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What are the penalties for sexual assault?

If you're accused of sexual assault, then you could face a number of serious penalties. You have a chance to defend yourself, and you should take the time to understand the penalties you could face if you decide not to. With the right defense, you may be able to lower the charges against you or even have them dismissed.

For a class 2 felony for sexual assault, you can face between 16 and 48 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines. You'll also be obligated to have five years of mandatory parole regardless of the penalty. A class 2 felony is doubled from the traditional 8-to-24-year penalty that is given because it's considered a crime of violence. A Class 2 felony differs from Class 3 because the person inflicted serious physical injuries on the victim and may have been armed with a deadly weapon. If the person had a helper that committed the crime with him or her, that also raises the charge to a Class 2 felony.

A Class 3 felony leads to 8 to 24 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines. Five years of mandatory parole is still required. A Class 3 felony can be a result of threatening a victim with death or serious injury or impairing a victim with a date rape drug. Using violence is also common with this charge.

There are other levels of felonies and misdemeanors that you could face for sexual assault. For instance, a Class 1 misdemeanor applies to cases where the victim was a minor, age 15 or 16, and the defendant was at least 10 years older. A Class 4 felony, on the other hand, may be less severe than a Class 3, leading to up to 12 years in prison, a fine of up to $500,000 and three years of mandatory parole.

Source: FindLaw, "Colorado Rape and Sexual Assault Laws: Penalties," accessed Oct. 06, 2016

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