Virginia Beach Sex Abuse Attorney
A single occurrence of sex abuse can have a serious effect on every aspect of a victim’s life. They can become afraid to even leave their house if the abuse they suffered was an opportune criminal act, or they might be overly cautious of trusting new people if the abuse occurred the first time they met someone or while they were on a date. No matter what the circumstances surrounding the abuse were, it is a traumatic time in any victim’s life and, in addition to a criminal complaint, a civil suit may be filed by your Virginia Beach sex abuse attorney.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of sexual abuse in or around Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News, Portsmouth, Hampton, Suffolk, or Chesapeake, contact the attorneys at Virginia Beach Injury Law as soon as possible to ensure that your rights as a sex abuse victim are protected from the start. We will ensure that you are protected and can rest easy knowing that our team of attorneys is working hard on your behalf.
What is Considered Sex Assault and Sex Abuse in Virginia
Sex abuse is a term that incorporates numerous kinds of actions, most of which are specifically addressed under Virginia’s criminal code. Technically speaking, there is no specific sex abuse action under which victims can file a claim, but they are able to file their claim under criminal acts such as assault and battery, or the deliberate infliction of psychological distress. A skilled Virginia Beach personal injury attorney will know exactly what advice to give you regarding which kind of claim to file to obtain the best results for your personal situation.
The majority of cases of sex abuse in Virginia and across the country are never reported. The more lawsuits, both criminal and civil, that are filed against these kinds of criminals, the more probable it becomes that these perpetrators will not assault additional victims in the future. The psychological scars that are left behind after a victim experiences sex abuse will take some time to mend, but in order to help prevent future instances, it is crucial that the offender is held accountable for their actions.
What Counts as Sex Abuse?
The terms sexual assault and sexual abuse can indicate any act committed against you for which you did not give your consent. These acts can be verbal, mental, or physical. A person does not necessarily need to put their hands on you to be found guilty of perpetrating an act of sexual assault or abuse against you. Placing you in unwanted circumstances, like sexualizing a minor in front of you or making you witness their private sex acts, can also count as sex abuse.
If you are unsure if something that you endured counts as an act of sex abuse, talk to one of our experienced Virginia Beach sex abuse attorneys during a confidential and private consultation for legal representation.
Any act of a sexual nature that you did not explicitly agree to may count as a form of sex abuse, whether or not another person physically touched you. Sexual predators can be strangers, coaches, priests, colleagues, managers, dates, friends, and even family members. Sexual predators can also be the opposite sex or the same sex as the victim.
If you have had a recent attack or encounter that caused you to feel afraid, injured, traumatized, violated, or intimidated, reach out to our sex abuse attorneys as soon as possible. You can speak to one in private about whether or not you have a valid sex assault or abuse case. We are here to guide you through this traumatic time in your life.
How Can a Virginia Sex Abuse Attorney Help Me
Once you reach out to a Virginia sex abuse attorney after undergoing this unfortunate experience, they will be able to start work on your case right away. Your attorney will thoroughly review the specifics of the event and recognize one or more people who might be obligated to pay you financial compensation. The offender also might not be the sole defendant named in your claim.
If another person, like your business or employer, could have stopped the event by taking reasonable actions, they might also be deemed partially responsible for the incident.
Your attorney will then get to work gathering evidence. Forensic reports, medical records, photographs, police reports, surveillance tapes, and witness statements all have the potential to serve as vital pieces of evidence in your civil sexual abuse claim.
When the time comes to file your claim, your attorney will be able to fill out any necessary paperwork and formally file your sex abuse claim prior to Virginia’s deadline. The state’s statute of limitations on these kinds of crimes is two years for adult sexual assault or abuse, and for sexual mistreatment of a child, 20 years, starting when the victim reaches 18-years-old.
Once this is done, your attorney will aggressively fight on your behalf for a fair outcome and full financial compensation. While you concentrate on putting the pieces of your life back together and recovering from the trauma of sex abuse, your Virginia Beach attorney will manage every phase of your case. They are even able to protect your identity by keeping you anonymous throughout the claims process if you choose.
Your attorney will ensure that nobody exploits or imposes on you for the duration of your Virginia sex abuse claim. In the event that your case does have to go to court, an attorney from Virginia Beach Injury Law will represent you in front of a jury or a judge.
Virginia Beach Personal Injury Claims
Although sexual assault and sexual mistreatment claims are usually criminal suits, victims do have the option of bringing a civil suit for damages alongside their pending criminal case. Civil cases and criminal cases are not required to overlap, and the ruling handed down by one court will have absolutely no effect on the ruling of the other. Criminal courts are held to a greater burden of proof than their civil counterparts and, because of this, it is sometimes easier for a sex crime victim to obtain a punitive judgment in their favor in a civil court than in a criminal one.
