Secure a Las Vegas Sex Crime Lawyer for Your Defense
Statutory rape is the crime of having a sexual encounter with someone under the age of 18 (a minor). Even if the sex is consensual, this would still constitute statutory rape since the “victim” is said to be under the age at which point they can legally give their consent. Statutory rape can also be referred to as “unlawful sex with a minor” or “sexual conduct with a minor.” The penalties differ depending on both the age of the victim and the age of the defendant.
Statutory rape charges have the potential to significantly alter someone’s life. For example, if convicted of statutory rape, an individual could face time in prison and may even have to register as a sex offender for a period of time. The state of California takes these and all other sex offenses incredibly serious, so if you have been alleged of this offense, get in touch with a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer from our firm as soon as possible to request a free consult.
California Penal Code § 261.5 – Unlawful Sex with a Minor
While subsection A of California Penal code § 261.5 details the offense itself, there are many different provisions regarding age. They are listed below:
- Statutory Rape Where The Minor Is Not Three Years Older Or Younger Than The Perpetrator Is Considered A Misdemeanor. (§ 261.5B)
- Statutory Rape When It Involves A Minor Who Is Three Or More Years Younger Than The Perpetrator Can Be A Misdemeanor Or Felony. (§ 261.5C)
- Statutory Rape By Someone 21 Or Older With Someone 16 Or Under Can Be A Felony Or Misdemeanor, Punishable By Two, Three Or Four Years’ Imprisonment.
While these deal solely with criminal penalties, the district attorney also has the power to bring civil penalties against a defendant. The civil penalties would be required to compensation a victim for court fees and to go toward the Underage Pregnancy Prevention Fund.
Defenses Against Statutory Rape Allegations
One possible defense is that the defendant did not know that the victim was under the age of 18. When individuals conceal their age, there is little to no evidence to indicate otherwise. If you were unaware of the age of the plaintiff, then our firm is prepared to use this defense in your favor. Another possible defense is claiming that there was no sexual activity or relationship whatsoever. Far too often, statutory rape allegations arise out of fear and misunderstanding.
If this describes your case, please call us as soon as possible. In order for a statutory rape charge to stand, the prosecutor must be successful in proving that the defendant knew of the victim’s age and acted anyway. Statutory rape charges do not apply in cases where the victim and perpetrator are married. Please do not hesitate to call and speak with a Las Vegas sex crime lawyer from our firm today and discuss the next step when it comes to your allegations.