Gold Coast & Brisbane Sex Offences Lawyers
Many lawyers tempt their clients into wrongfully pleading guilty to sex offences simply as a strategy to attract the court’s leniency. At Garde Wilson Lawyers, we have the skill and depth of experience fighting sex offences to achieve more than just a reduced sentence. We fight the charge.
A sexual offence sentence carries with it not only the penalties handed down by a court, but the stigma that can felt long after penalties are concluded. Admitting to a future employer, or partner, of being a sex offender can be devastating.
Society, as well as juries, are swayed by the existence of a charge into believing the accused is always guilty of a sexual offence. That’s why Garde Wilson Lawyers doesn’t stop at getting a reduced sentence, our focus is your acquittal.
Sex Offences In Queensland
Most sexual offences against adults centre on the absence of consent to a sexual act. In the eyes of the law, while everything hinges on it, consent is far from being a simple legal concept. The Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) defines consent as consent freely and voluntarily given by a person with the cognitive capacity to give consent (s 348).
For consent to be given, the following must not be present:
- Fear of bodily harm
- Exercise of authority
- False and fraudulent representations about the sexual act
- Mistaken belief that the accused was the person’s sexual partner
Rape is the most serious of sexual offences, and as such attracts the strongest sentences, punishable by a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. Section 349 of the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld) defines rape as:
- Penetration with or of another person without that person’s consent;
- Penetration of the vulva, vagina or anus of another person with a thing or a part of the person’s body other than a penis without the other person’s consent;
- Penetration of the mouth of another person by the person’s penis without the other person’s consent.
Unlike other states and territories, the Queensland definition of rape does not include the continuation of sexual intercourse ie where the complainant initially consents to sex but subsequently withdraws consent or where the accused becomes aware that the complainant does not consent after intercourse has commenced.
Sexual assault covers a wide array of unconsented to behaviours of a sexual nature. Section 352 of the Criminal Code makes it an offence to:
- Unlawfully and indecently assault another person; or
- Procure another person to commit an act of gross indecency or to witness an act of gross indecency
A sexual assault may consist of non-consensual sexual touching and in some cases by the use of unwanted sexualised speech, or a threat of unwanted sexual contact, towards another person.
The maximum penalty for a sexual assault is imprisonment for 10 years. A sexual assault is an aggravated sexual assault if it is committed while armed with a weapon or in company with a co-offender. Aggravated sexual assaults carry a maximum penalty of imprisonment for life.
Sexual offences do not always involve touching. Acts of indecency can include exposing yourself in front of another person, sending naked pictures of yourself to another person, pretending to perform a sexual act on another person, or public masturbation.
As with all other sexual offences, the absent of consent is pivotal to establishing guilt of an Indecent Acts charge.