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Arizona House bill could expand compensation for sexual-assualt pregnancies

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Arizona already has a program that compensates people for damages from crimes. A bill could expand it to explicitly include pregnancies.

What could this mean for those who stand defending charges of sexual assault? That is unclear, but these types of accusations would probably still pose significant risks to both freedom and finances.

The existing program

This Crime Victim Compensation Program is a somewhat complex combination of state administration and county coordinators, complete with board meetings, applications and reporting requirements. It is also explicitly a last resort.

Most people would probably pursue the person they believe committed the crime before looking for compensation through this government program. This would typically include filing a civil case to secure payment — a different legal matter than a criminal case.

The proposed law

The bill in the House aims to codify certain potential benefits for women who carry babies to term after becoming pregnant during a sexual assault. For example, it would provide coverage for expenses during the first year of a child’s life.

The rest of the law would remain the same. For example, people might still have medical bills if the compensation program ran out of money or could not pay for any other reason.

The potential consequences for criminal defenses

This bill, should it become a law, would probably not significantly change the way people approach criminal rape defense. It might, however, reduce the burden on mothers who fail to secure compensation through the civil courts.

Sexual assault cases are often confusing and distressing for those who face charges. One of the more important things is to understand how the different civil and criminal consequences might affect different aspects of life. This often helps direct the overall defense strategy.