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Charges Involving Sexual Assault or Rape

Charges of sexual assault or rape can bring immediate stigma and public shame. Due to the sensitive nature of the allegations, it is important to find an attorney who can help. If anyone is convicted in the state of California on charges of sexual assault or rape, it is considered an egregious sex crime, and he or she must register as a sex offender. Because charges involving these types of sex crimes can often stem from fraudulent accusations, finding a competent lawyer to represent you is important. If you have been charged with sexual assault or rape, you should contact a San Francisco criminal defense attorney immediately.

Legal Ramifications of Rape Charges

When the prosecution levies sexual assault and rape charges upon a defendant, their case must involve physical evidence such as blood or semen, skin or hair samples, or anything that carries traces of DNA. Sentencing for these types of crimes is as varied as the charges themselves, ranging from probation to a state prison sentence. Even if the more serious charges of sexual assault are dropped, the prosecution may also bring allegations of lewd conduct or indecent exposure to bear. The conviction may also result in mandatory sex offender registration.

Different Forms of Rape

There are many types of rape, all of which are illegal:

  • Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with an underage individual. This is not necessarily nonconsensual but because of the age of the alleged victim, it is still considered rape.
  • Spousal rape is another form of rape that is difficult to understand. This is the forcible rape of a spouse by another spouse, usually involving a husband raping a wife.
  • Date rape is a type of rape that is perpetrated by an alleged victim’s acquaintance.

Defenses to Rape Allegations

There are various defenses that could be used if a person has been charged with rape in California. Some of the most common defenses include:

  • Consent: A defendant would not be guilty of rape if the alleged victim consented to the sexual activity. Additionally, a defendant would not be guilty if they actually or reasonably believed that the other person gave consent to sexual intercourse.
  • No sexual intercourse: In order for rape to have occurred, two parties must have engaged in sexual intercourse. This is a precise legal definition under California law. It is possible to have committed certain sexual acts that did not include sexual intercourse, and meaning rape charges would not be appropriate.
  • False allegations: False allegations happen all the time in San Francisco sex crimes cases. This includes false allegations of rape. Some of the most common reasons that one person falsely accuses another person of rape include jealousy, anger, and revenge.

At Okabe & Haushalter, our San Francisco rape defense attorneys will investigate every aspect of your case and formulate the best possible defense on your behalf. We have the resources and legal expertise necessary to help you get through this serious allegation. We refuse to back down to aggressive prosecutors.

Penalties for a Rape Charge Conviction

Rape is considered a serious felony offense in California. Penalties for rape are outlined under California Penal Code 261 PC. This crime is punishable by:

  • Custody in state prison for up to 8 years 
  • Possible felony probation 

A defendant can face an additional three to five years in prison if the victim in the case suffered from a great bodily injury during the commission of the offense. Prison time can also be increased if:

  • The alleged victim was under the age of 18 (up to 11 years in prison)
  • The alleged victim was under the age of 14 (up to 13 years in prison)

Additionally, most convictions of rape will require a person to register as a sex offender for the remainder of their life. When a person is required to register as a sex offender, most of their personal information will be made public online. The registered offender will have to register their primary address with their local law enforcement agency. Anytime a registered sex offender moves, they will have to report their new information to the local police department within five days. Registered sex offenders often face trouble when finding adequate housing, getting a job, or going to school.

Call Okabe & Haushalter for a Free Consultation

Legal representation who understands your case and its particularities are essential when faced with charges of sexual assault or rape. At our firm, we can examine all aspects of the prosecution’s case, including forensic details, to find any false data or mishandling of evidence. At Okabe & Haushalter, you will be represented by skilled San Francisco rape defense attorneys. We have the knowledge and the legal experience required of the most demanding and challenging legal situations. Our lawyers have been involved in extremely high profile cases, such as those of O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson. We have the ability to obtain a successful resolution in your case.

Contact a San Francisco sexual assault attorney if you have been arrested.