Home General Aggravated Sexual Assault: This Goes Into Play to Determine the Penalties

Aggravated Sexual Assault: This Goes Into Play to Determine the Penalties

by Olufisayo
Aggravated Sexual Assault

For instance, aggravated sexual assault is considered a felony in all 50 states, but the degree of the crime and mandatory penalties for convicted defendants differ based on the state. According to this page, in Georgia, prisoners serving life sentences for serious felonies have various timelines for parole eligibility, ranging from 7 to 60 years depending on the severity of their crimes. However, in 2006, the minimum timeline for parole eligibility for violent felonies in Georgia was increased to 30 years.

If you’re being accused of aggravated sexual assault it is in your best interest to get in touch with a sex crimes attorney.

The decision of how minimal or severe the penalty will be is determined by the ruling judge. But how do judges make the decision of how harsh a sentence should or shouldn’t be? Here are some of the factors to come into play when determining penalties.

Age of Victim

One of the biggest considerations is the age of the victim and whether or not the defendant was aware of the victim’s age. Every state has a legal age of consent, and if the victim is younger than that age, a minor or a child, it is likely that the punishment will be quite severe.

Violence, injury, imprisonment, use of a deadly weapon, and multiple assailants are just some of the factors that take sexual assault into aggravated sexual assault. When you couple age and the circumstances that go into aggravated sexual assault, the penalties in most states tend to be quite severe.

Criminal History

Whether or not a defendant has prior convictions or accusations can also play a role in deciding the penalty. When a defendant appears to have a propensity for violence, a judge is more likely to move closer to the maximum sentencing. Repeat offenders rarely receive leniency. If a judge feels a defendant is most certainly a major danger to society, mercy is not the standard.

Injury to the Victim

Far too often aggravated sexual assault causes some injury or disfigurement of the victim. If the victim was severely injured or assaulted in a reprehensible manner with no regard to life there is a high chance that the penalty will be severe. The details of the crime will truly make the difference between a minimum sentence and a maximum sentence.

Genuine Remorse

When a guilty defendant exhibits true and genuine remorse for their actions they may receive a lesser sentencing. Remorse will not absolve the crime, but it can make a good impression on the sentencing judge. Once a defendant has been found guilty, there will be some penalty enforced according to the law.


The circumstances surrounding a sexual assault and the details of the crime may also be considered when a judge is sentencing. Whether or not there was another felony being committed such as kidnapping, robbery or arson will be considered. It is also important to note if there were rape drugs involved and the relationship between the victim and the defendant.

Being convicted of aggravated sexual assault changes lives forever. Not only does it label you a felon, but it also takes away your right to vote and register firearms, costs time and money, and it brands you as a “known sex offender.” Although the penalties will vary according to the state you’re convicted in, penalties can be quite severe.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

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