Sexual assault is one of the worst things any person can experience, and it is possible for this type of incident to occur in many different settings. However, it can be especially damaging when someone abuses a position of authority and trust to commit a sexual assault. The attorneys at Cheney, Galluzzi & Howard offer comprehensive and compassionate legal representation to those who have been victimized by sexual assault, particularly from members of the clergy in the Catholic Church or the Mormon Church, schools, colleges, and other institutions in the Fort Collins area.
A sexual assault case may function similarly to any other personal injury case from a procedural standpoint, but the issue is also likely to generate a criminal case from the state. If you intend to file a civil suit against the party that sexually assaulted you, you must prepare for a potentially complex series of legal proceedings in both the civil and criminal court systems. Our team can offer the ongoing support and reassurance you need on your side to confront these proceedings with confidence.
The objective of any personal injury claim is for the victim to hold a defendant accountable for their negligence or intentional misconduct and to collect compensation for the damages they suffered. In a sexual assault case, the authorities are likely to be involved as the state will file criminal charges against the defendant once a police report is filed. The criminal case will unfold separately from the civil case the victim can file against the defendant.
The purpose of the criminal case is to punish the defendant for their actions, and the purpose of the civil suit is for the victim to obtain compensation for the losses they suffered. When it comes to your civil suit, your attorney can help you gather the evidence needed to prove that the defendant caused your claimed damages; they can also assist you in proving the extent of those damages. You will likely be asked to testify as a witness against the defendant in their criminal case, and your attorney can help you understand what to expect during these proceedings.
Sexual assault can be both physically damaging and psychologically traumatic. Many victims suffer various symptoms that can last for years, and the experience can impact their ability to work and earn income. Whatever your case may entail, the team at Cheney, Galluzzi & Howard can assist you in building a cohesive civil suit against your abuser. Our firm has successfully represented many personal injury claims in the Fort Collins area, and we are ready to apply this experience to your sexual assault case.
A: When an individual is criminally charged for any type of sexual assault, the prosecution has the burden of proving their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof is greater in a criminal case than in a civil suit. If you intend to file a civil suit against another party for sexual assault, you must prove their actions resulted in actual harm. Your Fort Collins sexual assault attorney can advise you as to what evidence you are likely going to need to establish liability for your damages.
A: Sexual assault conviction can carry severe penalties, and the variables that influence the severity of the defendant’s charge include the level of harm done to the victim and the age of the victim. At the misdemeanor level, the defendant faces up to $5,000 in fines, six to 18 months in jail, and restitution to the victim. At the felony level, fines can reach $750,000, and the defendant can face up to 16 years in prison. If the defendant caused great bodily harm to the victim, their fines may reach $1 million, and they may spend up to 20 years in prison.
A: The age of consent is the age at which an individual is deemed capable of giving informed consent to sexual activity. The standard age of consent in Colorado is 17. However, there is a four-year difference applied to individuals aged 14 or younger and a 10-year difference applied to individuals aged 15 or 16. This means a 14-year-old can legally consent to sex with a 17-year-old but not with an 18-year-old, and a 15-year-old can legally consent to sex with a 24-year-old but not a 26-year-old.
A: The defendant who committed sexual assault faces not only criminal prosecution and the penalties of conviction but also liability for civil damages inflicted on the victim. The plaintiff in a civil suit for sexual assault has the right to claim full repayment of any economic losses they incurred from the assault, which may include their medical expenses, mental health treatment costs, lost income, and lost future earning potential. In most civil cases, pain and suffering compensation cannot exceed $500,000. However, it is possible for a plaintiff to recover more to reflect the severity of their experience and the illegal nature of the defendant’s actions.
A: The team at Cheney, Galluzzi & Howard will not make your financial situation harder with expensive legal fees. If you choose our team to represent your civil suit, we take the case on contingency, meaning you only pay a fee if and when we win your case. The fee is a portion of the total amount recovered on your behalf, and you owe nothing if we lose your case. This billing policy allows you to approach your case with confidence and peace of mind.
The attorneys at Cheney, Galluzzi & Howard have years of professional experience helping clients in Fort Collins and surrounding communities recover compensation for damages inflicted by others. We know the various legal challenges you might encounter as you seek accountability and compensation for your losses, especially in a complex sexual assault case. You have a limited time in which to pursue legal recourse for your experience, so it is vital that you contact us today and schedule your free consultation with a Fort Collins sexual assault attorney you can trust so we can start working on your case immediately.