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California Penal Code Section 261 PC – Rape

California Penal Code Section 261 PC – Rape

Rape is by far one of the most serious crimes that an individual can be charged within the State of California. Rape is a crime where an individual threatens, coerces, or convinces by fraud another person into having nonconsensual sexual intercourse with himself. If you have been charged with Rape under CPC Section 261, you should immediately contact a Los Angeles Sex Crimes Attorney to represent you and defend you because a conviction could ruin your life. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

Text of California Penal Code Section 261 PC – Rape

According to the California Legislature:

Rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator, under any of the following circumstances:

  • The defendant had sex with another person to consent to sexual intercourse because of a mental or physical disorder
  • The defendant had sex with another person by means of force, violence, duress, or fear of immediate bodily injury to the victim of another person
  • The defendant uses an intoxicating or anesthetic substance to prevent his victim from resisting having sexual intercourse with the defendant
  • The defendant had intercourse with an individual he knew was unconscious at the time of sexual intercourse
  • The defendant has sexual intercourse with another person that he knew was asleep
  • The defendant made a fraudulent representation that sexual penetration served a professional purpose, while the penetration served no professional purpose
  • The defendant threatened the alleged victim by using his authority as a public official to incarcerate, arrest, or deport the alleged victim or another person if the alleged victim did not have sexual intercourse with victim

Note: Although a husband cannot be charged or convicted with raping his wife under California Penal Code Section 261 PC, he can be charged with and convicted of raping his wife under California Penal Code Section 262PC. The elements that the prosecution has to prove to convict an individual of rape under Section 262 PC are very similar to those required to convict an individual of rape under Section 261 PC.

Proving a Person Guilty of Violating California Penal Code Section 261 PC

To convict an individual of violating PC 261, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant performed sexual intercourse with another man or woman
  • The defendant and the alleged victim were not married
  • The alleged victim did not consent to have sexual intercourse with the defendant
  • The defendant performed sexual intercourse through coercion, force, violence, the threat of force, through the use of intoxicants or anesthetics, the threat of arrest, deportation, or incarceration

For the prosecution to convict an individual, any penetration of the vagina or anus by the defendant’s penis suffices to satisfy the definition of sexual intercourse.

Examples of Violating California Penal Code Section 261 PC

For example, if the defendant threatens to hurt his girlfriend or her loved if she does not have sex with him, and proceeds to have sex with him under threat of violence, the defendant may be charged with rape because even if his girlfriend consented, she did so under threat of violence.

Here is a second example. If the defendant went to a bar and proceeded to slip a pill in a woman’s drink in hopes to “loosen her up” so that she would be more likely to sleep with him, the defendant can be charged with rape because he used a sedative to impair the judgment of the woman he had sexual intercourse with.

Here is a third example. If a victim goes to her therapist, and the therapist convinces her that having sex with him will make her feel better and cure her condition, the prosecution can charge and convict the defendant for rape because he used his professional position to fraudulently convince his patient to have sex with him.

A fourth example. If the defendant knew that the victim had a mental disability and proceeds to have sex with her, he can be charged with and convicted of rape is she was unable to consent to have sex with him.

Penalties for Being Convicted of Rape Under CPC Section 261

  • Conviction of a felony offense (rape is not a misdemeanor offense)
  • Three, six, or eight years of imprisonment in California State Prison
  • Placement on formal probation (you have to check-in periodically w/ your probation officer)
  • Strike on your record (violent cases)
  • Additional prison time if the defendant used or violence to accomplish sexual intercourse (addition three to five years in prison)

Defenses to Rape Under California Penal Code Section 261 PC

If you have been charged with rape, there are a variety of defenses that your Los Angeles Rape Defense Attorney can make to defend you and keep you from going to prison for a very long time. This list is not exhaustive of all defenses that can be made, but rather some of the defenses that may apply to your case:

  • The defendant reasonably believed that the alleged victim consented to have sexual intercourse with him
  • The defendant is falsely being accused of raping the alleged victim
  • The alleged victim consented to have sex with the defendant
  • The defendant did not have sex with the alleged victim

California Penal Code Section 261 – Related Offenses

If an individual is charged with committing rape, there are a variety of other criminal offenses that the prosecution can charge the defendant with. Here are some criminal offenses related to rape:

  • CPC Section 243.4 – Sexual Battery
  • CPC Section 261.5 – Statutory Rape
  • CPC Section 288(a) – Oral copulation by force
  • CPC Section 289 – Forcible Penetration w/ a foreign object

Immigration Consequences of a Rape Conviction

If an individual is convicted of rape, the conviction may have negative immigration consequences because California identifies rape as a crime involving moral turpitude, making it grounds for rejecting citizenship to an individual convicted of it, deporting him, or marking him as inadmissible to the United States.

Can You Get a Rape Conviction Expunged?

In California, for an individual to have a rape conviction expunged (removed) from his criminal record, he must not have served prison time, which is difficult for those charged with rape. If an individual serves prison time, he will not be able to have a rape conviction removed from his criminal record. However, if convicted of rape and released on probation, there is a chance that the conviction can be removed, so long as the defendant completes the terms of his sentence and stays away from committing more crimes.

Contact an Experienced Rape Defense Attorney in Los Angeles

If you or a loved one has been charged with rape in Los Angeles or elsewhere in the State of California, you should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles Rape Defense Attorney to defend you and keep you from going to prison for a very long period of time. Our sex crime attorneys have the knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible results for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at a 1 (213) 370-0404.