Sexual abuse often leaves the survivor traumatized for a long time. Sometimes the perpetrator of sexual abuse is someone the victim knows or trusts. For example, in some child sexual abuse cases. This may leave the victim unable to form trusting relationships with others in the future.
If you have been the victim of sexual assault, you can legally hold the perpetrator accountable for their actions. You can file a civil lawsuit against them or press criminal charges with the help of a Savannah sexual abuse lawyer. We can handle your case with the sensitivity it requires.
Forms of Sexual Abuse
In general, sexual abuse is unwelcome sexual behavior from one person to the other. It happens without consent. An example is rape. According to O.C.G.A. § 16-6-1 rape occurs when a perpetrator has carnal knowledge of a minor or if it is an adult, against their will. Georgia law sets strict penalties for rape. For example, if someone gets convicted of rape, they may face life in prison.
Or, they may serve at least 25 years in prison and probation for the rest of their lives. Statutory rape, under Georgia law, happens when an individual has sexual relations with someone who is below the age of 16. The age of the culprit in statutory rape will influence the punishment they face.
If the culprit is less than 18 and a maximum of four years older than the victim, they face a misdemeanor, rather than a felony. When classified as a misdemeanor, the perpetrator may receive a one-year prison sentence. The punishment is harsher if the offender is above 21 years. They may face prison time of between 10 and 20 years. A sexual abuse lawyer can help identify which laws apply to your case.
Our Firm Can Handle Your Sexual Abuse Case
One of the first questions you may have for your Savannah sexual abuse lawyer is whether your case stands a chance. The lawyer will listen to the particulars of your case to help answer that question. Anyone can be a victim of sexual abuse and it may take many forms. For example child abuse by a clergy member and attempted assault by someone in a position of authority.
No matter the form of sexual abuse, we can help you hold the perpetrator accountable. We acknowledge that it is difficult to come forward and speak about your traumatic experience. That is why our sexual abuse attorneys aim to handle your case with discretion and care.
We would like you to feel comfortable while letting us help you bring a case against the offender. Sometimes there may be no witnesses to the crime. Thus, the culprit may deny your claims. A lawyer knows how to navigate such a he-said, she-said situation in fighting for your rights.
Savannah Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near Me 833-552-7274
Evidence That Can Support Your Case
The presence of evidence that supports your claims of sexual abuse will help your case. The more corroborating proof you have, the more it strengthens your case. Corroborating proof solidifies, builds on, or verifies other already presented evidence. An example is medical evidence.
It includes proof such as semen, blood, and hair collected by a medical professional after the crime. Physical proof from the site of the crime is also a form of corroborating evidence. It includes clothing or debris from the site. An expert such as a psychiatrist can provide mental health proof.
They may point out the presence of mental and emotional indicators of sexual abuse in you. A record of previous sexual abuse by the perpetrator may also serve as proof of your claims. A sexual abuse attorney knows their way around these and any other forms of evidence that can help your case. Thus, they can help you prove your claims in a court of law.
For a free legal consultation with a sexual abuse lawyer serving Savannah, call 833-552-7274
A Deadline to Bring Your Sexual Abuse Case in Georgia
The statute of limitations is a time limit set by law for people to press criminal charges or bring civil suits. According to Child USA, a lot of sexual abuse victims may miss the deadline because of the impacts of trauma in their lives. Trauma makes them unable to talk about the particulars of their case until later.
Under Georgia law, the timeline for bringing a criminal charge for sexual abuse depends on the case details. For example, in adult rape cases, the survivor has 15 years from the date of the crime to bring a case. Prosecution for a felony, such as sexual assault, must start no more than four years after the offense. There exists no statute of limitations where DNA is used to identify the culprit.
There are many more laws on timelines that affect sexual abuse cases. A lawyer is aware of these different laws. So, they can help establish which statute of limitation applies to your case depending on your case details. If the limitations period passes, you may lose your chance to press criminal charges.
Filing a Civil Suit for Sexual Abuse
The criminal justice can give penalties to sexual offenders. But, you may not get adequate compensation for the outcome that the abuse had in your life. Plus, criminal cases may fail to hold liable negligent business or property owners who did not ensure safety.
You can recover damages for emotional and physical harm by filing a civil case. A civil case is mostly brought when the assault happened in a business or other premises because the owner did not ensure the safety of the place. A lawyer can help you bring a civil case.
Get the Help of a Savannah Sexual Abuse Lawyer
You deserve to see the perpetrator held accountable for their heinous acts. At the Dolman Law Group, we know what goes into building a strong sexual abuse case. Thus we can help you hold the culprit responsible.