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A crime like rape is a serious offense in the state of California, and being accused of this crime can make it feel like your world is falling apart. The effect on your reputation and the threats to your employment and housing opportunities—not to mention the possibility of incarceration—can make you feel panic-stricken if you are charged with rape. If you are facing this charge or another sex crimes charge, contact a rape defense lawyer in Santa Monica at Okabe and Haushalter.
Under Section 261 of the California Penal Code, rape is described as sexual intercourse wherein one party does not—or is legally unable to provide—consent. Consent is the key word when it comes to rape charges. You might think a verbal assent from both parties to engage in a sex act constitutes consent, but under California law, the definition of consent can be convoluted.
There are many instances under the Penal Code where verbal or even written consent to a sex act is legally insufficient and could result in one party being charged with rape.
Example 1: The party has a disability preventing legal consent
If one person engaged in intercourse with another person who was either physically, mentally or developmentally disabled, prosecution may argue that consent is not possible to obtain in this case on the premise that the disabled party did not have a full understand of what he or she was consenting to when they agreed to intercourse. Possible defenses include arguing that the disability is not so extensive as to interfere with reasoning or understanding of consent.
Example 2: The party was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
If two people have intercourse and one of them is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, prosecution could argue that the intoxicated party had impaired judgement and thus, was unable to provide consent due to lack of cognizance. Possible defenses in these cases include lack of awareness of the impaired party’s intoxication at the time the intercourse took place.
Example 3: The party believes you to be someone else
If one party agrees to engage in intercourse but later discovers the person they had sex with is someone other than who they thought they were, this could result in a rape charge even if consent was obtained and no force or threat was used. Possible defenses include arguing that the alleged victim’s lack of awareness was not due to any intentional misrepresentation of self by the defendant.
Being accused of rape can come as a shocking blow, but a rape defense lawyer in Santa Monica can assist you with your legal case. The attorneys at Okabe and Haushalter specialize in rape defense and can help you with negotiations in a court of law. We have a reputation for our effective defense tactics and for proving our courtroom excellence to our clients. You can get a free consultation on your case by calling or clicking right now.