Rape is a serious crime in the state of California, and facing an accusation like this one can come as a terrifying experience. The possibility of losing friends, being alienated by neighbors, having your job stability be affected, and facing incarceration is and daunting prospect. However, just because you are charged with a crime does not negate your rights, and you have the right to a legal defense in the courtroom. If you live in the L.A. area and have been accused of rape, talk to a rape defense lawyer at Okabe and Haushalter to find out more about your legal options
The California Penal Code describes crimes and penalties for various illegal acts. Rape is defined under Section 261 as sexual intercourse accomplished without the consent of all involved parties. This law may appear simple on the surface, but there is more to the legal definition of consent than a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Some factors that can influence a person’s ability to provide consent—even without force or threat being present—are age, disability, and intoxication.
According to California Penal Code Section 261.5, it is illegal for any person over the age of 18 to engage in sex acts with someone under the age of 18. Therefore, a 16-year-old cannot legally consent to intercourse with an 18-year-old, even if both people agree to the act of intercourse verbally, in writing, or otherwise. The penalties for this criminal offense (called statutory rape) vary depending on the number of years between the involved parties. For example, intercourse between an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old may not be punished as harshly as intercourse with a child under 10, which could result in 25 years to life imprisonment if a conviction is reached.
People with certain health or developmental conditions may be unable to give legal consent to intercourse, rendering any sex acts with these individuals to be a crime under the law. Physical disabilities, psychological disabilities and developmental disabilities that are thought to impact judgment may impact the ability of the person with the disability to give legal consent.
Someone who is under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances may not be able to legally consent to intercourse. So if two individuals are drinking alcohol at a party and sneak away to engage in intercourse, the consent given by one or both persons could be considered void under the law due to intoxication affecting judgment and thinking.
Call a rape defense lawyer in Venice at Okabe and Haushalter if you are facing sex crime allegations in the L.A. area. Our knowledgeable attorneys can stand by you in court and will use proven defense tactics to get a satisfying outcome for your case. We understand that each case is different, and we will craft a tailor-made defense plan accordingly. We offer consultations at no cost and have successfully defended many clients against similar charges in the past. Let us put our courtroom excellence to the test and assist you with fighting your charges.