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Sexual Assault Charges

Facing a sexual assault charge is incredibly serious. If you are in this situation, it’s essential that you speak to a specialist sexual assault solicitor.

We understand that those who are facing sexual assault charges are likely to be going through a highly distressing experience, one which can have a far-reaching impact on their life and career.

Our lawyers at Nelson Guest have experience working with clients facing a range of sexual assault charges. We consistently cater our support your situation, offering an honest overview of your options and outlook.

Regardless of how complex a case may be, our highly experienced solicitors can sensitively assist you every step of the way.

To discuss your needs today, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our sexual offences solicitors at Nelson Guest. You can call us on 020 8309 5010 or email

Why choose us?

Our sexual assault solicitors have much experience working with clients who are facing sexual assault charges. We appreciate that these cases are incredibly sensitive, which is why we always take a careful and practical approach.

At Nelson Guest, we have cleared many clients of charges, relying on our extensive expertise to build a strong case. We know that our clients need to feel supported so, when you work with our team, we’ll ensure that your concerns are addressed, as well as keeping you informed of the legal processes as we develop your defence.

We know that facing a sexual assault charge can be extremely anxiety inducing, and so we will always aim to lessen the stress as far as possible, approaching matters calmly and pragmatically.

Our criminal defence department has a fantastic track record, consistently helping clients to achieve the most favourable outcome possible in the given situation.

Our sexual assault solicitors legal service covers all areas of support that an accused client may need, including:

  • General legal advice for those who are facing sexual assault charges, or attempted sexual assault charges
  • Guidance on what you should communicate to the police during the investigation
  • Assistance to build a case and develop a robust defence, including gathering evidence, and preparing you for any Court proceedings
  • Representing you throughout Court proceedings
  • Negotiating with the prosecution where appropriate to secure a more favourable outcome for your case
  • Preparing and filing all legal documents required for the case and the legal processes

Frequently asked questions about sexual assault charges

What are the charges for sexual assault?

To be charged with sexual assault is to be accused of intentionally touching another individual in a sexual way, without having that individual’s consent.

According to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, someone is deemed to have committed a sexual assault where the following circumstances are present:

A person (A) commits an offence if—

(a) he intentionally touches another person (B),

(b) the touching is sexual,

(c) B does not consent to the touching, and

(d) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

The Sentencing Council Guidelines state that the Court should determine the categories of culpability and harm. The charges and sentencing for the sexual assault depend on which category the offence falls under.

First, there are three categories to establish the level of harm caused, which are:

Category 1

  • Severe psychological or physical harm
  • Abduction
  • Violence or threats of violence
  • Forced/uninvited entry into victim’s home

Category 2

  • Touching of naked genitalia or naked breasts
  • Prolonged detention/sustained incident
  • Additional degradation/humiliation
  • Victim is particularly vulnerable due to personal circumstances

Category 3

  • Factor(s) in categories 1 and 2 not present

The offence must also be categorised according to culpability, falling under either category A or B:

Culpability A

  • Significant degree of planning
  • Offender acts together with others to commit the offence
  • Use of alcohol/drugs on victim to facilitate the offence
  • Abuse of trust
  • Previous violence against victim
  • Offence committed in course of burglary
  • Recording of offence
  • Commercial exploitation and/or motivation
  • Offence racially or religiously aggravated
  • Offence motivated by, or demonstrating, hostility to the victim based on his or her sexual orientation (or presumed sexual orientation) or transgender identity (or presumed transgender identity)
  • Offence motivated by, or demonstrating, hostility to the victim based on his or her disability (or presumed disability)

Culpability B 

  • Factor(s) in category A not present

Each category has a range which should be used to determine the appropriate sentence for sexual assault. For instance, for a crime with category 1 level of harm and category A level of culpability, the sentence range would be 3-7 years in custody.

For a crime with category 3 level of harm and category B level of culpability, the sentence range would be a medium level community order, or up to 26 weeks in custody.

How long is a sexual assault charge?

When someone is formally charged with sexual assault, the length of the sentence depends on the particular offence, including the level of harm and culpability, as according to the Sentencing Council Guidelines.

The maximum is sentence length is 10 years in custody, and the offence range is anything from a community order to 7 years in custody, judged according to the type of sexual offence and other contributing factors.

It is difficult to determine what is the average sentence for sexual assault because the type of assault and the circumstances have a significant impact on the charge and the sentence.

What is the lowest charge of sexual assault?

The lowest charge for sexual assault would be receiving a community order sentence.

For instance, an individual might be served with a community order where their offence falls under harm category 3 and culpability category B. These categories would indicate offences where the level of harm and culpability was judged to be low.

What is the maximum penalty in the UK for sexual assault?

In the UK, the maximum penalty for sexual assault is ten years in prison. Sentences for sexual assault vary depending on the type of assault, the contributing circumstances, the available evidence that supports the victim’s case and the perpetrator’s defence.

Our sexual assault lawyers have worked with a diverse range of clients, supporting those who’ve been accused to secure reduced sentences, or have the charges against them dropped.

Is sexual assault a serious charge?

Yes, sexual assault is an incredibly serious charge, for which the maximum sentence is up to ten years in custody.

If you have been accused of sexual assault, it is extremely important that you work with a specialist lawyer, who can help you to build your defence.

Our expert sexual offences solicitors at Nelson Guest have much experience supporting clients who’ve been accused of such crimes. To discuss your situation today, please get in touch with our sensitive experts.

What evidence is needed to be charged with sexual assault in the UK?

For a person to be charged with sexual assault, it is necessary for the prosecution to show evidence which proves that the victim did not consent, and that the perpetrator could not have reasonably believed that they had the victim’s consent.

The type of evidence needed in a sexual assault case varies depending on the type of assault, and the specific circumstances. The evidence needed may include forensic evidence, CCTV footage, digital evidence from mobile phones, the victim and the perpetrator’s account of what took place, and any available accounts from witnesses.

Contact our solicitors

To get in contact with our sensitive and professional sexual assault solicitors in London, you can call our office on 020 8309 5010 or use our contact form.