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Rape is a significant offense under California state law, and being accused of this crime can be shocking. The consequences for people convicted of rape can be severe, and if you don’t have a well-qualified defense lawyer to go to bat for you in the courtroom, you could end up with your life turned upside down. If you have been accused of rape in Los Angeles county, contact a rape defense lawyer in El Segundo to learn more about how to stand up against these charges in the courtroom.
Not all rape cases involve force or bodily injuries. Laws pertaining to rape in California depend on the legal definition of consent. If two people have sexual intercourse and one of those people has not provided consent for the sex act to have taken place, this could be charged as rape. Consent under the law is not as simple as someone stating that they agree to something—in some cases, consent is impossible to legally obtain even if a person has agreed verbally or even in writing.
Example 1: Intoxication
One situation in which sex acts may be agreed to but cannot be legally consented to is when one of the parties involved is intoxicated to the extent that he or she is not cognizant of the sex act or does not understand what he or she is consenting to.
Example 2: Disability
Another situation in which legal consent may be impossible to obtain is when one of the parties engaged in the sex act has a disability. This assumes that the disability affects the party’s understanding of what the sex act is and what consenting to engage in it means. Even if the disabled party is agreeable about the intercourse, their supposed consent is not necessarily valid under state law if their disability is thought to impair judgment or reasoning.
Example 3: Appeals to authority
Yet another situation where voicing consent may not qualify as consent under the law is when one of the parties engaged in the sex act convinces the other party that their authority is reason enough alone for the sex act to take place. For example, if a medical professional tells a patient that the only way to obtain a necessary test result is through engaging in intercourse, the patient’s voiced consent is null under the law.
Although none of the above examples involved use of force or threat per se, they are all examples of situations in which sex acts could become a rape charge in California.
When you are ready to speak to a rape defense lawyer in El Segundo or elsewhere in the greater Los Angeles area, the attorneys at Okabe and Haushalter are here to assist you. We offer free consultations and have the know-how and experience to adeptly tackle your case and fight the charges you face in the court of law. Our attorneys are savvy, experienced and know how to get results. Call today to learn more about how we can help you with your legal case.