Specialists in Serious Fraud and Complex Criminal Defence
Sexual Offences Solicitors
MPR Solicitors have a wealth of experience in defending people charged with committing a sexual offence. We are a niche practice, dealing almost exclusively in criminal defence law and have a specialist team of lawyers who make up our sexual offences defence team. This ensures that our clients will get expert and quality representation of the highest standard.
To contact us regarding a sexual offence allegation, please call our office on 020 3824 8080 to make an appointment at our London office.
If you have been accused of a sexual offence your reputation; personal relationships; career, and freedom may be at stake. You can trust us to provide expert advice and robust representation whilst supporting you and your family throughout the case. It is important in these cases to secure representation and obtain early involvement by a specialist sexual offences solicitor at the earliest stage of the investigation in order that we can properly advise and safeguard your interest. Sometimes, early intervention and involvement can mean that the investigation is resolved without the need for criminal proceedings. Our sexual offences defence team is partner-led, able to swiftly work through the elements of an investigation to build a robust defence for you.
We recognize that allegations of this type may be embarrassing and distressing for those who are accused and our lawyers will handle your case sensitively and as with all cases will act in order to maintain your confidentiality and privacy.
Our criminal defence solicitors have been involved in many high profile and complex cases of this type and we will always strive to provide you with the best legal advice and representation possible. Clients who instruct us can be confident of our in-depth knowledge in defending in the most serious allegations and that we are proficient in all aspects of sexual offences and have the expertise required to create and present a persuasive and pro-active case to a judge and jury.
At MPR we will be able to work with you to put your case forward in the best possible way. Our expert criminal defence solicitors and lawyers are highly experienced in cases of:
- Sexual Assault
- Historic Abuse cases
- Human Trafficking
- Making Indecent Images
- Possession of Indecent Images
- Revenge Porn
What types of sexual offences are there?
Most offences are governed by The Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Types of sexual offences include:
Rape is defined as where the defendant intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of the complainant with his penis and the complainant does not consent to the penetration. Additionally, the defendant does not reasonably believe that the complainant consented to the penetration.
Sexual assault can be committed by a male or a female. It involves the defendant intentionally touching the complainant sexually without their consent.
'Intentional touching' means deliberate touching which is in fact sexual. It is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that the touching was done for any sexual purpose.
Causing sexual activity without consent
Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it is an offence to cause or encourage a person to engage in sexual activity without his or her consent.
What is the maximum sentence for rape or sexual assault?
The maximum sentence for rape is life imprisonment.
If a person is convicted of sexual assault on indictment, the maximum penalty is ten years imprisonment. A summary conviction for sexual assault carries a maximum penalty of six months and/or a fine.
How can you prove consent?
Consent is defined under the Sexual Offences Act, section 74. Consent to sexual activity can only occur if the person agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice. For example, if the victim was passed out after drinking too much alcohol, it may be that consent to sex could not be given.
Consent can be withdrawn at any time during sexual activity, and there can be consent to one type of sexual activity but not another. A common example is a person giving consent to sexual touching but will not provide consent to sexual intercourse without a condom.
When the police are investigating a rape complaint, they must establish what steps, if any, the suspect took to obtain the complainant’s consent. If the case goes to trial, the prosecution must prove so that the judge and/or jury is “satisfied so that they are sure” the suspect did not reasonably believe that the complainant was consenting to the sexual activity subject to the complaint.
If the complainant was under 16 years old at the time of the offence, the fact that they consented to a sexual act is no defence. However, in cases where the complainant was under 16 at the time of the offence, if the complainant consented or the defendant genuinely believed she was consenting this may impair or void criminal liability.
What defences are available for rape and sexual assault?
The main defence in a rape or sexual assault allegation is that the complainant consented. The evidence presented and examined to prove consent can be extremely complex, involving DNA, medical reports, and experts. If the sexual offence charge is historic, (i.e. it allegedly occurred years or even decades ago), legislation in place at the time of the offence can further complicate the case, as can the extensive line of case law in existence.
Other defences can include a denial of the incident itself in that it has been fabricated and mistaken identity.
In sexual assault allegations the defence can include a denial of the incident; that any contact was non-sexual or accidental.
Challenging DNA evidence in sexual offences
Many people believe that if there is DNA evidence, the defendant is guilty. This is not true. There have been many cases where it was proven that the DNA evidence presented by the prosecution was contaminated, stale or degraded, mislabelled or mixed with that of another person. It is also important to remember the fact that DNA found on the victim or at the scene of the crime does not prove how or when it got there, nor in itself that the defendant is guilty.
Our sexual offences team are well connected with some of the leading experts in the fields of DNA and other disciplines and our specialist defence solicitors can explore the all of the relevant forensic and factual issues in your case.
Expert legal advice is essential
It is imperative that you instruct an experienced sexual offences solicitor if you are facing a charge of sexual assault. The impact on an accused’s life can be devastating if convicted. Not only can you be sent to prison, but you may also be included on the Sexual Offences Register which can have huge ramifications on your future professional and private life.
Our legal team have defended hundreds of men and women charged with sexual offences. We understand the complexities of building a successful defence. When you instruct us, we will analyse your case from every possible angle. We will advise you on all available defences and assist you in developing a case strategy. Our expert criminal defence solicitors and lawyers will build your case and leave no stone unturned in advancing your case.
If you have been charged with a sexual offence, please call us immediately on 020 3824 8080 or fill in our contact form to get in touch.
MPR Solicitors are the solicitors of choice for anybody accused of any serious sexual offences.
OUR RECENT CASES INVOLVING SEXUAL OFFENCES
R v K: Case involving taxi driver charged with raping passengers
R v P: Case involving a huge haul of indecent images recovered from a computer. Issues involved detailed forensic examination of the computer and the possibilities of malaware and trojans having planted images unknown to the user.
R v S: Serious Sexual Offences committed against multiple female victims aged under 13
R v J: Allegations of Serious Sexual offences and abuse which dated back to the 1970′s. The case involved an abuse of process argument due to the prejudice and delay. We were able to trace many witnesses on behalf of the Defendant from 40 years ago in order to advance a positive case.
R v JGB: A case in which MPR represented a US Federal Air Marshall acquitted of raping a Navy Wren. For more information click here.
R v N: Where the Defendant was accused of raping 3 complainants at knife point. For more information click here.