If an alleged offender is convicted of sexual assault, they will be sentenced by a judge. The sentence can include jail time, fines or other penalties allowed by state law. The severity of a defendant's punishment will be determined by a variety of factors including details specific to a given case. In New York, individuals are sentenced to a range of years in prison as opposed to a specific amount.
New York state law makes sexual assault a felony that carries a prison term of between a year and seven years. When an offender is released depends on their criminal history as well as their actions while in custody. Not all states require a defendant to serve a range of years when sentenced for a sexual assault crime. For example, those convicted in California will serve a determinable sentence of up to 48 months.
Those who are charged with sexual assault on a federal level could spend up to 20 years in prison. Fines and restitution to victims could also be included in a sentence on federal sexual harassment charges. Restitution could go toward paying for a victim's physical and mental health care costs.
Anyone who is charged with a sexual crime may benefit from talking with a criminal defense attorney. Doing so could help lead to a favorable outcome. Favorable outcomes may include getting a plea deal, having a case dismissed or being acquitted by a jury after a trial. If a plea is reached, it may reduce the prison sentence or eliminate the possibility of paying a fine.