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Understanding Sexual Assault and Consent

The “Me Too” movement has created a platform for women across the country to speak out about their experiences with sexual harassment and sexual assault at the hands of family, significant others, friends, bosses, coworkers—anyone in a position of power—or strangers. In the wake of this movement, it is important to not only raise awareness about sexual assault but to also truly understand what sexual assault is and the importance of consent.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sex crimes are prevalent and victims are increasingly coming forward to report misconduct. An accusation of a sex crime isn’t to be taken lightly. An accusation of sexual assault means that an individual has been accused of making sexual contact or exhibiting sexual behavior against another person without their consent. When people think of sex crimes they tend to think of rape, but sexual assault comes in a variety of forms:

  • Rape – oral, anal, vaginal penetration
  • Fondling and molestation
  • Forcible object penetration
  • Sexual contact with minors

If you are accused of such a crime, it is critical that you consult with a highly knowledgeable and experienced sexual assault defense attorney in Tampa to fight this type of allegation. Your reputation and livelihood depend on it.

Consent Matters

The key component of sexual assault is lack of consent. Under Florida law, consent is defined as “intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent…consent should not be construed as a failure by the alleged victim to physically resist the offender.” Sexual advances that are unwanted or without consent include using physical force, using threats to get the victim to comply, misleading the victim about intentions, or touching or penetrating a victim when they have said “no” or “stop.” Non-consent is also touching or performing a sexual act on a person that is powerless to consent due to age, mental incapacity, or unconsciousness. Consent should always be very clear in any sexual encounter.

Take Accusations Seriously

Have you been accused of sexual assault? Do not face these allegations without the representation of a sexual assault defense attorney in Tampa. A conviction could lead to lengthy jail time, fines, probation, rehabilitation, and registration as a sexual offender or predator. Take no chances and contact The Rickman Law Firm to learn about your rights and options.

For a free consultation with an experienced sexual battery lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.