Sexual Assault

Get Help from an Experienced Indiana Sexual Assault Defense Attorney in Southern Indiana

At Thomas Law, our Evansville Indiana sexual assault defense attorney has the skills, experience, and legal knowledge to handle complex criminal cases. We understand the deep stigma that comes with facing a sex offense or related criminal charge. If you or your family member was arrested and charged with sexual assault or sexual battery, our legal team is ready to help. To schedule a strictly confidential initial consultation with a sex crimes defense attorney in Southern Indiana, please call our Evansville office at 812-492-1900 or reach out to us online.

An Overview of Sexual Assault Charges in Indiana

Sexual-AssaultUnder Indiana law (Indiana Code § 35-42-4), certain sex offenses, including rape and sexual battery, are criminalized. Generally, the term sexual assault is used to describe a collection of misconduct that could fit under Indiana’s rape statute or Indiana’s sexual battery statute. Here is what you should know about how the offenses are defined and charged:

  • Rape Charges in Indiana: Under Indiana’s criminal code, rape occurs when a person knowingly/intentionally has sexual intercourse with another person or forces another person to perform/submit to sexual conduct through compelled force, imminent threat, or taking advantage of a mental incapacity that makes consent impossible. Rape is charged as a Level 3 felony in Indiana. The offense will be upgraded to a Level 1 felony if it is committed with a controlled substance (drugged rape), the force of a deadly weapon, or causes serious bodily injury to the victim.
  • Sexual Battery Charges in Indiana: Indiana distinguishes sexual battery from rape. Under the state’s criminal code, sexual battery is an offense that occurs when a person touches a victim without consent for the purposes of their own sexual gratification. To qualify as sexual battery, physical force or the threat of physical force must be used. Sexual battery is a Level 6 felony offense in Indiana. However, the offense will be heightened to a Level 4 felony if aggravating factors are present. If the sexual battery is committed on a minor by a defendant who is 21 years of age or older, the charge may be upgraded further, potentially even to a Level 1 felony offense.

What are the Defenses to Sexual Assault in Indiana?

First and foremost, innocence is always a valid defense. Whether it is a case of mistaken identity or a false accusation, you have the right to aggressively fight back against wrongful charges of sexual assault or sexual battery. As with other criminal offenses, the prosecution has the legal burden of proving its selected charge beyond a reasonable doubt. False charges should be defended clearly and without reservation so that you can protect your future and clear your good name. No one should be punished for a crime that they did not commit.

There are other defenses that may also be raised in a sexual assault case. In general, the most common defense (other than innocence) is consent. With this defense, the defendant is acknowledging that sexual intercourse or sexual contact occurred but denies the criminal element. In Indiana, rape or sexual battery only occurs if lawful consent was not given. If the accuser/alleged victim was of age, mental capacity, and gave permission, no crime occurred. Of course, consent cannot be raised as a legal defense in a statutory sexual assault case. By definition, a minor does not have the ability to consent.

What to Know About Sex Offender Registration in Indiana

Many people have questions about Indiana’s sex offender registration rules. You may be wondering if you will be required to register as a sex offender if convicted of sexual assault. Generally, the answer is ‘yes’—though the specific sex offender registration requirements will depend on the specific facts of the case. Under Indiana state law, there are three different categories of sex offenders:

  • Sexually Violent Predators
  • Offenders Against Children
  • Sex Offenders

When you have to register, what information you have to provide, what will be made public, and what restrictions will be placed upon you depend on your categories. Offenders labeled as ‘Sexually Violent Predators’ and ‘Offenders Against Children’ face far more stringent registration requirements. For example, some offenders are not permitted to live within 1,000 feet of a school. If you have any specific questions or concerns about your case, an Evansville, IN sex crimes defense lawyer can help.

How Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer Jared Michel Thomas Can Help

Not only do sexual assault accusations carry a deep personal stigma, but these are also very serious felony offenses in Indiana. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, Jared Michel Thomas knows how to help clients get through difficult times. Mr. Thomas firmly believes that everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. We are ready to get started working on your case. Among other things, our Evansville sexual assault defense attorney will:

  • Conduct a comprehensive review of the criminal charges
  • Answer your questions and address your concerns
  • Investigate the incident—securing any and all exonerating evidence
  • Craft a personalized defense strategy focused on your best interests

Every criminal case carries its own unique set of facts and circumstances. We provide personalized legal guidance and support to each and every client—ensuring that they get the representation that they rightfully deserve. Additionally, our criminal defense team will handle your sexual assault case with care, sensitivity, and discretion. No matter the nature of your case, we are ready to protect your rights and your future.

Call Our Evansville Indiana Sexual Assault Defense Attorney for Immediate Help

At Thomas Law, our Indiana sexual assault defense attorney has the skills and experience to handle the full range of sex crimes cases, including rape and sexual battery. If you or your loved one is facing sexual assault charges, we can help. Call us now at 812-492-1900 for a fully confidential initial criminal defense consultation. From our law office in Evansville, we represent defendants throughout Southern Indiana, including in Vanderburgh County, Warrick County, Posey County, and Gibson County.

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