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Rape Lawyer Orange County
Elements for Rape in CaliforniaThe full text of the rape laws in Orange County can be found in California Penal Code Section 261. To prove that the defendant is guilty of rape, the Prosecutor must prove that:
- A person engaged in sexual intercourse with another person
- That person was not married to the person at the time
- That the other person did not consent to the intercourse
- That person accomplished the act by any of the following including
- physical force
- duress (direct or implied threat sufficient to coerce a reasonable person to perform
- menace (a threat or act that shows intention to inflict injury upon another)
- fear of bodily harm to oneself or to another, (fear must be actual or reasonable)
- fear of retaliation (a threat to kidnap, or inflict serious pain or injury upon another)
- fraud (tricking one into thinking the sexual act serves a specific purpose)
Will I Go To Jail?
Possibilities & Penalties For Rape in Orange CountyRape is always a felony, meaning that it is punishable by time in jail and substantial fines. A person cannot receive probation as punishment for rape. Rape may result in a sentence ranging from three to eight years in state prison and include fines up to $10,000.00. Given that rape is considered a serious and violent felony in California, a minimum of 85% of the actual sentence must be served before release from prison. The conviction also could be considered a strike on your record pursuant to California’s three strikes law. There are a number of aggravating circumstances that can make the sentence longer. These circumstances include whether the alleged victim sustained great bodily injury from the alleged rape and whether the victim was a minor. In addition to the sentence, a person convicted of rape must register as a sex offender. Registration as a sex offender is amongst the most devastating penalties one can face because it is a stigma that will last for an entire lifetime. It requires registration with local law enforcement and your information will be posted publicly on a designated website. Given the harsh penalties associated with a rape conviction, it is critical that you contact the experienced lawyers at the Atias Law Group to discuss the specific circumstances related to your case.
Rape Defenses in Orange County
The criminal defense lawyers at the Atias Law Firm know the defenses that may help get your rape charge dismissed. There are a number of defenses to rape in Orange County, however the applicability of those defenses depends on the facts of your case. For example, as you can see above, the prosecutor has a lot to prove. We will work hard to show that any number of the requirements of the law aren’t met. The most common of the defenses is to show that the alleged victim is making a false accusation that is either based on jealousy, revenge, anger or another emotionally-driven motive. Another defense is to show that there is insufficient evidence to prove that a rape occurred including the fact that the physical contact that took place fell short of actual intercourse. For instance, if the alleged victim failed to seek medical attention, there may be no evidence to corroborate the victim’s allegation of rape.
Unless an alleged victim knows the person that is claimed to have raped him/her, it is possible for the alleged victim to mistaken the identity of the alleged assailant. Also, if one had an honest and reasonable belief that the accuser consented to the intercourse, it cannot be classified as rape. Consent takes on many different forms including a victim who initially consents but later changes his/her mind or a person who doesn’t actually consent but that the other person had good reason to believe consent had taken place. Given that consent requires positive cooperation in the act, the defendant’s actual reasonable belief that there was consent is a strong defense. This reasonable belief can take on many forms including facts pertaining to previous dating history, the victim’s request for use of protection and even withdrawn consent. Whatever the circumstances may be, it is important to contact The Atias Law Firm to discuss the specific facts of your case. Our skilled attorneys will review your case so that we can evaluate a determine the defenses that apply to you.
Mitigation and Sentencing of Rape ChargesA variety of mitigating circumstances may apply when dealing with rape charges that will help reduce the punishment for rape. These circumstances include the following
- the accuser was simply a passive participant and played a minor role in the crime
- the victim was the initiator, willing participant or agressor
- the crime was committed because of an unusual circumstance
- the accuser participated in the crime under circumstances of coercion or duress including being induced by others to participate in the crime
- the accuser exercised caution to avoid harm to the victim
- the accuser has previously suffered from repeated or continuous sexual or psychological abuse
- lack of any prior record or insignificant prior record of criminal conduct