal code section 243.4 is considered a form of sexual assault. Unlike other sexual crimes such as child pornography or even child molestation, a sexual assault crime involves a physical act meant to cause the sexual act by use of force or duress. While date rape is a form of sexual assault, the crime of statutory rape (involving minors under the age of 18) is not considered an assault given the consent provided.

In California, sexual assault charges are usually brought by a sex crimes prosecution unit. Almost every Northern California county has a dedicated and trained unit of prosecutors that prosecute these cases. Santa Clara County’s sexual assault prosecution unit handles almost every sexual assault case brought by the office. Alameda County also employs several district attorneys to handle sexual assault cases, but this unit handles only the most serious offenses. San Francisco’s sexual assault prosecution team includes more than twenty experienced and highly trained prosecutors.

If you are charged with a sexual assault crime, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney specifically trained as a sexual assault defense attorney as soon as you can. The penalties for sexual crimes cases include prolonged jail and prison sentences, Sex Offender registration under penal code section 290 (sex offender registry), and may involve civil liability for personal injury claims by the alleged victim.

Summit Defense is the Bay Area’s Premier Criminal defense law firm and is led by a former sexual assault prosecutor, now working as a Criminal Defense Attorney for over 35 years. Your Sexual Assault defense team begins with a confidential free consultation that immediately evokes Attorney-Client privilege. The fact that you call a criminal lawyer or whatever you say to that attorney is privileged.

Your attorney will analyze the alleged victim’s statement to law enforcement and tease out any portions of the statement that are testimonial. Testimonial statements are those that are not admissible in court absent the witness testifying. Next, we will consider the use of private investigators to ascertain the true nature of the statements made.

In cases involving immigrant status, we would immediately evaluate any adverse immigration consequences of sexual assault prosecution. It is important to note that while the District Attorney must formally consider immigration status in plea negotiations, some bay area counties prioritize this obligation higher than others. For example, in San Jose, District Attorneys routinely ignore this consideration in sexual assault cases. San Francisco county seems more sympathetic to immigration status even in crimes involving sexual assault or sexual abuse.

If you or your loved one is accused of sexual assault, please contact one of our 8 bay area offices.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a sexual assault lawyer cost?

The cost for a sex assault lawyer can vary significantly and depends on the conduct alleged, any prior history as well as the phase of prosecution. Most Criminal Defense Attorneys will charge a flat fee for portions of the case. Legal fees for misdemeanor sexual assault cases can range between $3,500 and $10,000 depending on the phase covered by the retainer agreement.

What kind of lawyer deals with sexual assault?

The legal field is highly specialized. Sexual assault cases are handled by Criminal Lawyers and often these lawyers are specifically trained in defending sexual assault cases. This training includes tactics for cross-examination of sexual assault victims and other specific case law and statutes involving sex crimes.

Me Too Movement & Sexual Assault Cases

The Me Too Movement has brought sexual assault cases to the forefront of political discourse. While this movement appropriately advocates for victims of sexual assault crime, it has caused an avalanche of new statutory schemes not to mention a culture of fear and retribution in which prosecutors will bring charges ONLY to avoid becoming a headline themselves. This is especially true in Santa Clara County due to the highly publicized Brock Turner case, but has become a nationwide phenomenon that has deeply eroded the criminal justice system as well as the general jury poll that now is told to believe the victim in almost any circumstance.

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