Los Angeles Rape Defense Lawyer
To be accused – or even suspected – of a sex crime of any kind is a traumatic experience. If you’re being charged with sexually assaulting someone or any other serious sex crime in Los Angeles, you’ll need someone who is only fully aware of sex crime laws in Southern California to mount your defense.
Beyond that, you want a rape defense lawyer who is committed to protecting our rights, and working diligently on your behalf to create the best possible legal defense.
Cases of sexual assault and, in particular, rape usually come with two very different accounts of events, one from the alleged victim, and one from the alleged perpetrator. Such cases are particularly complex if the two parties are acquainted or in a close relationship.
Having a skilled and knowledgeable rape defense lawyer is essential, as many sex crimes convictions result in the convicted perpetrator being required to register as a sex offender.
This has the potential to shape the rest of your life, from your family to your career, the neighborhoods you can live in, and future relationships.
California Rape Laws
Under Californian law, a rape charge could be sought under the following conditions:
- The defendant used intimidation, physical force, threats, or duress in the pursuit of the victim, in order to engage in sexual intercourse;
- The victim only gave consent for sexual intercourse because they were afraid of being injured or harmed if they refused;
- The victim had a physical disability or developmental delay that meant they lacked the capacity to give consent;
- The victim’s ability to consent was impaired by drugs or alcohol Intoxication;
- The victim was asleep, unconscious, or in some way unaware sexual intercourse was taking place; or
- The defendant made a fraudulent representation in order to induce the victim to engage with them in sexual intercourse.
- Standard Rape
Californian rape laws distinguish between standard rape, which includes any and all of the above being perpetrated against an adult.
- Statutory Rape
Under Californian law, it is illegal for someone who is eighteen years or older to engage in sexual intercourse with a person under the age of eighteen. This is the case even if the younger party consents to the sexual act.
Statutory rape laws cover the sexual activity of minors and are based on the premise that, under the age of eighteen, a person is not capable of giving informed consent. A sexual act is therefore statutory rape.
What Are The Types Of Evidence
Evidence given in a rape case can be physical or non-physical. The physical evidence that is generally considered includes anything that links the perpetrator with the crime or the crime with the victim. This might include hair, fingerprints, fibers, DNA traces, swab tests, documentation, or CCTV evidence.
In addition to this, there may be witness statements that have a bearing on the case, as well as the testimonies of the alleged victim and alleged perpetrator themselves.
What Are The Penalties?
The crime of rape falls under the California Penal Code Sections 261-269 and can be defined by multiple different scenarios. It carries a prison sentence of as much as eight years if it was perpetrated against an adult.
If the alleged victim was a minor, but above the age of fourteen, the sentence increases to between seven and eleven years in prison.
Should the victim be under the age of fourteen, they are legally classed as a child, and the prison sentence would be between nine and thirteen years.
These are the basic penalties suggested for such crimes under Californian rape laws and are subject to increase under certain situations. It is also like that a guilty verdict will carry a fine of between $2,000 and $25,000.
Should the victim and the defendant be separated by less than three years in age, there are alternative punishments, while the prosecutor is able to pursue a felony charge or a misdemeanor charge, which would lead to one to three years in county jail.
Sentences can be longer if there are other blemishes on the perpetrator’s record, and they are not a first-time offender.
Defense Against Rape Claims In Los Angeles
Due to the potential long-term impact, a rape conviction could have on your life, if you are being accused or charged with a sex crime you will need to find a top-notch Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer. They will need experience dealing with the specifics of your case, which may mean sexual assault, spousal rape, sexual battery, sexual child abuse, or other forms of a sexual offense.
If a defendant is able to prove that any sexual intercourse that took place did not violate the will of the victim, it is extremely difficult for a prosecutor to establish that rape took place. Even if that is not the case it can still be tough for prosecutors to demonstrate the elements of rape.
That being said, many defendants are wrongfully convicted of rape as a result of mistaken identity and false accusations.
We Are Here To Help
As a result, it’s vital that you hire an experienced rape attorney with a comprehensive understanding of California’s rape laws, who knows how to use consent to effectively defend their client and prevent a wrongful conviction.
This can be done in a number of ways, such as examining the sexual history of the alleged victim, or proving there was no violent, threatening, or otherwise unlawful behavior on the part of the alleged perpetrator that would be consistent with rape.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Serious is Statutory Rape?
California’s rape shield law prevents your legal defense from introducing evidence that covers the sexual history of the victim. This would otherwise be done to demonstrate they consented to the sexual act, but it is not possible in California. What is possible is the introduction of evidence regarding the sexual history of the victim, in order to demonstrate that their testimony is not trustworthy. This law exists in order to prevent the invasion of a victim’s privacy or any surprises or harassment that could potentially occur otherwise.
Will A Person Convicted Of Rape Be Deported?
California has a list of offenses that are counted as “deportable crimes”, as they are seen to be “crimes of moral turpitude”. Rape is one of these crimes, along with others such as murder and arson. If you are convicted of a deportable crime – including rape – within five years of admittance to the U.S. and sentenced to a year or more in prison.
Can A Rape Conviction Be Expunged?
Under Penal Code 290, a statutory rape conviction is eligible for expungement. If, on the other hand, you are convicted of standard rape you would only be eligible for expungement if you were awarded felony probation. According to Californian law, if a defendant receives prison time (as opposed to time in county jail) expungements are prohibited.
Does A Conviction Affect Gun Rights?
A rape conviction will have an adverse effect on your gun rights. Under Penal Code 261 Californian law states that convicted felons are unable to possess or own a gun.
Does This Crime Require Sex Offender Registration?
While the legal ramifications of a rape conviction are traumatic, there are also the social penalties you may face as a result of a court case. Friends and family members may abandon you if you are charged with or convicted of rape. If you are convicted you will almost always need to register as a sex offender, and this may apply to you for the rest of your life. Being on the sex offender database means that anyone can access your personal details and learn about the case. This might include employers, government agencies, and landlords, but it could also be friends or family members. Many individuals find it extremely difficult to gain secure housing and employment once they are on the sex offenders list. The majority of landlords and employers do not want to take a risk housing or employing a person who has been convicted of rape.