Sexual Offences

What is a Sex offence?

Sex offence refers to an array of sexual offences. These include sexual harassment, rape and attempted rape, past abuse cases and pedophilia. Most offences carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. If you are accused and being investigated for a sexual offence, the offence needs to be clearly specified by the police.

The Sexual Offences Act of 2003 outlines most of the sexual offences which have been updated and strengthened in recent years and legislation. The act describes offences against both children and adults.

Types of Sexual Offence

Situations for such offences are never the same. It is essential that you speak to a sex crime solicitor about your particular situation. At Royce Legal, our advisors have experience with dealing with a range of sexual offence cases. We have listed a few below:

  • Sexual Harassment and Assault
  • Rape and Attempted Rape
  • Pornography (e.g. Revenge Porn)
  • Historic Abuse Cases
  • Child Grooming and Sexual Offences
  • Indecent Images (Possession, Production or Publication)

Sexual Assault: sexual assault is defined as one person intentionally touching another in a sexual way without their consent. In addition, the person recognizes that the other person consents to not being touched and pursues anyway. 

A Separate offence of sexual assault by penetration also exits where a person sexually penetrates another via anus, mouth or vagina with a part of their body or an object. 

The maximum offence for sexual assault is 10 years of imprisonment while for sexual assault by penetration, the sentence is life imprisonment. 

Rape and Attempted Rape: According to the Sexual Offences Act 2003, rape is defined as intentional penetration by a person of another person’s anus, mouth or vagina with their penis. The other person does not consent to this and they do not reasonably believe that consent was given. 

The maximum sentence for rape and attempted rape is life imprisonment.

Revenge Porn: revenge porn is defined as the sharing of private sexual images or videos of another person without their consent with the objective of humiliation, embarrassment and distress. 

The images also provide personal information about the person such as their name, address, and links to their social profiles. This offence applies to images both on and offline, shared electronically or in a traditional way such as uploading them on the internet, sending through text and email or showing an electronic or physical image to someone. For this offence, the maximum sentence is 2 years of imprisonment. 

Historic Sexual Abuse Cases: Allegations for such cases come to light many years after the offence is committed, in recent years, these cases have become more prevalent or people are finding the courage to finally report and speak about it. The accused are left feeling shocked and shattered and are traumatized to the point of not knowing what to do. Royce Legal Solicitors are friendly and patient and can help you. Our Sex Crime team has significant experience in successfully defending historic rape allegations. 

Child Grooming and Child Sex Offences: child grooming is defined as when an adult forms a relationship and gains the trust of a child under the age of 16 to manipulate, exploit or abuse them. Communications via phone, calls and text messages and online through social media platforms with someone under the age of 16 are a cause for an accusation of child grooming regardless of the content being sexual or not. 

Likewise, Child Sex offences include:

  • sexual activity with a child;
  • coercing a child to participate in a sexual act;
  • engaging in sexual activity in the child’s presence;
  • coercing a child to watch a sexual activity
  • engaging in communication of sexual nature with a child 
  • sexual offences committed by children
  • organising and facilitating a sex offence with children
  • meeting a child following grooming

Indecent images (Production, possession and publication): this mostly entails child pornography. It is a criminal offence to possess, produce or publish indecent images of children under the age of 18. Material includes photographs, videos and computer data that can be converted into video or photograph. This law also extends to images of animals. It is divided into three categories:

  • Category A: Explicit material involving penetration and sexual activity with an animal or sadism.
  • Category B: Explicit material such as non-penetrative sexual activity.
  • Category C: Explicit material such as erotic imagery.

The sentence varies on the category of the images possessed, published and distributed or produced. 

How Royce Legal Can Help?

Sexual defence offences can become extremely complex. It is essential to seek legal aid even when you are not at fault. Our criminal defence lawyers have a wealth of information and experience when it comes to defending sexual offence allegations. Our solicitors have a reputation for being dedicated, firm and determined in their approach. We believe in transparency and our solicitors will provide clear and honest advice and keep you informed at every step so that you understand the entirety of your situation.

Our solicitors will:

    • Provide representation at the police station:  this is one of the crucial stages of this entire process. Receiving professional and legal advice can result in charges not being pursued and change the overall outcome of your case. 
    • Trial Preparation for your case: our sex crime solictors are tenaious and will construct a through and comprehensive plan. We do an in depth analysis of evidence and expose all weaknesses and discrepancies against you with a fine comb.
  • Defending you in court: our sex crime lawyers provide a strong and tough defence. We closely interrogate the complaint(s) against you and ensure that you receive the best representation throughout this process. 
  • Protection of your reputation: due to the nature of these offences, most sexual offence investigations have publicity around them. This is stressful and damaging to the individual’s career and reputation. Royce Legal Solicitors have the expertise to manage these situations in an effective way. We will give you the best advice and support according to your situation and ensure that damage to your reputation is kept at a minimum.
  • Advise on the appeals process (if required): we also give advice on Sexual offence Notification Requirements, Sexual Offence Prevention Orders (SOPOs), Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPOs) and Sexual Risk Orders (SROs).

Funds for Legal Fees and Defence 

We believe that limited funds should not stand in the way of you getting first class legal advice. We do not discriminate between private or publicly funded clients, our level of commitment stays the same. Legal aid can help relieve some of your financial burden and we will advise on your eligibility and work on your application.