Rape (Sex Crime) - Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorneys

Accusations of rape are serious no matter what the exact charges are. Life-changing consequences can occur if a defendant is charged with rape and this may include loss of employment, lifelong listing on the sex offender registry, imprisonment, and damaged reputation and social life. California Penal Code 261 defines rape as non-consensual intercourse without the consent of the other individual. Rape is not only a form of sexual interaction that involves force or fear but could also mean circumstances that don’t involve fear such as when the victim is unconscious or asleep and cannot resist the sexual act.

Rape charges carry significant penalties and for this reason, it is of utmost importance to contact a Long Beach rape defense attorney right away if you have been accused of rape. This will help the attorney investigation the occurrences before your arrest in order to contest the accusation before the filing of formal charges is done. It is never right for anyone to face the consequences of a crime they did not commit. Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to defend those accused of such crimes. Our attorneys are competent with proven track records and they work to ensure that they prove your innocence should that be the case or negotiate for better terms if found guilty. Call us today at (562) 308-7807 or fill our online contact form to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.

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The Issue of Consent

The prosecution must provide evidence to show that the sexual act was against the will of the victim. This issue is extremely complex and it's therefore important to retain a competent and experience

Types of Rape and Their Charges

There are different rape charges one can face depending on the relationship with the accuser and their age. The three main rape offenses include spousal rape, date rape, and statutory rape.

This is one of the most serious offenses that occur when one has non-consensual sexual intercourse with a minor (under 18 years of age). According to the California law, a minor’s consent to sexual intercourse is rendered null and void. Therefore even if the minor freely consent to the intercourse the act is still considered as rape. The only exception to this rule is if the alleged offender is also a minor.

Penalties

If the prosecution rules the case as a felony, the perpetrator faces sixteen, two or three years imprisonment. California recognizes a rule in that majors on the age difference between the alleged victim and the defendant to check if they are less than three years. For instance, if the accuser is 16 years old while the offender is above 21 years old, the offender faces two to four years imprisonment.

It may sound a little absurd for some people but it is actually possible to be charged with raping your own spouse under section 262 of California law. If a spouse does not consent to the intercourse then it is considered as rape. This includes even an intoxicated spouse who does not consent but the other party goes on with the sexual activity regardless.  Both parties must be fully aware of what is happening and consent to its failure to which it is considered a crime.

Penalties

Spousal rape is treated seriously in California.  It comes with a three, six or eight-year term in the state prison. If the crime involved the use of force or violence, then the consequences are even more severe. The convicted perpetrator is required to register as a sex offender for a lifetime on top of the prison sentence. In this case, you will really need a competent Long Beach Criminal attorney to help negotiate for better terms and come up with something more favorable.

  • Date Rape

This is a type of rape that involves sexual activity with a friend or just a person you’re on a date without their consent.

Defenses used to fight a Rape Charge

In most cases, the accuser requires little or in some cases no evidence hence wrongfully prosecuting the defendant. That is why California has legal defenses that the defendant can use to defend themselves through their counsel. They include:

  • False Accusations

For one reason or another, people accuse each other falsely when it comes to rape. It could be due to emotionally driven motives like jealousy, anger or revenge. To dismiss these false accusations, DNA tests are conducted at an early stage to gather evidence to ensure that the client gets justice. With this evidence, the outrageous charges are thrown out of the window.

  • Consent

Rape occurs only if the other party did not give his or her consent to the other one before sex. If the defendant can prove that the accuser consented to the act, then no rape occurred. In the event that the alleged victim had initially consented and changed their mind during intercourse but failed to communicate effectively, then the defendant cannot be convicted. Additionally, if the defendant can prove that he or she had good reason to believe that the accuser consented to the act even though no verbal confirmation was given, then they can’t be accused of rape under California law.

  • Insufficient evidence

To corroborate the charges pressed against the defendant, there has to be a record of medical attention sought by the alleged victim after the incident. This also applies in the event that all the alleged victim has is the word of mouth without any witnesses or anyone who might have heard them. Word of mouth alone is barely a reason to convict the defendant of the rape charges and hence the case cannot proceed.

  • Mistaken eyewitness identification

This is a common cause for wrongful conviction. If the victim is unable to identify the penetrator due to factors like face masks or even poor lighting. If the alleged victim cannot accurately identify the perpetrator, then the case is unable to hold.

