Sexual Assault Charges

Sexual assault charges in Arizona are classified as felony and can lead to severe penalties, including substantial years in prison and mandatory inclusion on the Arizona sex offender registry. Governed by ARS 13-1406, these charges outline specific elements of the crime and the corresponding legal penalties.


Being accused of a sex crime is an incredibly frightening situation, but we are here to listen to your side of the story and examine all pieces of evidence against you.


At Kolsrud Law Offices, we are dedicated to providing clients facing such serious allegations with the expert representation they need. Over attorney Josh Kolsrud's career, he has handled over 3,500 cases and over 100 jury trials.


Josh's experience as a former federal prosecutor, gives a significant advantage now that he is a defense lawyer because he knows both sides of the law and what the prosecution will look for when trying to fight against you. You are not alone in this battle, we are here to help!

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.

Definitions of Arizona Criminal Laws

How does Arizona law define sexual assault?

The state of Arizona defines sexual assault in ARS 13-1406. This statute comprehensively explains what constitutes sexual assault and includes several key components. Understanding these elements is essential for prosecution and defense in a sexual assault case.


Definition and Scope

According to ARS 13-1406, sexual assault in Arizona is defined as intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person without their consent. This includes situations where the victim is incapable of consent due to factors like age, mental disability, or the influence of drugs or alcohol.


Elements of the Crime

The following are the crucial elements that must be proven in a court of law to secure a conviction for sexual assault:


  • The Act: The accused must have engaged in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact.
  • Lack of Consent: The act must have been performed without the consent of the other party.
  • Mental State: The accused must have acted intentionally or knowingly.


Consent Under Arizona Law

Consent is a key factor in sexual assault cases, and its absence is what differentiates sexual assault from consensual sexual activity. In Arizona, consent must be given voluntarily and knowingly. If a person is under duress, threat, coercion, or physically or mentally incapacitated, they cannot legally give consent.


In summary, the definition of sexual assault in Arizona is multifaceted, encompassing not only the physical act but also the mental state of the accused and the consent or lack thereof of the victim. Understanding these aspects is crucial in defending against sexual assault charges under ARS 13-1406.

Sexual Assault to a Minor Under 15 - DCAC

Sexual Assault to a Minor Under 15 - DCAC

Sexual assault to a minor under 15 falls under Arizona's Dangerous Crimes Against Children (DCAC) statutes, representing one of the most severe criminal charges. As a criminal defense firm, Kolsrud Law is keenly aware of the complex legal challenges involved in these cases and is dedicated to providing expert defense strategies. Below are key aspects of this charge:


Understanding the Offense

The crime consists of intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with a child under 15 years of age.


Penalties and Consequences

Under DCAC statutes, the penalties are particularly harsh:


  • Mandatory Imprisonment: Convictions often lead to mandatory prison sentences without parole eligibility.
  • Lifetime Probation: Release may be followed by a period of lifetime probation.
  • Sex Offender Registration: The offender may also be required to register as a sex offender.


Penalty Type Details
Classification Class 2 Felony - Dangerous Crime Against Children
Imprisonment (First Offense) 13 to 27 years without the possibility of parole
Imprisonment (Second or Subsequent Offense) 23 to 54 years without the possibility of parole
Fines Up to $150,000, excluding surcharges
Probation Not eligible for probation, pardon, or release
Sex Offender Registration Mandatory registration with ongoing reporting requirements


What are the penalties for sexual assault

What are the penalties for sexual assault?

Sexual assault is classified as a felony offense in Arizona and carries substantial penalties. Understanding these penalties is crucial for anyone facing such charges, as they can have far-reaching implications on an individual's life. Here's a closer examination of the penalties associated with sexual assault in Arizona


Classification and Severity

Sexual assault in Arizona is typically classified as a Class 2 felony. However, the penalties can be increased if certain aggravating factors are present, such as the use of a deadly weapon or the victim's age.



  • Mandatory Sentencing: Conviction for sexual assault generally results in mandatory imprisonment.
  • Length of Sentence: The length of the prison sentence can range from 5.25 years to 14 years for a first offense, and it can be extended up to 21 years if there are aggravating circumstances.


Financial Penalties

  • Fines: The court may impose substantial fines, often reaching up to $150,000, excluding surcharges.
  • Restitution: Convicted individuals may also be ordered to pay restitution to the victim, covering medical expenses, therapy costs, and other related damages.



  • Supervised Probation: After serving a prison sentence, individuals may be placed on supervised probation, with specific requirements and restrictions that must be adhered to.


Sex Offender Registration

  • Mandatory Registration: Convictions generally require registration as a sex offender, a status that entails ongoing reporting requirements and can affect employment, housing, and personal relationships.


Impact on Civil Rights

  • Loss of Rights: Convicted individuals may also face the loss of certain civil rights, such as the right to vote or possess firearms, either temporarily or permanently.


Sex crime attorney winning defense strategy

What are possible defenses?

Defending against sexual assault charges in Arizona requires understanding of the different laws and applying the right defense strategies. Various ways to defend you can be used depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Below are some of the possible defenses:

  • Consent

    If there is evidence that the alleged victim willingly and knowingly gave consent to the sexual act, this can serve as a powerful defense. This may include witness testimony, text messages, or other communications that prove consent.

