Thursday, June 20, 2013

Statutory Rape Law California PC 261.5(c) San Bernardino County Criminal Defense

Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a Minor (Also known as "Statutory Rape") is a crime in California. The laws on statutory rape can be found at California Penal Code Section 261.5(c) PC, 261.5(b) PC, and 261.5(d) PC.

Statutory Rape may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony in California. If the prosecutor files misdemeanor statutory rape charges he faces up to a year in county jail. If the prosecutor files felony statutory rape charges he faces up to three years in prison.

In order for the defendant to be found guilty of the crime of statutory rape the prosecutor must prove that the defendant had sexual intercourse with a minor (Under the age of 18). It does not matter if the minor actually consented to the sexual intercourse because minors are considered legally incapable of giving consent to sexual intercourse.

If the defendant actually and reasonably believed that the minor was over the age of 17 then the defendant is entitled to an acquittal of the statutory rape charges. The burden of proving actual and reasonable belief as to age is on the defendant.

If there is no sexual penetration then the defendant is entitled to an acquittal of statutory rape charges. "Sexual Penetration" means actual penetration of the minor's vagina with the defendant's penis.

There is a bar to prosecution if the statute of limitations for statutory rape in California has run. The "statute of limitations" is the amount of time that has elapsed since the occurrence of the sexual intercourse with the minor. For misdemeanor statutory rape the statute of limitations is one year (1); for felony statutory rape charges the statute of limitations is up to ten years (10).

To learn more about statutory rape charges in California contact a criminal defense attorney today. Criminal Defense attorney represents defendants charged with sex crimes in the county of San Bernardino, including the cities of Redlands, Fontana, Victorville, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Yucaipa, Rialto, and more.

Call today for a free consultation: 909.913.3138

Monday, June 17, 2013

California Rape Laws: Penal Code 261 & 262 PC Criminal Defense Attorney San Bernardino County

The law on the crime of rape is found at California Penal Code Sections 261 PC and 262 PC. The crime of rape is a very serious crime and if found guilty of rape the defendant faces up to eight years in prison.

Rape is defined as sexual intercourse without consent. To prove the crime of rape the prosecution must prove that the defendant used some force, threats, fear, menace, or duress, to have sexual intercourse with a woman. The woman must not be the wife of the defendant or the crime of rape is not committed (the defendant can not legally rape his legal wife); however, if the defendant is married to a person and he uses force against the will of his wife to have sexual intercourse with her then the prosecution will likely charge a more specific crime such as rape of a spouse (Penal Code 262).

Sexual penetration is required to prove rape. If there is no proof of sexual penetration then the defendant can not be guilty of rape; however, even slight penetration can be the basis for rape charges where the other elements are present (Force, Non-Spouse, and Lack of Consent).

If a woman initially consents to sexual intercourse but later changes her mind and withdraws her consent during sexual intercourse the defendant must immediately cease sexual intercourse; however, in this situation the woman must communicate her withdrawal of consent in some reasonable way. Otherwise, the defendant can not reasonably know that the woman has withdrawn his consent and therefore, he should not be convicted of rape.

Consent is not found just because the defendant is dating the woman or because the defendant and the woman have had prior sexual intercourse. Consent is also not found where the woman is too drunk to make a coherent choice as to whether or not she consents to sexual intercourse.

California has enacted laws to protect victims of rape. These laws are known as "Rape Shield Laws." The Rape Shield Laws protect a woman from having her reputation as a sexually promiscuous person be allowed as evidence in court. The Rape Shield Laws also forbid evidence of how a woman was dressed on a particular occasion even if that evidence would be that the woman dressed in a very sexually promiscuous manner on a particular occasion; however, Rape Shield Laws do no forbid evidence of prior claims of rape by the woman where those claims were proven to be untrue.

Defenses to rape charges include: Consent to sexual intercourse, Reasonable belief by the defendant that the woman consented to sexual intercourse, Statute of Limitations, and others.

If the defendant is found guilty of the crime of rape he faces up to eight years in jail, mandatory sexual registration, fines, probation or parole terms, possible immigration consequences, professional license suspension or revocation, and more.

To learn more about California rape charges (Penal Code 261 PC & 262 PC) and possible defenses to California Rape charges, contact criminal defense attorney Christopher Dorado today. There is no charge for initial consultations and our office is available 24/7 for emergency service.

Our office represents defendants charged with rape (Penal Code 261 PC and Penal Code 262 PC) in the County of San Bernardino, including the cities of Redlands, Colton, Fontana, San Bernardino, Yucaipa, Rancho Cucamonga, Highland, Upland, Chino, Barstow, Victorville, Rialto, Ontario, Adelanto, Hesperia, Montclair, and Riverside. Call today. 909.913.3138. Also, for information on other areas of practice, please visit us at: California DUI Laws & Criminal Defense Attorney San Bernardino County