Sex assault is one of the most serious allegations an individual could face.
A conviction for a sexual assault offense will have significant penalties including imprisonment, fines, sex offender registration, and possible loss of civil rights.
A mere allegation of sexual assault can have devastating and lasting effects on your life. Once you’re accused of sexual assault, the stigma is hard to shake.
If you have been falsely accused, do not hesitate to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.
An experienced attorney is your best resource for clearing your name.
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At Petersen Law Office, we understand the seriousness of a sexual assault charge.
With nearly three decades of experience in criminal law, we will be your legal advocate every step of the way.
At Peterson Law Office, we have handled thousands of criminal defense cases including a plethora of sexual assault cases.
There are many laws that apply to rape charges.
The penalty for sexual assault in Nebraska will depend on the specific circumstances of the allegations against you—most importantly what degree of sexual assault you were charged with.
Degrees of Sexual Assault
There are three degrees of sexual assault in Nebraska, each carrying consequential penalties.
First Degree Sexual Assault Definition and Penalties
In Nebraska, first degree sexual assault is defined as sexual penetration in any of the following circumstances:
- The accused acted without the other person’s consent,
- The accused knew or should have known the victim was mentally or physically incapable of resisting, or
- The accused is 19 years old or older and the victim is at least 12 years old but less than 16 years of age.
First-degree sexual assault is a Class II felony.
If convicted, a person faces anywhere from 1 to 50 years in prison and the potential either a 25-year or lifetime sex offender registration if the offense is found to be an aggravated offense.
If the defendant has a prior conviction, there is a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison.
Second Degree Sexual Assault
Sexual assault in the second degree is defined as any sexual contact that resulted in serious personal injury that occurred without the consent of the victim or where the accused knew or should have known the victim was mentally or physically incapable of resisting.
The sexual assault penalty for a second-degree conviction is zero to twenty years in prison and sex offender registration for 25 year years.
Sexual Assault in the Third Degree
Third degree sexual assault involves the same elements as second-degree sexual assault, except that the sexual contact does not result in a serious personal injury.
Third-degree sexual assault is a Class I misdemeanor and is punishable by zero to 1-year imprisonment.
Sex Assault of A Child—Nebraska Law
Sexual assault of a child may have even greater penalties.
If you have been accused of any type of sexual assault against a child, hiring an experienced attorney is imperative.
Early investigation and preservation of evidence often lead to a much better outcome.
Evidence disappears and the late involvement of an attorney can result in a case where there is no physical evidence such as text messages, DNA evidence, and many other forms of evidence that casts doubt on the allegations.
A criminal defense attorney can provide the best line of defense to these charges.
In Nebraska, there are three degrees of sexual assault of a child:
- First degree involves the sexual penetration of a minor where the minor is less than 12 years of age and the actor is over the age of 19 or where the minor is over 12 years of age but less than 16 years of age and the actor is over 25;
- Second degree involves sexual contact (not penetration) with a minor that is less than 14 years of age and the actor is over 19 resulting in serious personal injury to the victim; and
- Third degree involves sexual contact with a minor less than 14 years of age and the actor is over 19 years of age that does not result in serious personal injury to the victim.
Consent is never a defense if the crime involves a child under the age of 16 as a minor is not capable of consent.
A conviction for sexual assault of a child carries severe penalties.
Sexual assault of a child in the first degree carries a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison under the child sexual assault statute but another statute requires a minimum sentence of 20 years.
The result is a conviction for this offense results in a minimum sentence of 17.5 years actual time without the possibility of probation.
A repeat offender faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison without the possibility of probation.
Sexual assault of a child in the second degree carries a much broader range of potential prison time ranging from 1 to 50 years.
Third degree sexual assault of a child carries 0 to 3 years imprisonment if convicted.
Sex Offender Registration
In Nebraska, convicted sex offenders are required under the Sex Offender Registration Act to notify or register with local law enforcement as sex offenders.
Even a misdemeanor conviction requires a minimum of 15 years registration on the sex offender registration list.
Any other conviction requires a minimum of 25 years sex offender registration, which can increase to lifetime registration if the offense is determined to be an aggravated offense.
Sexual Assault Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorney
A mere accusation of sexual assault can ruin your reputation. If you have been falsely accused of sexual assault, do not wait another minute to contact a criminal defense attorney.
Allegations can be easy to make and very difficult to disprove. You need someone who knows their way around the criminal defense system to fight on your behalf.
Contact Petersen Law Office today for a confidential, no-cost consultation.
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