Statutory Rape Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with statutory rape, you should immediately contact Los Angeles Statutory Rape Attorney at The H Law Group. Being convicted of statutory rape comes with imprisonment, fines, and having to register as a sex offender forever. Allowing a public defender to defend you is the worst thing you can do for your future because they are overworked and will not give your case the attention it deserves. Allow the rape defense attorney at The H Law Group to represent you throughout the criminal process. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.
So, what exactly comes under the umbrella of statutory rape?
Statutory rape involves a person above the age of 18 having sex with a person who is below the age of 18. Both men and women can be charged with and convicted of statutory rape. The punishment that a defendant faces depends on the age of the alleged victim, as well as the age of the offender, as well as the type of sexual encounters between the two parties. Some states have exceptions for individuals who are of close age, however, California does not have this exception.
Section 261.5 What constitutes Statutory Rape in California?
- An individual who is 18 years of age or older and has sex with a person who is under 18 years old of age and is not the person’s spouse is guilty of statutory rape
- An individual who has sex with a minor who is not more than three years younger than himself is guilty of a misdemeanor
- An individual who has sex with a minor who is three (3) years younger than himself is guilty of a misdemeanor or felony statutory rape
- An individual who is 21 years of age or older and has sex with a minor who is under 16 years old is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony
Examples of Statutory Rape
- A 20-year-old female college student has sex with a 17-year-old male who is in her English class. The prosecution can convict the 20-year-old female for statutory rape.
- A 40-year-old male college professor has sex with a 17-year-old female that he teaches. The college professor can be convicted of statutory rape
As you can see from these examples, completely innocent people having consensual sex can be charged with and convicted of statutory rape even though they both consented to have sex. The prosecution does not need to show that the defendant used force to have sex. The reasoning is that a person under the age of 18 years old cannot consent to have sex. As such, the offender is treated as a rapist even though both parties agreed to have sex.
Punishment for Statutory Rape
In California, the crime of statutory rape is a wobbler, meaning the prosecution has the ability to either charge it as a misdemeanor or as a felony, depending on the circumstances of the situation. The main issue that the prosecution looks at when determining whether to charge the crime as a misdemeanor or a felony is the age difference between the defendant and the alleged victim. The bigger the age gap, the more likely the prosecution will bring felony charges. Also, the prosecution will look at the defendant’s criminal record when determining whether to bring misdemeanor or felony charges.
To achieve the best possible outcome in your case, you should contact an experienced statutory rape defense attorney to represent you. Having a good statutory rape lawyer could mean the difference between going to jail for a felony and a misdemeanor charge. Your statutory rape lawyer defense attorney will do his best to have the charges against you dismissed or get you a good plea deal. The attorneys at The H Law Group are experienced and will do their best to get you a deal that you deserve.
The penalties for statutory rape include sixteen (16) months, two (2) years, or three (3) years in jail, however, if the defendant was 21 or older and the victim was under the age of 16 years old at the time of the rape, the defendant can be sentenced for a maximum of 4 years in jail. The defendant can also be fined up to $10,000. If convicted he can be placed on formal or informal probation.
Legal Defenses to Statutory Rape
Belief the Alleged Victim Was Over 18
In California, the prosecution cannot convict you of statutory rape if you had a reasonable belief that the victim was 18 years of age or older. For example, if the person with whom you’re having sex told you that she over the age of 17, her appearance looked over the age of 18, or you met her at a place where people are 18 years of age or older, can be used to show that you had honestly and reasonably believed that she was 18 years of age or older. This the best defense that your statutory rape defense lawyer can make for you.
If the facts of your case support this argument, your lawyer may be able to argue that you were falsely accused of statutory rape. The alleged victim may be lashing out at you because of anger, jealousy, or revenge.
Statutory Rape Defense Lawyer
If you’ve been arrested, charged with, or are being investigated for statutory rape, you should immediately call a rape defense attorney at The H Law Group. Our attorneys are experienced and will use their knowledge to achieve the best possible outcome for you. We will represent you throughout the criminal process. Our fees are affordable and our defense is the best. Schedule your free consultation by calling us at (213) 370-0404. Our Los Angeles Rape Defense Attorneys are here to help. We serve Los Angeles County, Kern County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County, Orange County, Ventura County, and all other Southern California Counties.
Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.