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Los Angeles Rape Defense Attorneys

Criminal Defense Lawyers in Los Angeles Representing the Rights of People Accused of Rape and Other Serious Sex Crimes

A rape charge carries serious consequences with social stigmas that can affect you for many years to come. If you are convicted, you could face years in prison, and the existence of a sex crime conviction on your record may inhibit your job opportunities, personal relationships, and require registration as a sex offender. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, a California criminal defense attorney may be able to mitigate the penalties you are facing or even have the case against you dismissed. Contact the Law Offices of David S. Chesley for a free case evaluation with an experienced rape defense lawyer in Los Angeles to discuss your options and understand your rights.

Defining Rape

In California, rape is the act of sexual intercourse accomplished by actual force, fear of force, fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury, duress, false pretense, or threat. Rape can be committed against a person who is unconscious, sleeping, or with a mental disorder. Sexual intercourse requires penetration of the vagina or genitalia by the penis no matter how slight for the purpose of sexual gratification. Multiple rapes can be charged for the same sexual encounter if the defendant first rapes the victim, ceases for a period and then begins again. It is important to note that ejaculation is not required to meet the legal definition.

Consent

Consent to sexual intercourse is the free and voluntary act of the other party with knowledge of the nature of the act. During the course of events that follow an affirmative consent, the individual can change their consent and deny any further acts of sexual intercourse. The situation becomes unlawful when the following occurs:

  1. Defendant informed of objection to sexual intercourse and continued with the act,
  2. A reasonable person would have understood the lack of consent through the words or acts communicating the objection, and
  3. The act continued despite the objection

An example in which consent is not legally given can be demonstrated by the following scenario:

A woman with a mental illness is asked to play a game with the defendant. Without objection, penetration of her vagina occurs. Consent is not present because the individual did not understand the nature of the act of the defendant. The encounter is considered a crime if the defendant knew or should have known of the mental illness.

Resistance to the sexual intercourse is not required by the victim in order to establish a lack of consent. In some situations, the shock and fear of the encounter inhibit the ability to verbalize an objection. If no consent was communicated to the defendant, the act is considered unlawful. If the defendant actually and reasonably believed that the other party consented to sexual intercourse, the charge will not result in a conviction. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not actually and reasonably believe consent occurred. In many cases, this requirement gives a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer an opportunity to raise a viable defense.

Elements of Rape

California rape law applies to both men and women in either the perpetrator or victim roles. In order to prove rape, the prosecutor must demonstrate the following based on the facts and circumstances of the case:

  1. Sexual intercourse occurred between the defendant and the victim,
  2. The defendant and the victim were not married at the time of the encounter,
  3. The victim did not give consent to the encounter,
  4. Sexual intercourse was accomplished by:
    1. Force or Fear
    2. Violent act, duress, menace, fear of immediate or unlawful bodily injury to the victim or someone else
    3. Future threats of bodily harm
    4. Threat of future revenge against the victim or someone else that was reasonably possible to occur

A threatening situation could include kidnapping, false imprisonment, inflicting pain or bodily injury, death, or using one’s authority of public office to arrest, imprison or deport the victim or someone else. If a threat is carried out by a public official, it is only important that the victim reasonably believed that the authority to carry out the threat was possible, not that the individual was actually a public official or held the appropriate authority to do so.

Types of Rape in California

Statutory Rape is defined as the unlawful sexual intercourse between a person older than 18 years of age and a minor, regardless of consent. In California, a minor is considered older than 14 years of age but younger than 18. If the age difference between the two parties is more than 3 years, the crime will be charged as a felony. Penalties also increase for situations where the adult is over 21 years of age and the minor is under 16 years of age.

Spousal rape in California is treated the same way as a rape occurring between two unmarried individuals. A situation when spousal rape could occur is a husband engaging in sexual intercourse with his wife after she passes out from intoxication and cannot give consent. Another instance would be a forcible physical encounter by a husband towards his wife to engage in sexual intercourse.

Date rape is the nonconsensual sexual intercourse between two people who are dating or voluntarily spending time together. Although many encounters of this nature appear to be casual occurrences, the crime is prosecuted under the same standards as California rape law. A common thought of scenario involves “date rape drugs” in which a perpetrator slips a drug into a victim’s drink and engages in sexual intercourse when the victim is unable to consent.

Oral copulation by force or fear is the act of copulating the mouth of one person with the sexual organ or anus of another person. This act requires force or fear by the perpetrator towards the victim to engage in the sexual activity. Any act of this nature with a minor is illegal in California. The crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.

Defenses

The situations that give rise to a sexual encounter that the parties perceive as consensual or nonconsensual events can be complicated. If you are accused of rape, some of the defenses that may apply to your case are:

  • Consent of the other party
  • Mistaken identity
  • False accusations
  • False confessions
  • Actual intercourse did not occur
  • Mental state of insanity

A Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can help you consider the options and formulate a defense to your charges. Plea bargains may downgrade your consequences or have your case dismissed for lack of evidence.

Penalties

Under California law, rape is charged as a felony. Some of the penalties that you may face for a rape conviction are:

  • Three, Six or Eight years in State prison
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Summary or Formal Probation
  • Registration as a Sex Offender for Life

A rape conviction falls under California’s Three Strikes Rule, which adds a strike to your record and enhances penalties for any further felony convictions. If a third felony conviction occurs, the sentence can increase to 25 years to life in prison.

Contact a Los Angeles Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to Discuss Your Case

If you or a loved one is accused of a rape crime, it is critical that you understand your rights and any defenses that may be available in your situation. A Los Angeles experienced criminal defense attorney can discuss the facts and circumstances of your situation and work towards the most favorable outcome possible. Contact the Law Offices of David S. Chesley today at 800-755-5174 or fill out our contact form online to schedule a free case evaluation.

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Prostitution

According to the Penal Code 647(b), any person who solicits accepts to engage in or engages in any act of prostitution in return to receive money or anything of value from the other person commits the crime of disorderly conduct.

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Lewd Acts

Soliciting or engaging in lewd acts in public place or a place in public view is a crime in California and the deviants are dealt harshly with punishments including jail time and monetary fines.

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Rape

Rape is one of the worst crime, and a citation for rape means that you are in the row for severe punishments. California has one of the strictest stances against rape and severely punishes the victim.

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Child Molestation

Child molestation laws are one of the strictest criminal laws in California and carry prison sentences for convicts.

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Sex Offender

If you have been convicted of a sex crime in California, you are required to register yourself as a sex offender even after completing your sentence.

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Sexual Battery

California Penal laws distinguish between the simple battery and sexual battery and have more severe punishments for the persons charged with sexual battery.

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Recent Results

  • Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!

  • Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!

  • Client's estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.

  • Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client's glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!

  • Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!

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