North Bay Rape Attorneys
The sigma of an accusation of rape can be devastating — devastating to your emotional well-being, your reputation, your job opportunities, your family, and more.
Should you be convicted of rape in California the penalties and punishments are severe. Unfortunately, because California law (and rightly so) requires all rape allegations to be investigated, innocent people are frequently subjected to being falsely accused or even wrongfully arrested on a charge of rape.
Consequently, if you are accused, arrested or charged of rape, you need to contact an experienced California criminal defense attorney immediately. Sometimes a skilled rape criminal defense lawyer can uncover evidence that will disprove or minimize the damage of a rape allegation before formal charges are filed. Should formal charges be filed, you and your attorney will be prepared well in advance of any court proceedings.
Definition of Rape Pursuant to California Penal Code 261
According to California Penal Code 261, when you engage in sexual intercourse against another person’s will or without his or her consent using force, violence, duress, menace, fear, or fraud you may be charged with the crime of rape. Other circumstances under which you can be charged with rape include when you engage in sex with someone who is too intoxicated to consent to sex, suffers from a mental disorder or a physical disability that prevents the person from being able to give consent, or if the person is unaware that he or she is engaging in a sex act.
How California Prosecutors Prove Rape
A California prosecutor must prove four things (elements of the crime of rape) in order to obtain a conviction. These four elements include the following.
-You engaged in sexual intercourse with your accuser (full penetration is not required).
-You and your accuser were not married at the time of the encounter (spousal rape is considered a separate crime of rape).
-Intercourse occurred against the will of the other person.
-You engaged in sexual intercourse through an act of force, violence, duress, menace, fear, or fraud.
Penalties for a Conviction of Rape in California
A conviction of rape in California is as a felony and results in penalties that include formal probation, three to eight years in prison (with the possibility of an additional three to five years if the victim sustains great bodily injury), a fine of up to $10,000, registration as a sex offender, and a possible “strike” under California’s Three Strike’s Law.
Fighting a charge of rape, while difficult, is not impossible. Possible defenses for a rape charge in California include:
A false accusation – An accuser often needs no evidence to accuse you of rape.
Consent – When an accuser initially consents, but later charges his or her mind and doesn’t effectively communicate the withdrawal of consent, this defense may come into play.
Insufficient evidence – When no medical or physical evidence can be presented to corroborate the rape and you are dealing with a “he said/she said” situation”.
Mistaken identity – Unless the accused is known by the accuser, mistaken identity often succeeds as a defense if no physical evidence exists attaching you to the rape or you and your defense attorney can provide enough evidence to substantial that the accuser may have been influenced by police during the identification process.
To Defend a Rape Charge, You Need Assistance from a North Bay Rape Defense Lawyer
With serious consequences, like those that could result from a rape conviction, California law has many scenarios and safeguards for the avoidance of a wrongful conviction.
The Law Offices of Michael A. Fiumara are highly knowledgeable attorneys who will fight hard to make sure your rights are protected should you be accused or charged with the crime of rape.