With the crime of rape, you should be aware that you are facing extremely serious charges, and need to contact an experienced San Diego sexual assault lawyer as soon as possible.
In the state of California, rape involves an act of sexual intercourse which is against a person’s will, or without their consent.
Many believe the element of force defines rape but in fact, it is the element of consent, which is dependent upon the age of the victim, whether he or she was old enough and of sound mind to consent, and whether consent was present both before and during the act of sexual intercourse.
The offense of rape is criminalized under California Penal Code §261, and, to obtain a conviction for the crime, prosecutors must show that:
The following acts can also result in charges of rape in the state of California:
You should know that rape is never a misdemeanor crime in the state of California and sentences are severe.
The penalties for a San Diego rape conviction include:
Additionally there are several enhancements which can result in longer sentences.
Some of these enhancements include:
Under California Penal Code §290, any person convicted of the crime of rape must register as a sex offender for the remainder of his or her life.
Registered sex offenders must update their information each year through the Department of Justice, and within five days of any moves.
The offender’s address, details of his or her sex offense a conviction, photograph and a general description are on a public website for anyone to see.
As you can imagine, while a prison sentence and fines are certainly serious penalties, the requirement to register as a sex offender for the remainder of your life can prevent you from getting a job, renting a home, attending college on a government loan, obtaining a professional license or owning a firearm.
Of course, this is true for any felony conviction, but there is an added serious social stigma to being listed on the sexual offender registry.
If you are in the United States illegally, under California Penal Code §261, you could not only face the same criminal penalties as a citizen, you may also be subject to removal or deportation and you may never be eligible to obtain a green card or to re-enter the United States.
While the defense used by your San Diego sexual assault lawyer will be tailored specifically to the facts of your charges, there are several defenses which could be helpful in your case, such as:
Just so you know, voluntary intoxication is not considered a valid defense to the charge of rape, and neither is impotency in a person who has reached the age of puberty.
Also, a man can be charged with rape against another man and a woman can be charged with rape for assisting a man in the rape of another woman.