The damages associated with a sex abuse injury case typically comes from the emotional and physical damage that was done to the victim. The victims of sex abuse claims are entitled to file a claim for these damages against the guilty party, including:
- Emotional trauma
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Punitive damages
The effect of sexual assault or abuse is frequently psychological and physical and has a significant impact on the rest of the victim’s life. A seasoned Virginia Beach sex abuse attorney will know the most efficient way to help you strengthen your case and determine the full impact that the assault or abuse has had on the victim.
Even though the consequences of sex abuse are traumatic and very difficult to work through, it is essential that victims file a claim for damages as soon as they can in order to make sure that their attacker is suitably punished for their misdeeds, and to ensure they do not fall outside of Virginia’s statute of limitations. Once that deadline has passed, the victim will no longer be able to bring a civil suit against their attacker.
What Are the Penalties for Sex Crimes in Virginia?
At Virginia Beach Injury Law, we believe that the people who commit sexually-based offenses should face civil as well as criminal consequences. Our personal injury attorneys are vehement about holding these perpetrators accountable for their crimes within the confines of the civil justice system and defending the rights of victims through the entire legal process. Our skilled attorneys are also very familiar with Virginia’s criminal punishments for sex crimes.
If the man or woman who assaulted or sexually mistreated you is convicted, then they will likely face harsh consequences depending on the kind of infraction they committed.
- Sexual battery: This crime is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A fine of as much as $2,500 and/or incarceration of as long as one year. The crime of attempted sex battery carries the same penalties.
- Aggravated sexual battery: This crime is a felony. It carries a penalty of one to 20 years of incarceration and a fine of as much as $100,000.
- Forcible sodomy/Sexual penetration with an object: This crime is a felony that carries a penalty of five years to life in prison, as is object sexual penetration.
- Attempted rape: This crime is a Class 4 felony. It carries a penalty of two to 20 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $100,000.
- Carnal knowledge of a minor between 13 and 15 years of age: This crime is a Class 4 felony. It carries a penalty of two to 10 years of incarceration and a fine of as much as $100,000. This charge might be applicable even if consent was given by the minor.
- Sexual mistreatment of a child under 15: This crime is a Class 1 misdemeanor. It carries a penalty of up to one year of incarceration and/or a fine of as much as $2,500.
- Sexual mistreatment or assault between family members: This crime is a Class 1 misdemeanor. It carries a penalty of as long as one year of incarceration and/or a fine of as much as $2,500.
Virginia recognizes 20 different sexually motivated crimes, each one with its own individual definitions and sentences. If an offender is convicted for three misdemeanor sex crimes, then she or he will be charged with a Class 6 felony, with penalties ranging from as long as five years of incarceration and/or a fine of as much as $2,500.
Our sex abuse attorneys at Virginia Beach Injury Law know the most effective way to help you construct a solid civil sex abuse case during or following the conclusion of a criminal case against the same offender. The courts in Virginia Beach have the option of extending the statute of limitations until the criminal case is settled. Reach out to our Virginia Beach personal injury attorneys for additional information.
What To Do if You Have Experienced Sex Abuse in Virginia Beach?
The process of recovering both physically and emotionally from sex abuse begins with taking action and defending yourself. The first thing you should do is get away from your attacker and to a safe area. As soon as possible, go to your local hospital or police station. Alternatively, you can also notify the police by calling from the safety of your own home and notifying them of the incident.
If you require counseling for the sexual assault or sexual abuse you have suffered, there are national hotlines you can call to seek help and assistance. Many people experience a severe form of shock after enduring this type of traumatic event. It is also normal to feel overwhelmed as most abuse victims do not feel safe after being attacked and struggle to deal with their emotions.
A lawsuit that sees a successful conclusion will financially compensate you for both the non-economic and economic damages that you have experienced.
Consult a Sex Abuse Attorney in Virginia Beach
If you or someone you love has been the victim of sexual assault or sexual abuse, get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at Virginia Beach Injury Law as soon as you can. Our team of personal injury lawyers has decades of combined experience in successfully managing sex abuse lawsuits and will strive to make sure that you are awarded the financial compensation to which you are entitled.
Sexual abuse and sexual assault are devastating occurrences in the lives of their victims and the victim’s families. The rehashing of this traumatic event, which is a necessary evil of the legal claims process, often causes victims additional psychological distress.
Our Virginia sex abuse attorneys do their best to minimize this by dealing with most of the work and trying to alleviate any pressure you may be feeling so you are able to concentrate on the healing process. We have helped clients who were injured in or around Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News, Portsmouth, Hampton, Suffolk, and Chesapeake and we can help you too. Give us a call at (757) 802-4662 to explore your legal rights and start your sexual abuse claim today.
DO YOU HAVE A CASE?
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in the Virginia Beach area or Hampton Roads, contact us today to discuss if you have a case: