Criminal/DUI Defense Blog

What Is First Degree Sexual Assault?

Posted by Erin FieldJun 03, 20220 Comments


Are you facing a 1st degree sexual assault charge? Chances are, you're feeling stressed and worried about what happens next.

Remember, you're presumed innocent unless proven guilty, and I'm ready and waiting to help defend your case. But in the meantime, here's a first degree sexual assault definition and a look at how to defend the charges.

What Is 1st Degree Sexual Assault?

Under the Connecticut Penal Code, sexual assault means any type of sexual contact without consent. It can be charged in the fourth, third, second, or first degree.

1st degree sexual assault, or rape, can be charged as a Class A or Class B felony. The charges may apply if:

  • A person forces the victim to have sexual intercourse.
  • Someone uses the threat of force to make the victim have sexual intercourse.
  • A person has sexual intercourse with someone who can't consent due to mental incapacity.
  • Someone has sexual intercourse with a minor under 13 if they're more than two years older than the victim.

It's a Class A felony if the victim is under 16, or the victim is under 13 and the defendant is older by two or more years. The charge may be increased to aggravated sexual assault if, for example, there's use of a deadly weapon, or the victim suffers serious injury.


Is 1st Degree Sexual Assault the Worst Degree?

Yes – first degree sexual assault is the most serious degree of this crime. Depending on the facts of your case, an attorney will attempt to have the charges:

  • reduced to a lesser degree of sexual assault; or
  • dropped entirely.

Consult a criminal defense attorney immediately if you're arrested for first degree sexual assault.

What Are the Penalties for Sexual Assault in the 1st Degree?

The penalties depend on whether you're facing a Class B or Class A sexual assault charge.

  • Class B felony: A minimum of 10 years' imprisonment, a portion of which may be suspended.
  • Class A felony: At least 10 years' imprisonment with no option to suspend the sentence.

What Is the Most Common Defense to Charges of Sexual Assault?

There are various defenses available, depending on the facts of the case. The most common defenses against sexual assault charges include:

  • The sexual acts were consensual
  • The alleged assault did not take place
  • Even if the alleged assault took place, the defendant has been wrongly identified

As your attorney, I will listen to the facts of your case, examine the evidence available, and identify what defenses may be open to you.

Can the Field Law Office, LLC Help Me With a 1st Degree Sexual Assault Charge?

Sexual assault in the first degree is a serious charge which can attract significant jail time. If you're facing these charges, you deserve to have a criminal defense attorney on your side to help you build the best possible defense.

As an experienced sexual assault defense attorney, I am committed to upholding your best interests and exposing weaknesses in the prosecution's case. I'll ensure you understand what the charges mean and how I believe we should proceed with your defense.

In need of a sexual assault defense attorney in Connecticut? See how I can help today – contact me now.