  • Mistaken Identity

    Sometimes, sexual assault charges may arise from a mistaken identification of the accused. A strong alibi and evidence supporting the defendant's whereabouts can help prove that they were not the perpetrator.

  • False Accusation

    False accusations can occur for various reasons, including personal vendettas or misunderstandings. Gathering evidence that discredits the accuser's story may lead to a dismissal of the charges.

  • Insufficiency of Mental State

    The prosecution must prove that the accused acted intentionally or knowingly. If the defense can show that the accused's mental state did not meet this threshold, it may lead to an acquittal or reduced charges.

  • Lack of Evidence

    If the prosecution cannot provide sufficient evidence to prove the elements of sexual assault beyond a reasonable doubt, the defense can argue for a dismissal or acquittal.

Defending against sexual assault charges in Arizona requires a detailed analysis of the evidence and a profound understanding of the specific laws under ARS 13-1406. Tailoring these defenses to the unique facts of each case is essential, and utilizing them effectively can mean the difference between conviction and acquittal.


This is where the years of experience and thousands of cases represented by our legal team can help you.

Sex offender registration

In Arizona, sex offender registration is a serious and long-lasting consequence for individuals convicted of sex crimes. It involves a set of legal obligations aimed at public safety and monitoring those convicted. Below, we explore the aspects of sex offender registration:


Who Must Register?

Sex offender registration in Arizona is required for those convicted of specific sex offenses, including but not limited to sexual assault, rape, child molestation, and indecent exposure to a minor.


Registration Requirements

Upon conviction of a qualifying offense, individuals must comply with several registration requirements:


  • Reporting to Local Authorities: Individuals must register with the local law enforcement agency in their jurisdiction.
  • Providing Personal Information: This includes name, address, place of employment, vehicle details, and other identifying information.
  • Regular Updates: Any changes to the information provided, such as moving to a new address, must be promptly reported.
  • Compliance with Monitoring: This may include regular check-ins with law enforcement or other supervising agencies.


Duration of Registration

The duration of the registration requirement varies based on the offense. It can range from a period of years to a lifetime requirement, depending on the severity and nature of the crime.


Consequences of Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with registration requirements can lead to severe penalties, including:


  • Additional criminal charges
  • Fines
  • Incarceration
  • Extension of the registration period


Legal Support and Defense Considerations

Navigating the complexities of sex offender registration requires careful attention to legal obligations and potential pitfalls. Kolsrud Law recognizes the gravity of these matters and offers experienced guidance to clients:


  • Challenging Registration Requirements: In certain circumstances, it may be possible to challenge or seek modifications to registration requirements.
  • Compliance Assistance: Ensuring compliance with all legal obligations to minimize potential risks and penalties.
  • Post-Conviction Relief: Exploring options for post-conviction relief, which may include appealing the conviction or seeking to set aside the judgment.


Why Choose Kolsrud Law Offices to Defend You

Why Choose Kolsrud Law Offices?

When facing the profound consequences associated with sexual assault, selecting the right legal representation becomes a critical decision. The potential penalties include severe measures such as years in prison and registration on the Arizona sex offender registry. At Kolsrud Law Offices, we offer:

Experience Counts

  • Led by Josh Kolsrud, a formal federal prosecutor, our team boasts years of hands-on experience in defending clients against various criminal charges, including sensitive sex crimes. As expert sex crimes attorneys, we translate this experience into effective, tailored strategies that align with the unique aspects of each defendant's case.

Client-Centric Approach

  • We place our clients at the center of everything we do, prioritizing transparent communication, personalized attention, and a relentless pursuit of protecting their rights. We ensure that our clients are informed at every stage, empowering them to make well-informed decisions.

Comprehensive Free Consultations

  • In-Depth Case Evaluation: Our law firm offers free consultations where every aspect of the case is evaluated from top to bottom. This ensures that no stone is left unturned in building a winning defense.
  • Strategic Planning: During the consultation, potential defense strategies are explored, and a clear roadmap for the case is laid out.

Knowledge of Arizona and Federal Law

  • Our extensive expertise in both Arizona state law and the Federal legal system sets us apart as a top criminal defense firm. We are well-equipped to handle even the most complex cases, navigating the intricacies of Arizona Revised Statutes, and leveraging our profound understanding to achieve favorable outcomes.

Being charged with a sex crime in Arizona can come with life-altering implications. However, understanding the nature of these charges and knowing the potential defenses allows defendants to take proactive measures to protect their rights and future.


By partnering with Kolsrud Law Offices, you're placing your trust in a team committed to excellence, with expert guidance, dedication, and legal insight to ensure your case receives the best possible defense.

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An award-winning criminal defense attorney Since 2006

Why Choose Josh Kolsrud

With over 100 trials to his name, and years of experience as a state and federal prosecutor, Josh understands the law, the legal process, and your rights. Josh is also committed to representing every client with utmost integrity and dedication



Josh has prosecuted major crimes on the state and federal level, led a successful anti-human sex trafficking operation that saved lives, and argued before countless juries and justices for his clients



Josh is an expert in both Arizona and federal criminal law, and is ready to put that expertise to work for you.



As a prosecutor, Josh saw far too many defendants lose their livelihood due to poor representation. Josh will always give every client his complete attention and effort

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