Rape is a serious crime in the state of California, and facing a criminal charge like this one can be a daunting experience. The possibility of being judged by friends, being alienated by neighbors, having your work life affected, and even facing incarceration if convicted is a disturbing prospect. However, just because you are accused of a crime does not negate your rights, and you have the right to retain a defense counselor in the courtroom. If you live in the greater Los Angeles area and have been charged with rape, contact a rape defense lawyer at Okabe and Haushalter to find out more about your legal options as a defendant.
The California Penal Code describes crimes and punishments for various state-level criminal offenses. Rape is defined under Section 261 as sexual intercourse that takes place without the consent of the alleged victim. This law may seem simple enough on the surface, but there is more to the legal definition of consent than mere agreement. Some factors that can influence the ability to consent under the law include disability, intoxication, and age.
People who have developmental or other disabilities that could impair judgment and reasoning may be unable to give legal consent to intercourse. Physical disabilities, mental disabilities and developmental disabilities that impair thinking could affect the ability of the person who has the disability to legally consent even if they verbally agree to intercourse.
Someone who is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs (even some medications)can not legally consent to sex due to the potential for impaired judgment. If two people are intoxicated by alcohol and verbally agree to intercourse, the consent of one or both of those people may not constitute legal consent, rendering the intercourse a criminal act.
Under California Penal Code Section 261.5, it is unlawful for any person over the age of 18 to engage in sex acts with someone who is a minor. Therefore, a 17-year-old cannot legally consent to sex with an 18-year-old. This offense is known as “statutory rape,” and the penalties for those convicted of this crime depend largely on the age difference between the minor party and the adult. For example, intercourse between an 18-year-old and a 17-year-old may not be penalized as severely as sex with a child under 10, which could result in 25 years to life in prison if a conviction is reached.
Call a rape defense lawyer in Hawthorne at Okabe and Haushalter if you live in L.A. county and are facing rape accusations. Our expert attorneys can stand by you in court and will use aggressive, results-driven defense strategies to get a desirable outcome for your case. We know that each case is unique, and we will customize a defense plan tailored to your specific case. We offer consultations at no charge to you, and we have successfully defended many clients against rape charges in the past. Let us put our courtroom excellence to the work for you and help you stand up against the criminal charges you are facing.