Actions to take when accused of rape

If you or your loved one has been falsely accused of rape, it is important that you act wisely and swiftly. The following are some of the steps to take if such a thing arises:

  • Contact a reputable law firm

An experienced and professional attorney will walk you through the whole experience and advise you accordingly. If you reside in Long Beach, California then there is no better firm to call than Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorneys. They will ensure you get the justice you deserve.

  • Keep your distance from the accuser

Try and stay away from your accuser until the moment you are able to legally defend yourself. In so doing, the accuser is not able to make further accusations. If you really have to meet the accuser then ensure that a third party is present to act as a witness of all the occurrences. Cut off any communication between you and the accuser if possible. If you have to communicate, then make it limited and ensure that it’s in written form like emails, or text messages for easy reference if need arises.

  • Determine the relationship

What is the relationship between you and the alleged victim? This information is critical to answering some pertinent questions like their likely motive to accuse you.

  • Determine the motive

Why would that person want to falsely accuse you of rape? What angle do they have? What does he or she stand to gain or lose from all these?

  • Provide a detailed account to your attorney

In order for your lawyer to help you, you need to provide him or her with all the information about everything that happened on that day and any other information that you think may be relevant to the case.Do not leave out anything including the minor details.

  • Build an alibi

In the event that you were not present at the venue of the alleged rape, then professional attorneys at Long Beach Criminal Defense attorneys can build for you a solid alibi defense. If supported with evidence and witnesses, it makes a strong case that will lead to the dismissal of those charges.

  • Was there any delay in reporting?

Determine when the alleged victim reported, who they reported it to and what he or she said. If the reporting was delayed, then it could help in building and winning your case.

Tips on how to avoid false rape accusations

Most people find themselves in this predicament, but as they say, once bitten twice shy. To avoid a repetition of such accusations it is prudent to abide by some guidelines as elaborated below.

  • Avoid engaging in sexual intercourse with a person who has a spouse or is in a relationship. Getting intimately involved with other people’s spouses is not only morally wrong but also provides grounds for rape accusations. It is safer not to bed that category of people. More often than not, it does not end up well.
  • Do not engage in sex with a person below 18 years of age.  Even those still in school and live with their parents who probably do not approve of pre-marital sex may use you as a scapegoat and accuse you of rape.
  • Refrain from group sex especially where there are multiple males and one female. It is a perfect recipe for a rape charge. This is because the female is most likely to regret the act later on and accuse you of rape.
  • Do not engage in sexual intercourse with a person who is unstable in the mind. They could easily accuse you of rape.

What legal recourse can one take when falsely accused of rape?

After clearing your name, you have the right to file a complaint against the accuser. You can accuse them of defamation either libel or slander depending on how far the case went and its scope. If it went to the extent of being published on paper then you can charge them with libel. If there was no publishing involved, the slander will suffice as there was word of mouth involved and was said to a third party.  In the eyes of the law, there was harm to your reputation and the accuser should be held liable.

Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorneys will continue the journey with you to ensure that you are duly paid for damages.  The compensation will depend on the extent of damage caused by the accusation. If for instance, you lost your job due to this accusation, then the compensation is higher. If not, then he or she has to compensate you for the mental anguish, humiliation and embarrassment caused.

Working with your attorney

It is important to acquire a lawyer who puts their services first before their self-interest. Lawyers at Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorneys have a touch of compassion and professionalism in their work. After gathering all the facts if your case, they will tell you the strengths and weaknesses of the case and the possible outcomes no matter how unfavorable it is. It is important that you cooperate with your attorney to yield the best results.  A good attorney will represent you with zeal and put in all the necessary effort to ensure that the charges against you are dismissed or reduced.

Winning your Case

Long Beach Criminal Defense Attorneys will prepare for your trial with the aim of winning your case. Our attorneys understand the psychology of the accusers and motivations that can be behind the accusations. Our skills and knowledge will help us build a strong case on your behalf by carrying out a thorough research on the evidence against you and the law. We associate with expert psychologists and investigators to gather evidence for your case and prepare for trial. Our firm offers legal representation in the greater Long Beach area. If you have a criminal matter involving rape, call us as soon as possible at (562) 308-7807 or fill out our contact form to initiate the first steps of legal consultation.