Mar 22, 2024

What Are the Levels of Sexual Assault in Missouri? 

Criminal Defense

Facing accusations of sexual assault can be distressing, as can the possibility of navigating the complicated Missouri criminal justice system. Sexual assault cases can be especially difficult because of the numerous classifications of sex crimes under Missouri law.

At Richard H. Sindel, Inc., our team of experienced Missouri criminal defense lawyers knows it can be challenging to understand the complexities of the state’s criminal justice system and the sexual assault charges you face. Sexual assault is a broad term encompassing different levels of offenses. We want to help you understand sexual assault as defined by Missouri law.

Missouri Sexual Assault 

Sexual assault is a phrase typically used to describe offenses involving any form of unwanted or non-consensual sexual contact or behavior. Many people assume that sexual assault automatically means rape or forcible penetration. However, sexual assault may refer to numerous criminal offenses categorized as sex crimes

Sexual offenses that may fall under the sexual assault umbrella in Missouri can include: 

These offenses carry significant penalties, including fines and prison time. Specific sexual offense convictions can also land a person on the sex offender registry. 

What are the Levels of Sexual Assault in Missouri? 

Many of these sexual crimes have different “levels,” meaning a different set of potential penalties for a conviction. The circumstances of the situation and severity of the offense often determine the level of a sexual offense. Examples include: 

  • First-Degree Rape – First-degree rape occurs when an alleged perpetrator engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is incapacitated or unable to give consent. It can also occur through forcible compulsion. First-degree rape is a felony offense, and depending on the aggravating circumstances, a conviction can result in five years up to life imprisonment.
  • Second-Degree Rape – Second-degree rape is a criminal offense that occurs when an individual knowingly engages in sexual intercourse with another person without that person’s consent. It is a Class D felony offense in Missouri punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • First-Degree Statutory Rape – First-degree statutory rape involves engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor under 14. Again, a conviction can result in anywhere from five years to life in prison, depending on the circumstances. 
  • Second-Degree Statutory Rape – Second-degree statutory rape occurs when the accused is 21 or older and has sexual relations with another person younger than 17. This is a Class D felony.
  • First-Degree Sexual Abuse  First-degree sexual abuse is an offense that involves subjecting another person to sexual contact when that person is incapacitated or unable to give consent. This is a Class C felony punishable by three to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. 
  • Second-Degree Sexual Abuse – Second-degree sexual abuse is when an individual purposely subjects another person to unwanted sexual contact without consent. This is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

Have you been accused of any form of sexual assault in Missouri? Do not talk to the authorities without having a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney available to protect your legal rights. At Richard H. Sindel, Inc., our defense attorneys know what you are facing and have been fighting to protect accused Missourians for over 75 years. 

Contact a Missouri Criminal Defense Attorney Today

At Richard H. Sindel, Inc., our criminal defense team wants to help you through this challenging time and build a case that gives you the best opportunity to achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Contact our office today to request a free initial consultation.