Dig deeper into the legal definition of spousal rape and PC 262 charges with the Simmrin Law Group. Call us today at (310) 896-2723 to learn more.
Defining the Act of Spousal Rape in California
Rape involves forcing another person to engage in sexual intercourse. Not all rapes involve individuals raping strangers. In some cases, rape occurs between people in romantic relationships. You may hear this form of assault called “date rape.”
Individuals can also be charged with raping their spouses in California. This act is considered spousal or marital rape. Marriage does not provide continued consent for sexual intercourse. An individual may legally revoke their consent to a sex act at any time, even after they are married. PC 262 is treated as a felony in California.
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Understanding Rape Charges in California
Rape charges apply anytime someone forces another person into intercourse against their will. In California, rape can also occur if someone is forced into intercourse through:
- Direct or implied threats
- Acts of menace
- Fear for their bodily safety
Additionally, rape can occur if someone cannot give consent before a sex act. This may occur if an individual is asleep or unconscious. Individual may be unable to provide consent if they:
- Took certain drugs
- Are on prescription medication
- Drank too much alcohol
An inability to say “no” to intercourse does not indicate consent in California. Threats made against another person to convince them to engage in intercourse could also lead to spousal rape charges.
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Penalties for a Spousal Rape Conviction in California
Spousal or marital rape is a felony in the state of California. This means the results of a conviction of this charge are often very harsh. Individuals may face fines of up to $10,000 upon a conviction. They may also face prison time, including:
- Up to eight years in prison for a “basic” spousal rape charge
- Up to five additional years in prison if the rape caused great bodily injury (GBI)
- Up to life in prison if an individual had past sex crime convictions
The court system may also require an individual to register as a sex offender after a spousal rape conviction. Generally, this requirement only exists if an individual used force or violence to carry out the rape.
Note that failing to register as a sex offender in California is a criminal act on its own. Individuals may face additional penalties if they try to avoid a sex offender registration. Find out more about this situation with a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles. Discuss California’s sex offender registry by calling (310) 896-2723.
Defenses to Spousal Rape Charges in California
Not all spousal rape charges in California lead to a conviction. In some cases, a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer may help you build a defense. Your lawyer may first review your situation before working on your case. Depending on your situation, a lawyer may argue that:
You Had Consent
Sometimes, individuals consent to sexual intercourse and claim later that they did not. This may result in a situation where it is your word against your spouse’s. In this situation, a lawyer could work to show that you thought you had consent.
You Were Falsely Accused
Your spouse may falsely claim that you forced them into intercourse. Even if you were fighting with your spouse, marital discord does not automatically make you guilty of spousal rape. Speak to a lawyer if you were accused of an act you did not commit.
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Talk to a Lawyer About Penal Code 262 Allegations
You may want legal help if you were charged under Penal Code 262. Accusations related to spousal rape should receive prompt legal attention, and members of the Simmrin Law Group are ready to discuss your legal options right now. You can reach us easily by calling (310) 896-2723. You can also fill out our online contact form. Get the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles right now with a free consultation.