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PROFESSIONAL, RELIABLE AND EXPERIENCED SEX OFFENCES LAWYER IN ADELAIDE

SEX OFFENCES -WE LISTEN, HELP AND DELIVER

If you are charged with a sex offence you need advice from someone who is experienced in defending these charges and supporting you. Sexual offences vary considerably, not only in the nature of the allegations themselves but in the seriousness of the charges. We will listen, help and deliver.

Sexual offences always present a difficulty in the community. The community expects that the law will protect vulnerable people such as those underage and other victims of sexual matters. We are also currently experiencing a period where a number of historical offences have been charged.

All sexual matters require a competent and experienced solicitor in order to ensure that your case is properly explored and the issues aired in an appropriate manner. Delicacy, diplomacy and sound tactics are always required.

At Woods & Co Lawyers, we have at any one time numerous clients who have been charged with all types of sexually related matters. Our team is experienced in achieving favorable outcomes.  We are passionate about your rights.

If you wish to challenge the charges, you are able to utilize our vast experience and resources in order to ensure a positive outcome.   We will listen to your needs and expectations and assist you to deal with the matter appropriately.  We are up to date with computer evidence, CCTV  footage and the implications of social media evidence.

If you decide to plead guilty, we will assist you in ensuring that appropriate submissions are placed before the court which focus upon your remorse, contrition, personal circumstances and efforts at rehabilitation.

We have acted in many high profile matters involving, rape, unlawful sexual intercourse, child pornography, indecent assault. We have taken matters to the High Court of Australia and successfully won in the Court of Criminal Appeal. We have been some of the first to take applications to the Supreme Court in respect of Child Sex Registration applications.

Whatever difficulties you face, we are here to assist through the process.  Call our helpful team on 8311 3111

RAPE

Rape is a very serious charge and carries life imprisonment.  In order to prove rape the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that ‘sexual intercourse’ took place, without the consent of the complainant and that the accused knew there was no consent or was recklessly indifferent.

Sexual Intercourse does not just include the traditional definition of the penis into the vagina.  Anal sex, digital sex, fellatio and cunnilingus all amount to sexual intercourse.  So does the penetration with an object.

The complainant will normally give evidence that no consent was given at the time of penetration.  Consent needs to be obtained at each penetration and can be withdrawn at anytime during the act of sexual intercourse.  A person must immediately stop if consent is withdrawn.  The law deems that a person does not give consent if they unable to give free and informed consent.  In other words, if a complainant is asleep or too drunk then the law says they are unable to consent.  However, if a person did in fact consent at the time, but through alcohol or other drugs now has no memory, then it is not rape.  At Woods & Co Lawyers we are experienced in investigating those factors which are relevant to your matter.

Further, the accused must know that the complainant is not consenting or be recklessly indifferent to that consent.  In other words, he or she thought the complainant might not be consenting but continued on in any event.  An accused person is not allowed at law to say he or she was too drunk to know if the other person was consenting as intoxication to the point of criminal responsibility has been repealed.

Rape charges obviously create great distress to both the accused, complainant and their families.  It is important to get the right advice at an early stage at which time we can advise you of the best way forward.

Contact our experienced team on 8311 3111 and allow us to assist you in your time of need.

UNLAWFUL SEXUAL INTERCOURSE

A person is not able to give consent to sexual intercourse until they reach the age of 17 years.  Where the other person is in a position of trust or responsibility toward the complainant the age of consent rises to 18 years old.  Those matters include teachers, guardians and others trusted with the care and control of a child.

The age of consent varies both within Australia and in other countries.  For example the age of consent in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and West Australia is 16 years old.  New Zealand and England is 16 years old and in France it is 15 years old and 13 years old in Japan.  Whatever view you might take about the appropriateness of setting the age of consent it is important to remember the laws of South Australia.

In South Australia, there are limited statutory defences where both the accused and the complainant are both 16 years old and where a complainant is in fact 16 years old and the accused believed on reasonable grounds that he or she was in fact 17 years or over.  However, that of course gives no protection to an 18 year old boy who has sexual intercourse with a 16 year old girl knowing that she was that age.  Believe it or not we have had cases where everybody did not appear to worry about that fact until the couple break up.  In addition, if two 15 year old’s engage in digital penetration, of other forms of sexual activity then potentially both could be charged.

Unlawful Sexual intercourse convictions are serious and often the consequences go far beyond the court process and a person is placed on the paedophile register for life when in reality most would agree it was not a case of paedophillia.

