What are the Penalties of Sexual Assault in New York?



    When sexual assault occurs in the state of New York, offenders can face severe consequences that can impact them for the rest of their life. This can affect where a person lives and works as well as their reputation overall. It is because of this that offenders should retain the services of an experienced New York criminal defense attorney to protect their future. 

    What is Sexual Assault?

    There are different degrees of sexual abuse. A third-degree sexual abuse charge can occur as a result of subjecting a person to sexual contact without their consent. Second-degree abuse can occur if a person is subjected to sexual contact and they are incapable of consent for another reason other than being under 17 years old. 

    The harshest degree of sexual assault is in the first-degree. These actions can include sexual contact:

    • By forcible compulsion
    • If the other person is incapable of consent because they are physically helpless
    • The other person is less than 11 years old
    • The other person is less than 13 years old and the defendant is 21 years old or older

    What are the Consequences?

    Each degree of sexual assault has its own variation of penalties. The lowest degree of sexual assault is a class B misdemeanor that can result in up to three months in prison, a fine up to $500, or both. Forcible touching is considered a class A misdemeanor that can result in up to one year in prison, a fine up to $1000, or both. 

    It is important to know that charges can be upgraded to aggravated sexual abuse in the event of certain circumstances. Aggravated sexual abuse in the fourth-degree is considered a class E violent felony. This can result in one and a half to four years in prison. Sexual assault in the first degree is a class B felony, which is one of the most serious offenses of this nature that a person can commit. These charges can result in five to 25 of imprisonment.

    NYS Sex Offender Registration Act

    The New York State Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) was established to help local law enforcement protect communities by requiring the registration of sex offenders in the state. It also provides the public with information regarding sex offenders within their city. Offenders receive a category when they are registered. This is based on their crime and threat to society. The categories are as follows:

    • Level 1 for low-risk offenders
    • Level 2 for moderate-risk offenders
    • Level 3 for high-risk offenders

    Level 2 and 3 offenders are registered for the rest of their lives. Level 1 offenders are listed on a private registry that can only be accessed by law enforcement for 20 years.

    Contact our Firm

    If you or someone you know what charged with a sex crime, contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation and we would be happy to assist you.

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