Being accused of committing a rape crime in San Diego is very serious, and even talk of or arrest for rape can lead to devastating consequences impacting both your professional and personal life. Seeking legal help from a skilled and experienced rape lawyer in San Diego can help ensure that your rights are upheld, and your future is protected aggressively.
When facing rape charges, most people will automatically take the side of the alleged victim before hearing your side of the story. That’s why it’s crucial that you have an experienced attorney in your corner to protect your rights and help you avoid a rape sentence and the sex offender registration that comes with it.
If you’ve been accused of rape or any other sex crime in San Diego, don’t leave your freedom and future up to chance. Reach out to our skilled rape lawyers at Superior Law Center today to schedule a free initial consultation to find out the best way of defending yourself against rape charges and other sex crimes.
San Diego Rape Defense Lawyer
Whereas successfully defending yourself against any type of criminal charge can be challenging, rape and other sexual offenses are particularly more challenging, given the strong social views pertaining to such charges and the fact that emotions usually run high in rape cases.
Even when there is little or no physical evidence of you committing the crime, the jury can take a single look at the supposed rape victim and automatically come to the resolve that you’re guilty of the crime.
To get a fair trial and minimize the risk of being convicted, you’ll need the expertise of a rape defense lawyer who has experience defending alleged rape offenders.
At Superior Law Center, our years of experience as San Diego trial attorneys means we are better placed at providing you the expert defense you’re entitled to. No matter the circumstances surrounding your rape case, you can depend on our team of criminal defense lawyers to protect your rights and defend your innocence throughout the entire process.
What is Rape?
When many people hear the word rape, they picture an assault committed through violent physical assault. However, in reality, rape refers to any nonconsensual sexual engagement, including those undertaken without physical contact, using such methods as guile or drugs. Any form of sexual activity forced on an individual against their will through the use of violence, duress, fear of injury, menace, or any other form of danger is considered to be rape under California law.
People of all ages and sexual identities can fall victim to rape or sexual assault. In fact, according to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), most of these crimes occur close to or at the victims. Rape and sexual crimes know no bounds for age, sex, or sexual identity.
- An American gets assaulted every 68 seconds
- Approximately 15% of sexual victims are below the age of 18
- 10% of all rape victims are male
- Out of every six American women, one has fallen victim to an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.
It is vital to note that when a person withdraws consent during the act of sexual intercourse, and the withdrawal is communicated to the other person, failing to end the act of intercourse also qualifies as a rape crime.
California Rape Penal Code Section 261 PC
California Penal Code Section 261 PC is a law that is a law that prohibits nonconsensual sexual intercourse through the use of force, fraud, or threat. At its core, this type of rape entails vaginal or anal penetration, which involves the use of force by instrumentation on someone, whether conscious or unconscious or any victim that doesn’t have the capacity to consent.
With regards to Penal Code Section 261 PC, a lack of consent can constitute any of the following scenarios:
- The victim wasn’t capable of giving consent due to mental or physical disability
- The victim wasn’t aware of the sexual activity because they were either unconscious or asleep
- The victim didn’t consent to the intercourse and only submitted in response to force or threat
- Consent was obtained by fraud
- The victim was intoxicated and therefore was unable to give consent.
There are a couple of other San Diego sexual offenses that are closely related to rape. They include oral copulation by force, statutory rape, spousal rape, sexual assault, forcible penetration using a foreign object, and child molestation.
Penalties for a Rape Conviction in San Diego
Rape is never treated as a misdemeanor crime in California. As such, the penalties are usually severe. Here is an outline of the penalties for a San Diego rape conviction:
- Fines as high as $5000
- A 3, 6, or 8-year sentence in a California State prison
- Formal probation (instead of informal probation)
- Registration as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
Moreover, there are enhancements that can prolong your sentence. They include:
- A rape that resulted in a serious bodily injury on the victim carries a fine as high as $10,000, an enhanced sentence of 3-5 years in a California state prison, and one strike Under California’s Three Strike Law.
- Rape of a minor results in an enhanced sentence of between 7 and 13 years in a California State Prison.
San Diego Sex Offender Registration Requirements
California Penal Code Section 290 mandates that any individual convicted of a rape crime be registered as a sex offender for the rest of their life. Registered offenders are required to update their information every year through the Department of Justice. They should also update their information within five days of moving from one place to another.
The sex offender’s details, including their address, information about their sex offense and conviction, general description, and photographs, are displayed on a public website for everyone to see.
While fines and a prison sentence are no doubt severe penalties, registering as a sex offender for the rest of your life can prevent you from renting a home, attending college on a government loan, getting a job, owning a firearm, or obtaining a professional license. Plus theirs is the added stigma that comes with being registered as a sexual offender.
The ‘Three Strikes’ Sentencing Law
California has a ‘Three Strikes’ law that imposes harsh prison sentences on repeat offenders or any person convicted of several felony offenses. According to this law, if someone has a violent or serious felony on their record (referred to as a strike prior) and they get convicted for another felony, they could face a prison sentence that is more severe than what is otherwise mandated by the law.
For instance, suppose you have two strike priors on your record, and you’re sentenced on another violent felony, such as rape, you could get sentencing of 25 years to life.
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How Does Rape Charges Impact Immigration
If it happens that you are staying in the U.S illegally, under Penal Code Section 261 PC, besides facing the same criminal charges as a citizen, you may also be subject to deportation or removal. Additionally, you may never be allowed to re-enter the U.S.