California Rape Laws – Rape Lawyers In Los Angeles Explain Penal Codes
Under Los Angeles, California Penal Code 261, rape is defined as any “non consensual sexual intercourse accompanied by means of threat, force, or fraud.” Consent is defined as cooperation in action or attitude out of one’s own free will (i.e., they freely agree to it).
Sexual intercourse is defined in California as any penetrative act – however slight – that is sexual in nature. Even sexual penetration with foreign objects can satisfy this requirement.
Rape by Means of Threat under PC 261
Under California rape laws, threats are generally statements that promise some sort of retaliation if the victim does not comply with the order. A threat could be used in a rape case if, for example, you tell the victim that you will steal her money if she refuses to have sex with you.
Rape By Force under California PC 261
Force is defined as power, violence, or pressure directed against a person or thing. If the victim tells you that she does not wish to engage in intercourse and you restrain her physically in order to engage in the sexual act, then such a situation would constitute force under PC 261.
Rape By Fraud in California under PC 261
Under California rape laws, Fraud is a knowing false representation of the truth or concealment of an important fact in order to cause another to act to his or her own disadvantage. Fraud can be used to cause someone to have sex with you through actions such as using a position of power over the accuser and stating that the sexual act is necessary for professional reasons.Under California Penal Code 261, rape is vigorously prosecuted in the state of California. In California, the crime of rape is covered by multiple statutes to address different types of activity that constitute non consensual sexual intercourse. In order to convict you of rape under California Penal Code 261, the prosecutor must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That you had sexual intercourse with the victim;
- At the time of the sexual act, you and your accuser were not married;
- Your accuser did not consent to the sexual intercourse; and
- The act was accomplished by you using threats, force, or fraud to induce your accuser into engaging in sexual intercourse.
Although the burden of proof on the prosecution in a rape case seems heavy, you can still be convicted of rape based solely on the testimony of the alleged victim. What this means is that if it is the alleged victim’s word against yours and the jury believes the testimony of the alleged victim beyond a reasonable doubt, then you can be found guilty of rape. There does not have to be any medical evidence to be convicted. There also does not have to be any other witness testimony to support the alleged victim’s claim of rape. The law states that “the testimony of one witness, if believed, is sufficient to establish any fact.” This is why you need to immediately retain the experienced rape defense lawyers at Law Advocate Group, LLP if you find yourself facing rape charges.
Defenses to a Rape Charge in California under PC 261
Rape charges can be difficult to defend. Fortunately, there are many defense strategies an experienced Southern California rape defense attorney can utilize to help you win your case, and use California Rape Laws to your benefit. For instance, in cases where the accuser claims that he or she was drunk and could not consent due to their intoxication, we have been successful in the defense of our clients facing rape charges by raising the following defense:
- The accuser was intoxicated at the time of the alleged sex act and cannot accurately recall events that led up to the intercourse.
- No intercourse occurred between our client and the alleged victim.
- The alleged victim consented to the act of intercourse.
- Another person (other than our client) engaged in an act of intercourse with the alleged victim.
The jury must find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a rape case. We are experienced trial lawyers. If we cannot have the case dismissed prior to trial, then we have successfully raised all of the above defenses in prior rape cases that have led to our clients being found not guilty at trial.
Sentencing and Punishment for Rape under PC 261
Rape is a violent crime, and a conviction for rape is devastating. If you are found guilty or plead guilty to a rape charge, you must attend a formal sentencing hearing. At the sentencing hearing, the court will decide whether to sentence you to 3, 6, or 8 years in state prison. In addition, you will be required to register as a sex offender per California Penal Code 290. This is a lifelong registration requirement. If the victim was a minor, then you will be facing a sentence between 7 and 13 years in state prison. If you are charged with raping your spouse or someone who lives with you, then you can also be charged with Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Cohabitant under California Penal Code 273.5 and can face an additional prison sentence of up to 4 additional years in state prison or one year in county jail, depending on whether or not it is charged as a felony or misdemeanor, as well as a fine of as much as $6,000.
If you are currently being charged with rape or facing sentencing for a rape conviction, you should contact the criminal defense attorneys at Law Advocate Group, LLP immediately.
Have Questions About California Rape Laws? Ask Our Defense Attorneys.
Rape in California is a serious crime. Many sexual activities have no witnesses, and therefore sexual assaults are regularly prosecuted, even if the evidence appears weak. Our goals are the same as those of our clients, to assist the accused individual to avoid jail, prison, charges, punishments or penalties. In any event it is our mission to reduce sentences of those found guilty and expunge any offenses after a conviction on record.
Law Advocate Group have Lawyers that are Experienced in California Rape Laws
Law Advocate Group specializes in California Rape Laws is based in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles where our lawyers have acquired over 80 years of combined experience in legal representation. Our skills and knowledge are a top resource for our clients that has been recognized by industry peers and judges. If you have a criminal matter specifically involving rape, please take a moment to fill out the form below so that we may get in contact with you.