Sexual offences

Have you been accused of sexual offences?

Our sexual offences solicitors will fight the horrifying and embarrassing allegations made against you on your behalf, so that you can get your life back on track as quickly as possible.
If you have been accused of or charged with a sexual offence, please contact our team of sexual offences solicitors in Leeds at the earliest opportunity. We have been successfully defending those accused of sexual offences for 30 years, so we understand the strain such allegations can put on you and those around you.
The earlier we get involved, the greater the opportunity of stopping a potential prosecution before it gets started, and minimising the humiliation and media attention to which you are subjected.
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Why choose our sexual offences solicitors to defend you?

Our team of Leeds sexual offences solicitors have vast experience of representing clients accused of sex offences and have achieved significant acquittals for those we have defended, including in some high profile trials.
You will be treated without judgment when you contact us for legal advice. We understand that allegations of sexual offences are rarely clear cut, and often relate to issues around consent. Our sexual offences solicitors counter these uncertainties with factual legal argument. From our first consultation, we build detailed information about the facts of the case. We will immediately identify and secure any material that will be helpful in defending you.

Our next step is to work through the evidence presented by the prosecution and scrutinise it to find any inadmissible evidence that has been obtained illegally, and any evidence we find to be lacking in credibility. We will undertake any investigations needed to demonstrate the unreliability of prosecution witnesses, and to find additional evidence to support your side of the story.

We work closely with talented barristers, and will instruct a barrister to your case to ensure you have as much legal firepower as possible at your disposal as we fight the case against you.

The work we carry out to defend you against sexual offence allegations is made even more effective if you contact us as soon as you know you are being investigated.

Which sexual offence charges are you facing?

Whatever the allegations being made against you, our sexual offences solicitors in Leeds have the expertise and knowledge needed to secure the best possible outcome to your case. Here are some of the
sexual offences we can defend you against:

Rape

Are you facing false rape allegations? Rape is an offence under the Sexual Offence Act 2003 that is committed when a person penetrates the vagina, mouth or anus of another person with their penis and without their consent to do so.

Why have you been charged with rape?

Police and prosecutors believe there is sufficient evidence for you to be charged and prosecuted with committing an offence. But once the case gets to court, the prosecution will need to prove that you penetrated the alleged victim in accordance with the description above, and that the alleged victim did not give consent for you to do so.

What can you expect after being charged with rape?

Rape trials are always heard in the Crown Court. The prosecution and defence will each present their cases to a jury, who will decide whether you are guilty or not guilty. If you are found guilty, a judge will then decide on the appropriate custodial sentence.

Can I go to jail for rape?

Yes, if you plead or are found guilty of rape you will definitely go to jail. Rape carries a minimum sentence of four years’ imprisonment, while a life sentence may be applicable in the most severe cases.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. It relates to allegations of coercion or physical force being used to touch another person sexually without their consent.

Why have you been charged with sexual assault?

You have been accused of sexually touching another person without their consent. The alleged touching could have been done with any part of your body or an object. Police believe there is evidence that you committed an offence, and the Crown Prosecution Service agrees that the evidence meets the required threshold for you to be prosecuted.

What can you expect after being charged with sexual assault?

This offence is triable either way. That means it can eventually be heard at either a magistrates’ court or the Crown Court. Where your case is heard is likely to depend on the seriousness of the allegations against you. Incidents in which severe psychological or physical harm was caused, there was violence, threats of violence or abduction used, or there was forced entry into the victim’s home are deemed most harmful. Evidence of significant planning, acting with others, previous violence against the victim are among the other factors that increase the seriousness of the offence.

If you case is heard in full at a magistrates’ court, a district judge will deliver a verdict and sentence you. If the case goes to Crown Court, it will be heard by a judge and jury.

Can I go to jail for sexual assault?

Yes, in all but the most minor assaults a jail sentence is likely. The maximum sentence is 10 years’ imprisonment.

Causing or Inciting Sexual Activity

Causing or inciting sexual activity is an offence under the Sexual Offence Act 2003. It involves allegations of involving another person is sexual activities without their consent.

Why have you been charged with causing or inciting sexual activity?

Police believe there is evidence that you caused or incited another person to engage in sexual activity without their consent. This charge differs from rape and sexual assault and is used to prosecute incidents in which the alleged victim has been forced to perform a sex act on themselves, on a third-party (who may or may not have consented) or with the offender in a way that would not be covered by the other offences.

What can you expect after being charged with causing or inciting sexual activity?

The most serious cases can – and if they involve penetration must – be heard at the Crown Court by a judge and jury. Some less serious cases might be dealt with by a district judge at a magistrates’ court.

If you case is heard in full at a magistrates’ court, a district judge will deliver a verdict and sentence you. If the case goes to Crown Court, it will be heard by a judge and jury.

Can I go to jail for causing or inciting sexual activity?

Yes, there is a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, or life imprisonment if penetration is involved.

Revenge porn

Disclosing private sexual images, which is better known as revenge porn, is an offence under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.

Why have you been charged with disclosing private sexual images?

You are accused of sharing or publishing sexual photographs of another person in order to cause humiliation or embarrassment.

What can you expect after being charged with disclosing private sexual images?

This offence is triable either way, which means it could be heard at a magistrates’ court or the Crown Court. At a magistrates’ court, a district judge would decide whether you are guilty and sentence you. If your case is heard at the Crown Court, the jury will find you guilty or not guilty. A judge will then sentence you.

Can I go to jail for disclosing private sexual images?

Yes, the most serious instances are punishable with a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment.

Child grooming and sexual communication with a child

Child grooming is the act of befriending or making a connection with a child with the ultimate objective of sexual abuse. Grooming is usually prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for offences such as arranging or facilitating commission of a child sex offence, meeting a child following sexual grooming or sexual communication with a child.

Why have you been charged with a grooming offence?

Police believe they have evidence that you have been communicating with a child in an attempt to facilitate sexual abuse, and the Crown Prosecution Service has found this evidence meets the threshold for you to be charged.

What can you expect after being charged with a grooming offence?

All of the charges relating to grooming offences are triable either way, which means less serious cases are likely to be dealt with at a magistrates’ court while more serious offence will be heard at the Crown Court.

Can I go to jail for grooming?

Yes, arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence can result in a maximum jail sentence of 14 years. Sexual communication with a child carries a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment.
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Child pornography

You can read more about how our sexual offences solicitors in Leeds defend child pornography allegations on our page about Indecent Images charges.
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Historic Sexual Offences

Historic sexual offences is the catch-all term for sexual offences that are alleged to have taken place a long time ago. It might relate to a one-off incident or be part of more widespread allegations. Charges arising from historical sexual offences are likely to be among those listed on this page, but they bring with them the added complications of the allegations relating to incident that happened in the distant past. Finding evidence and witnesses to support your defence is even more difficult.
Our sexual offences solicitors secured a significant acquittal in a 2017 prosecution involving historic sexual allegations dating from the 1970s, despite there being more than 12 accusers involved in the case.

Get in touch for a free consultation with our sexual offences solicitors in Leeds.

Sexual offence cases are often complex and have a lot of grey areas. Our solicitors will help you to tell your side of the story in a way that is most persuasive to a future jury. Fighting the allegations that are casting a shadow over your life starts with a free consultation. We can meet you in person, by video call or over the telephone — whichever you prefer.