To be convicted of a sexual assault is a charge that lasts a lifetime. Even when completely innocent, the stigma associated with the charge doesn’t fade away over the years and makes daily life extremely difficult. That’s why if you or someone you know is facing a sexual assault charge in Minnesota, the case is not to be taken lightly and you need to acquire a criminal defense attorney that will do everything in their power to defend you in a court of law.
Brian Karalus of Karalus Law is the lawyer you want on your side. Having taken on cases that may have seemed daunting to other attorneys, Brian has time and time again received “not guilty”, dismissed, or reduced charges in even the most trying and difficult cases.
In Minnesota, the term for sexual assault is “criminal sexual conduct,” and there are different degrees that determine how severe the penalties will be:
- 1st Degree – Sexual penetration by an object or any part of the defendant with at least one of the following involved:
- The victim is under the age of 13 and the defendant is three years older or more
- Physical injury
- A weapon is involved
- The defendant is in a position of authority (ie stepparent, guardian, teacher, etc.)
- The victim was fearful of bodily harm.
First-degree sexual assault is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and up to a $40,000 fine. They then must register as a sex offender for life.
- 2nd Degree – Same conditions as 1st-degree sexual assault but without sexual penetration. The charge results in up to 25 years in prison and up to a $35,000 fine and must register as a sex offender.
- 3rd Degree – Sexual penetration with certain age limitations and conditions such as:
- The victim is between the ages of 13 and 15 and the defendant is more than 2 years older but less than 10 years older.
- The defendant is no more than 3 years older and the victim is under the age of 13.
- The defendant has the knowledge that the victim is physically or mentally impaired.
- The defendant penetrates the victim using force or coercion.
The charge carries a maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.
- 4th Degree – Engaging in similar sexual conduct as 3rd-degree sexual assault without penetration. Punishment is up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
- 5th Degree – Nonconsensual sexual contact or lewd acts such as displaying the genitals to someone under the age of sixteen. If convicted, the sentence will be a fine of up to $3,000 and/or up to a year incarcerated. This can be increased to a felony if the individual has a previous charge and will now be looking at up to 5 years incarcerated and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Without an experienced and knowledgeable defense attorney fighting for you, your life will be forever marred by these charges. Protect your future, and call Brian Karalus of Karalus Law today.