Los Angeles Rape Attorney
Defending Rape Charges
Rape allegations are a serious matter. A rape conviction comes with life-altering consequences, often a lengthy state prison sentence, loss of your job, damage to your reputation, and lifelong sex offender registration. If you are accused of rape, a skilled and experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer from our office can help you fight the charges, protect your rights, challenge false allegations, and work hard to keep you of state prison.
Rape Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles
Sex offenses include all types of sexual activities ranging from the serious crime of rape, usually defined as sexual penetration without consent, to the less serious crime of
prostitution, usually described as sex for hire. Every two minutes, someone in this country is sexually assaulted. 70% of rapes involve alcohol or drugs. More than 66% of sexual assault victims know their attacker; among college students this number is much higher.
Rape in California is defined in Penal Code section 261 and can be classified into four categories:
- Forcible Rape is defined as an act of sexual intercourse with another person other than the spouse of the perpetrator and done against a person's will, under any of the following circumstances:
- The victim was incapable of giving legal consent because of a mental or physical disability;
- The act was accomplished against the victim's will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another;
- The victim was incapable of giving consent because of intoxication, anesthetization or being drugged, and the perpetrator knew or reasonably should have known about the incapacitation;
- The victim was unconscious of the nature of the act (e.g., asleep, unconscious or tricked into believing that the act was not intercourse or was accomplished for therapeutic purposes);
- The victim was tricked into believing the perpetrator was his or her spouse;
The defendant threatened to incarcerate, arrest, or deport the victim or another person if the victim did not consent to intercourse, and the victim had a reasonable belief that the defendant was a public official.
Forcible Rape is prosecuted as a felony in California, punishable by three to eight years in state prison and sex registration for life. There is an additional three years if the victim sustained great bodily injury.
- Spousal Rape, commonly referred to as Marital Rape or Wife Rape, is a husband's sexual intercourse with his wife by force or without her consent. Spousal Rape in California is prosecuted as a felony under Penal Code 262. Spousal Rape in California may be accomplished under any of the following circumstances:
- A rape occurs when it is completed against the spouse by using force, violence, or threats, or fear of immediate unlawful bodily injury;
- A rape occurs when there is no consent given by the spouse due to an intoxicating or drug substance administered to the victim;
- A rape occurs if the victim is unconscious at the time of the sexual intercourse;
- A rape occurs when the spouse consents to sexual intercourse due to threats of retaliation; or
- A rape occurs when the sexual intercourse is accomplished against the victim's will by threatening to arrest or deport the spouse.
The punishment for felony Spousal Rape is three to eight years in state prison and lifetime sex registration. There is an additional three to five years if there great bodily injury or harm to the spouse.
- Statutory Rape, commonly referred to as Unlawful Sexual Intercourse or Sex With a Minor, is sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of eighteen, who is not the spouse of the perpetrator. Statutory rape is prosecuted in California under Penal Code section 261.5. Sexual intercourse is defined as any penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or genitalia by the penis. Ejaculation is not required. Consent by the victim is not relevant and therefore is not a defense in statutory rape cases.
In California, Statutory Rape is prosecuted as a misdemeanor if the age difference between the perpetrator and the victim is 3 years or less. If the perpetrator is more than 3 years older than the victim, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony and can punished in county jail for up to one year or in state prison for up to 3 years. A statutory rape conviction does not require sex registration in California.
- Rape in Concert occurs when someone voluntarily aids and assists another person to commit rape. The person who aids and assists another person in committing Rape does not have to personally participate in the rape, nor do they have to be present at the exact scene during the rape in order to be convicted of Rape in Concert.
Most sexual assault crimes are charged as felonies although lesser offenses are charged as
misdemeanors. Punishment for sexual assault crimes includes jail or prison, fines, community service, counseling, probation/parole and lifetime
sex registration. Multiple convictions of sexual assaults lead to increasingly severe punishments. The decision whether to charge a person with a felony or a misdemeanor rests with the prosecutor; however, a criminal defense attorney, if contacted early enough in the investigation, may be able to minimize the charges that you face.
Los Angeles Rape Defense Attorneys
Many sexual assault acts have no witnesses; therefore, sexual assaults are regularly prosecuted, even if the evidence appears weak or the accuser lacks credibility. Possible defenses to sexual assault cases include consent, insufficient evidence and mistaken identity arguments. If you are accused of being involved in a sexual assault offense, including rape, you should speak with an attorney at our firm immediately to learn more about your rights, defenses that may be used in your case and the legal system itself. Ways that we can help you include:
Arranging for bail,
bail reductions or being released on your "own recognizance"
- Understanding the possible penalties and likely outcome of your case
- Hiring an investigator to interview witnesses and gather evidence favorable to your case
- Negotiating with the prosecutor for a reduction of the charges and sentences
- Presenting the best legal defense for you and challenging the prosecution to prove their case
- Seeking alternative sentencing programs such as electronic monitoring, residential treatment, counseling and informal probation.
Criminal defense attorneys Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners have successfully defended many individuals charged with rape and sex-related crimes. Our attorneys bring over 70 years of combined legal experience to fight your rape charges, prepare a strong defense, and find the weakness in the prosecution's case. Rape charges are very serious and require aggressive and experienced representation. If you are being investigated or charged with rape, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners to schedule a no-cost confidential consultation to discuss your legal options.
Contact a Los Angeles rape attorney
if you are facing sexual assault charges to make sure that your rights are protected and that you are provided with an effective and aggressive representation.