Sex-related criminal charges are some of the most serious charges that you can face. While these charges might not seem as serious as homicide charges, the very nature of sex-related charges gives these charges a certain stigma. One possible sex-related charge is sexual assault. There are specific points about sexual assault that you should understand as part of your case.
Sexual assault is a charge that involves any type of unwanted sexual contact that doesn't include penetration. Touching a person in a sexual manner when that person doesn't consent to the physical contact is sexual assault. The physical contact can't be accidental. That means that if you accidentally bump into someone, you aren't guilty of committing sexual assault. If you bump into someone with the specific purpose of touching them in a sexual manner, that could be sexual assault.
In order to be classified as sexual assault, the contact has to be made through coercion, force or incapacitation of the victim. If you are charged with sexual assault, the prosecution has to prove that all the necessary elements were present during the action. For example, you might be charged with sexual assault if you had sexual contact up to but not including penetration with a person who was drunk. That person isn't able to consent to sexual contact because they are incapacitated by alcohol.
If you are charged with sexual assault, you need to get to work on your defense right away. Investigating the case against you and determining the best way to refute that evidence is the starting point for your defense strategy.
Source: FindLaw, "Sexual Assault Overview," accessed Dec. 04, 2015