It is important to get accurate and timely advice about Unlawful Sexual Intercourse and the consequences which may flow.  At Woods Law we have many similar cases running at the same time and can advise you promptly and accurately

INDECENT ASSAULT

An indecent assault is simply an assault with indecent circumstances.  Commonly, it involves the unwanted and unwarranted touching of another’s private region without their consent.  Once again, the law does not allow a person under the age of 17 years to consent to any touching.  The same statutory defences that apply to unlawful sexual intercourse have application to this charge. Further, the age of consent raises to 18 years old if the accused is a person in a position of authority or trust in respect of the complainant.

Consent is obviously a defence, provided the person is sufficiently capable at that time of giving informed consent.  An accidental touching such as may occur in a crowded bus or nightclub may also provide a defence.  If you are accused of an indecent assault then you should seek legal advice from a competent and experienced lawyer who specialises in that area.  Please ring our team and we will listen, help and deliver.

INDECENT FILMING OR BEHAVIOUR

Indecent filming has been an offence that has been charged more often in recent times.  It might be partially on the increase due to the ease and availability of camera devices.  A person is not allowed to film another person in circumstances where a reasonable person might believe that person was engaged in a private act or a state of undress.

The Summary Offences Act 1953, provides a number of sections which deal with this expanding area.  A person commits an offence if they threaten to or actually distribute an invasive image or film without the consent of the other person.  We are seeing a rise in this type of offending which at the moment is quite topical.  Unfortunately, mainly younger couples might consent to filming various private acts at the time.  The promises to keep them as private acts fail when the relationship fails.  At Woods & Co we have had people charged with threatening to distribute an image for a number of different reasons.  Some are misguided attempts at trying to keep the relationship going.  Others are clearly to cause as much embarrassment, harm and revenge as possible.  ‘Revenge porn’ is on the rise and the penalties are significant as the court are intent on sending a message to the community that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.

Other types of offending may include filming people in swimming pools, toilets or other private areas like the home. We believe the next wave of evidence will come in the form of ‘drone’ footage.

Indecent behaviour and Gross indecency are also offences that attract public odium and may include public masturbation or flashing.

If you are charged with any of these offences you will need to seek the considered advice or our experienced team in order to guide you to the best possible outcome.

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Very few charges create as much public fear and condemnation as a charge of possessing child exploitation material (CEM).  It is a serious offence to possesses, distribute or access child pornography.  Penalties of actual imprisonment are often imposed, even for first offenders.  In our view imprisonment is not necessarily the panacea in all cases.  We at Woods Law believe that the communities’ best interests are also served by the offender’s rehabilitation. There is a lot of literature about the causes and factors which influence behaviour in this area.  We will assist you to work out your best path to prevent further offending and help you to put those measures in place.

The seriousness of the charge is also measured by a number of factors.  The amount and type of child pornography is highly relevant.  Most are now categorised in accordance with the English ‘COPINE’ scale.  If the offender was closer to the source,or making of the images then it creates further aggravation, as does allegations of dissemination of the material.

Not only are the penalties for CEM significant but offenders bear the life long obligation of being on the Child Sex Offenders Register.

Our experienced and successful team have assisted many people through the court process charged with the above type of offending.  It is important to get the right advice at an early stage from criminal law specialists.  Call our team today on 8311 3111.

CHILD SEX OFFENDERS REGISTER

Any offender charged with a sexual offence involving a child is liable to be placed on the Child Sex Offender’s Register.  The reporting conditions may remain for 8 years, 15 years or life.  However, once the onerous reporting conditions cease the registration itself continues to exist.  There are obligations for life which follow.  There is always going to be cases where the Legislation acts unfairly by capturing those it probably was not intended for.  In addition, once convicted a person is never allowed to be able to move on with their life without certain legal obligations.  This does not occur in any other area of law (except murder) and can lead to unfairness.  For instance, a 20 year old boy who has intercourse with a 16 year old girl would be on the register for life and even after reporting conditions ceased, would be subject to certain obligations under the Child Sex Offender’s Registration Act 2006 which would require disclosure to neighbours of the past offending. 

We at Woods Law have agitated some of the unfair consequences with the Attorney General and we do not apologise for doing so.  In addition, we have been one of the first law firms in South Australia to take proceedings in the Supreme Court in respect of life long reporting obligations.

In December 2017 further important Commonwealth provisions were enacted which impact upon overseas travel.  Once again we have been at the forefront in challenging those decisions in the Supreme Court of South Australia at the earliest opportunity.

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT WITH OUR TEAM FOR YOUR SEXUAL OFFENCE IN ADELAIDE

Call one of our friendly staff today. You can contact us on 08 8311 3111 to arrange an appointment. Use our experience and knowledge to help you to make the right decision about your matter.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A SEXUAL OFFENCE CALL THE EXPERTS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

sexual offence lawyers Adelaide