California law defines rape as sexual intercourse that is had without the consent of the other person. There may be several types of rape such as date rape, spousal rape or statutory rape. All of the above are serious crimes under California law and could result in significant consequences including lengthy prison time, fines and mandatory registration as a sex offender. If you or a loved one is facing rape or sexual assault charges, please contact a Santa Clarita sex crime defense attorney to obtain more information about your rights and options.
California Law Relating to Rape
According to California Penal Code 261, rape is "an act of sexual intercourse" accomplished without the consent of the other person under the following circumstances:
- Where the person is incapable to give consent because of a mental disorder or physical disability
- It is accomplished "against a person's will by force, violence, duress, menace or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another."
- Where a person is prevented from resisting by use of an intoxicant or anesthetic substance.
- The person was unconscious, asleep, without cognitive abilities or the victim of fraud.
- The act is accomplished by means of a threat to kidnap or inflict pain or bodily injury.
- The act is accomplished by someone in a position of authority with a threat to incarcerate or deport the victim.
The Issue of Consent
This is a significant issue in any rape case. The prosecution must prove that the sexual intercourse was had without the consent of the victim and against the will of the victim. The issue of consent is extremely complex. For example, just because the defendant dated the victim, it does not mean that there is implied consent. If the victim declined or said "no" at any point, it means that the act is being committed against the person's will. However, if the sexual act occurs with willing participation on the part of the individuals involved who are both adults, then, it is not rape.
What Are the Consequences of a Rape Charge?
A person can be found guilty of rape if there was sexual penetration against the will of the victim. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the crime. If convicted of rape, an individual faces up to eight years in state prison, hefty fines. The number of years in prison could go up even more if the crime was committed against a child or if weapons were involved. If convicted, the individual will also have to register as a violent sex offender. This means that any member of the public can look up the person's information along with home address and photograph on the Department of Justice's web site.
The Best Legal Representation for Your Case
If you or a loved one has been accused or rape, please contact experienced defense attorney, Daniel E. Kann to obtain more information about building your defense. Our attorneys will aggressively fight the charges against you and work diligently to get the charges dismissed or reduced. Call us today to find out how we can help.