Sexual assault crimes bring serious repercussions, especially in places like Arkansas where the law imposes strict penalties. If you or someone you know wants to understand the punishments associated with a sexual assault conviction, it is important to delve into the specifics of these consequences.
In Arkansas, the legal system divides sexual assault into different degrees, each with its own set of penalties.
First-degree sexual assault
A conviction for first-degree sexual assault results from engaging in sexual intercourse or sexual activity with a minor less than 14 years old when the offender is more than three years older than the minor. This conviction can lead to a prison sentence ranging from six to 30 years.
Second-degree sexual assault
People face second-degree sexual assault charges when they engage in sexual contact with someone unable to give consent because of physical or mental incapacitation. A conviction can bring a prison term of five to 20 years.
Third-degree sexual assault
A third-degree sexual assault charge typically arises when someone aged 18 or older has sexual intercourse or deviates sexual activity with someone aged 14 or 15, and the age difference exceeds four years. Convictions can result in three to 12 years in prison.
Fourth-degree sexual assault
An individual can face fourth-degree sexual assault charges if they, being an adult, engage in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual activity with someone aged 16 or 17 and the age difference is more than seven years. Convictions can bring a prison sentence of up to six years.
Beyond prison terms, convicted individuals might also need to pay fines, attend mandated counseling and serve probation. Additionally, they will also have to register as a sex offender. As of 2023, there are over 18,000 registered sex offenders in Arkansas.
To fully understand the implications of a sexual assault conviction, one should familiarize themselves with the specifics of each degree and the potential penalties.