Sexual assault accusations can have profound personal, professional and legal ramifications for both the accuser and the accused. In a community-oriented state like Nebraska, where allegations can carry social stigma, the impact of these accusations can be long-lasting. Third-degree sexual assault occurs when a person subjects another to sexual touching without their consent. It differs from statutory rape in that serious injury does not occur.

Statutes of Limitations

A specific time limit called the criminal statute of limitations determines when prosecutors can file charges for certain crimes. Sexual assault victims have a limited period to take legal action against their attackers, which is why it is essential to contact an experienced sex crime attorney as soon as possible. The attorney can evaluate the case and determine which charges for sexual assault in Nebraska are appropriate under Nebraska law. In Nebraska, it is illegal for employees of jails, prisons, correctional facilities, probation, or parole departments to have any sexual contact with an inmate or parolee. This act is considered sexual abuse of an inmate or parolee in the first degree, and it is a Class IIA felony that carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

First-Degree Assault

If you are convicted of assault in the first degree, it could lead to years in jail. It may also result in substantial fines, restitution and the inability to work certain jobs or receive government benefits. The prosecution has a high bar to prove a case of assault in the first degree. They need to demonstrate that they intended and, with premeditation, caused serious bodily injury. This could be shown through text messages, emails or other evidence that you had a plan to harm someone. Serious bodily injury typically includes the risk of death, loss or impairment of a body part and long-term disfigurement. However, the definition varies from state to state.

Second-Degree Assault

For second-degree assault, the victim must have suffered serious personal injury. This could mean bodily harm, disfigurement, extreme mental anguish or pregnancy. The offense is also a felony if the attacker uses a dangerous instrument. A difficult tool is any object that can cause severe injury if it comes into contact with the victim. This includes choke collars, a whip or even a baseball bat. An experienced felony assault lawyer can help you with your case by investigating whether there are grounds to get the charges reduced or dismissed entirely in court. They can also help you with a possible plea deal that offers probation instead of prison time. Restitution may also be required in some cases. A convicted offender must pay back the victim for any expenses related to the crime.

Third-Degree Assault

Most states divide assault charges into categories or degrees based on the severity of injuries and other factors. Third-degree assault is typically considered the least serious type of assault. It involves causing damage or making a person fear that they will be hurt. Unlike first and second-degree assault, it does not require that physical contact occur. A conviction for this crime can still result in jail time, fines and a permanent record. However, having a trust set aside once the accused completes probation is also possible. This is based on the person’s criminal history, probation behavior and other factors. In this case, the law provides several legal defenses, including not causing physical harm and a lack of intent to hurt the victim.

Mutual Consent Assault

When it comes to sexual assault charges, it’s important to understand that consent is required. This means that even if both parties voluntarily engage in sexual contact without penetration, they could still be charged with this crime. Silence, past relationships or experiences, and age can all play a role in determining consent. Anyone who touches another person’s intimate areas without their permission can be arrested for sexual assault in the third degree. This form of sexual assault lacks some of the elements found in first and second-degree sexual assault, such as the requirement that serious injury occur to the victim. A successful conviction of this charge can result in a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. It can also require registration on the sex offender registry for up to 15 years.