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Know and Protect Your Rights in a Criminal Defense Matter



Download Our Free Guide

Know and Protect Your Rights in a Criminal Defense Matter





Oakland Statutory Rape Lawyer

Unlawful sex with a minor is commonly referred to as statutory rape.  A violation of Penal Code section 261.5 occurs when an individual has a sexual relationship or sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18. A minor is not able to technically give consent because the age of consent in California is 18. The simple fact that a person is engaging in sexual activity with a minor who is incapable of legal consent is a violation of the law and amounts to statutory rape.

If you were accused of statutory rape, you could face serious fines and a state prison sentence. Contact an aggressive Oakland statutory rape lawyer to build a defense against these charges. An adept sex crimes attorney could be your advocate and help keep your record clean.

Romeo and Juliet Clauses

As an Oakland statutory rape lawyer could explain, Romeo and Juliet clauses make exceptions when those involved in sexual intercourse are both minors and consent to the conduct. In California, there are no Romeo and Juliet exceptions. The age of consent is 18, and sex with a minor under the age of 18 is considered a crime, even if both parties are consenting and underage.

Role of Intent

The role of lack of intent is rarely applicable with statutory rape because it is not a specific intent crime. The most applicable defense would be where the person reasonably believed that the minor was over the age of 18.

Role of Consent

The presence of consent is not applicable in statutory rape charges because a minor cannot consent. Having consent does not play a role in defending statutory rape because it strictly comes down to whether or not that person was under 18, whether that sexual act took place, and whether the person who committed the sexual act with the minor reasonably believed that the person was over the age of 18.

Third Party Accusations

Somebody who has had sexual intercourse with a minor can be penalized and punished for that act if it is a third-party allegation. For instance, a parent makes a report that their 16-year-old is having sex with a college student. If it is a true accusation, that is something that the college student could get prosecuted and convicted for.

How Oakland Prosecutors Handle Statutory Rape

Oakland prosecutors vigorously pursue cases of unlawful sex with a minor. The concern is whether a person is unduly influencing a minor and because a minor cannot consent, the onus is on the older party. These crimes are taken very seriously and can be prosecuted either as a misdemeanor or even as a felony. Whether it is prosecuted as a felony is going to depend on the age difference between the parties. If there is less than a three-year difference it will be a misdemeanor, if there is more than a three-year difference it can be a misdemeanor or a felony, and if the minor is under 16 and the adult is over 21 then it is punishable as a felony.

Penalties

Penalties following a statutory rape conviction will depend on whether it gets resolved as a misdemeanor or a felony. If the charge gets resolved as a misdemeanor, the possible consequences are a year in county jail, a $1,000 fine, possible probation, and a counseling or treatment program. There may also be restraining orders, fines, fees, or restitution. For instance, if the accuser ended up needing some sort of therapy, counseling, or medical treatment, then those items may be possibly reimbursed.

For felony statutory rape penalties, it is a 16-2-3 triad. That means there is a 16-month minimum, a two-year midterm, and three years maximum in state prison. If convicted of a felony, a state prison sentence is possible as well as a $10,000 fine. If the accused is over 21 and the accuser is under 16, then the triad is 2-3-4. This means two years state prison, three years midterm, or four years maximum with a $10,000 fine. An Oakland statutory rape lawyer could work diligently to mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.

Does Statutory Rape Require Registration as a Sex Offender?

Statutory rape does not require somebody to be on the sex offender registry. A statutory rape conviction, whether it is resolved as a misdemeanor or a felony, is one of the few sex crimes in California that does not result in sex offender registration.

Building a Defense

The primary defense that experienced statutory rape lawyers are going to put forward is that their client reasonably believed that the accuser was over the age of 18, or a relationship that existed, but that relationship was not sexual in nature. Those are the two main defenses that an Oakland statutory rape lawyer is going to be working on because it will not be persuasive that the minor “consented” to the sexual relationship. That is not a legal defense.

Contact an Oakland statutory rape lawyer to discuss the details of your situation. An accomplished criminal defense attorney could work with you to build an effective defense tailored to your specific circumstances.

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