As of 2020, Sexual Offences are now the most frequently prosecuted offences in the High Court of Justiciary. In 2019, over 80% of the cases tried involved Sexual Offences.
There are two kinds of Sexual Offences in Scotland. Firstly, there are offences that are of a sexual nature by definition. These are governed and defined by the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009. The second kind of Sexual Offence is a general offence committed in such a way that it is said to have a Significant Sexual Aspect. This means that, even if the offence isn’t typically considered to be a sexual offence. (for example, a breach of the peace), a conviction will result in the accused being subject to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (i.e. put on the sex offenders register).
In cases where the accused is charged with a sexual offence or an offence with a significant sexual aspect, then the accused is prohibited by law from conducting their own defence. This means that the accused will be required to instruct a solicitor; if they don’t, the court will appoint them one.
Our solicitors have extensive experiuence defending clients charged with sexual offences and offences with a significant sexual aspect. We have a wealth of experience defending clients accused of all sexual offences, from minor offences of a sexual nature to serious allegations of sexual assault and rape. Furthermore, when cases are prosecuted in the High Court of Justiciary, we work closely with some of th best advocates in the country in order to prepare and present your defence. But on top of that, from our experience dealing with many cases involving sexual offences, we recognise the difficulties that can be caused by being charged with a sexual offence. As a result, ensuring that our clients secure an acquittal and are properly cared for throughout the duration of a criminal case is our top priority.
Don’t worry if you have been charged with something that does not appear above. If you are unsure about the nature of the offence that you are charged with, please don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance – we are more than happy to help.