punishment for those convicted. If you are under investigaton or facing rape charges, remain calm, don’t speak, and remember that it is not a conviction.
Instead of facing a sexual assault allegation alone, hiring legal representation will give you the greater advantage. Felony charges call for an airtight defense strategy, so learn more on how our tenured law firm takes legal action to investigate, defend, and uphold your legal rights today.
What to Do if You’re Charged With Rape
Retaining legal counsel as quickly as possible is the smartest course of action if you are charged or under investigation for rape. Your attorney will evaluate your case and create an ironclad legal defense with your help. You will need to bring:
- Physical evidence, such as photos, clothing, or objects of the alleged victim
- Documentation or records, such as letters or emails that are relevant to your case
- A list of potential witnesses that may be able to confirm your whereabouts, relation with the alleged victim, or information about the accused incident
Keep reading to learn what to avoid to increase your chanced of cleared or reduced sentencing.
How does California Law Define Rape?
Although the United States criminalizes rape,each state has a variating legal definition of the act. California courts define rape in Penal Code Section 264 as sexual intercourse without consent under the following circumstances that:
- The victim could not consent due to mental or physical incapacity
- It was a result of force, threat, violence, duress, menacing or intimidation
- Consent could not be given due to a person being unconscious, intoxicated or drugged
- It was fraudulently done by pretending to be someone else
- It occurred from threatening the victim that retaliation would occurr if they didn’t relent
- The act was committed by a public offical or anyone posing as one using intimidation to make the victim submit
Note that Penal Code Section 263 includes any penetration of sexual organs or anus to be considered rape, no matter what extent. Spousal rape is also prosecuted as a rape, but there are exclusions when a mental disease is a factor.
What to Avoid Doing if You’re Charged With Rape
We understand that proving your innocence is an urgent matter, but preserving your innocence is not in every person’s interest. To avoid information or evidence from being mistakenly handled, do NOT:
- Contact the alleged victim in any capacity
- Talk with police, investigators, or prosecutors without your lawyer present
- Agree to submit a DNA test before arrest
- Volunteer to hand over evidence of any kind
Things said or given without a lawyer present can be misused as evidence to prove guilt. Consult with an experienced legal team to strategize and protect your future.
What Is the Punishment for Rape in California?
Rape is a felony with heavy penalties that will make it challenging to find employment or housing in California. As stated in California Penal Code Section 264, punishment for rape includes:
A prison sentence is required. Individuals can face anywhere from three to 13 years. Sentence time increases if the victim sustains injuries, dies, or was a minor.
Some offenders will be required to attend or undergo treatment while serving their sentence.
Sex Offender Registry
A person convicted of rape will have to register as a Tier 3 sex offender indefinetely. The name, address, and crime commited will be part of public record listed on California’s sex offender website.
With such severe penalties, it is essential to discuss legal options with a sex crimes defense attorney as sson as possible.
Four Defense Strategies Attorneys Use Against Rape Charges
Hiring an experienced lawyer is critical in beating or reducing a rape charge. A highly knowledgable legal team will have many arguments tailored to strengthen your case. Common strategies are:
Since the victim must voluntarily consent prior to sexual intecourse, this may be complicated to use but it is not impossible. It is the role of an attorney to reveal interpretations to present fitting circumstances.
In some cases like aiding and abetting, it is the governments job to prove knowledge that the act would occur. There are moments of opportunity argue how conflicting this is.
Eyewitnesses have been known to misidentify offenders. There are several know factors that play a role in this which is why identification has become a validity concern.
Sometimes, an individual is falsely accused of rape. While greatly unfortunate, text messages, social media posts, emails, etc. can help in the accused favor to have charges dropped.
Our attorneys have expert knowledge to create a strategic defense that may include some of these. Our primary concern is getting those convicted the best possible outcome.
Is Hiring a Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer Worth It?
Our attorneys have comprehensive legal knowledge in different areas of California law. Deciphering the penalties of Penal Code Section 264 and clarifying the legal process for clients are part of their duties as well. When you hire an attorney, you get legal support that:
- Investigates evidence for tampering and validity
- Assesses if the victim is being untruthful or misidentifying the offender
- Checks out witnesses and any alibis that the defendant listed
- Advises their client of legal rights
- Evaluates plea deals
- Represents the client in legal proceedings and police/prosecutor interviews
- Gives legal advice freely
- Manages paperwork and records
- Have the conviction dismissed, reduced or expunged from your record
If you have a serious or complex case, hiring legal representation can only help your chances. Don’t risk facing such serious charges alone.
How does the Prosecution Prove Lack of Consent?
It is the role of prosecution to prove lack of consent in any sexual assault ot rape case. If there are not witnesses present, the following evidence must be present to prove guilt:
- Physical injuries are present on the victim
- Recorded statements of threats or intimidation
- The pressesnce of date rape drugs in either parties system
- A full confession of guilt from the defendant
Regardless to which of these apply to you, a charge is not a conviction. Seeking legal guidance early in the process will strengthen your case in the longrun.
How to Choose a Good Lawyer for a Sexual Assault Case
Avoid law firms that promise to win your case upfront and pick the California firm that has extensive success with cases like yours. If you’ve been charged under Penal Code Section 264, don’t risk facing the punishment. Our criminal defense lawyers at Simmrin Law Group are available for a free and discreet rape defense consultation when you contact us today.