Los Angeles Statutory Rape Attorney
If you are being investigated or charged with Statutory Rape, consult with
an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Statutory Rape accusations
(even when false) can ruin a person's reputation if they get out in
the public; but talking to the police and attempting to make the issue
quietly "go away" usually backfires. If you try to talk your
way out of the situation, you might just provide law enforcement with
the evidence they need to arrest and convict you.
Statutory Rape cases are vigorously prosecuted in Los Angeles and a conviction
can result in serious jail time. In addition to jail, a conviction can
prevent you from obtaining gainful employment and a professional license.
The Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at Stephen G. Rodriguez &
Partners have considerable experience in representing individuals accused
of Statutory Rape.
Contact us for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your legal options.
According to California Penal Code 261.5, Statutory Rape is sexual intercourse
with a person who is not the spouse of the perpetrator and who is a minor
(a person under age 18). Any amount of sexual penetration qualifies as
"sexual intercourse" (ejaculation is not required). Unlike other
rape charges, consent is not a defense to Statutory Rape. However, reasonable and actual
belief that the victim was over the age of 18 can be a defense to the
charge. In California, Statutory Rape is a "wobbler," which
means that it can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. If the
victim is under 14, then the alleged crime will be prosecuted under the
child molestation laws, which have significantly harsher penalties.
Punishments and Penalties
Whether Statutory Rape will be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depends
primarily on the age difference between the victim and defendant, the
circumstances of the alleged crime and the defendant's criminal background.
How the offense is charged will affect the punishment and penalties. For example:
- If there is an age difference of up to 3 years between the victim and defendant,
the crime is a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are punished by informal probation,
a maximum one-year county jail sentence and a fine of up to $1,000.
- If the defendant is more than three years older than the victim, the crime
is a wobbler and is punished by up to one year of imprisonment in a county
jail or by imprisonment in the state prison.
- If the defendant is age 21 or older and the victim is younger than 16,
the crime is a wobbler and is punished by up to one year of imprisonment
in a county jail or by imprisonment in the state prison for 2, 3, or 4 years.
If the offense can be charged as a felony (perpetrator is either 3+ years
older or age 21+ and victim is younger than 16) and the sexual intercourse
was done for money or some other consideration, an additional one-year
term can be added to the prison sentence.
Although a person who violates California Penal Code 261.5 is not required
to register as a sex offender, if the defendant is convicted of having
oral or anal sex with a minor (Penal Code 288a and 286), he or she
is subject to
sex offender registration.
Consult a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing
sex charges, choosing the right criminal defense attorney can make all the difference.
We are knowledgeable attorneys and we bring over 70 years of combined
legal experience to the table. Call and meet with us before you speak
to law enforcement. Do not handle this on your own by speaking to the
victim, her parents, or family members. Anything you say can and will
be used against you in a criminal prosecution.
Call the offices of Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners for a no-charge,
confidential consultation and learn about your rights, defenses, and legal options.