Statutory Rape Defense

Oakland Statutory Rape Charges

East Bay Sex Crime Defense Lawyer

There are few crimes prosecuted as harshly as statutory rape—especially when a very young child is concerned. Under California Penal Code 261.5 PC, statutory rape is defined as sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of 18. Unlike other forms of rape, consent is not relevant in these instances. This means that, even if the minor initiated the sexual contact, you could face serious and lifelong consequences.

Sexually active teenagers are becoming more and more common and many of these teenagers routinely misrepresent themselves as being older than they truly are. They may lie about their age or hang out in older circles, bars, or clubs. As a result, innocent men and women may mistakenly engage in sexual activity with a minor and find themselves facing serious charges.

When you are accused of statutory rape, it is necessary to hire an experienced attorney. The Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed is accomplished in the field of criminal defense. We use our experience to build strong defenses and utilize a deep understanding of criminal law to produce results for clients.

Accused of statutory rape? Reach out to our Oakland criminal defense attorney.

California's Statutory Rape Law

To be convicted of statutory rape in the State of California, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The sexual intercourse occurred
  • The two people who had the intercourse were not married at the time
  • One of the people involved was under the age of 18 at the time of the incident

Unfortunately, an individual in a loving and consensual relationship can even be charged with statutory rape.

For Example:
John and Lisa have been high school sweethearts for years. After 2 years of dating, they have sexual intercourse when John is 19 and Lisa is 17. Her parents find out about the incident and press charges. John is promptly arrested and charged with statutory rape.

These instances can be frustrating and challenging and require the help of a lawyer who will be able to navigate the law and produce results.

Penalties for Statutory Rape

Statutory rape is a serious offense and is assessed as a “wobbler” crime. This means that the prosecutor can choose whether to charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony offense. If you are no more than 3 years older than the victim at the time of the incident, then statutory rape is always a misdemeanor. If you are more than 3 years older than the victim, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.

Misdemeanor statutory rape penalties include:

  • Informal probation
  • A maximum of 1 year in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines

Felony statutory rape penalties include:

  • Probation with up to 1 year in county jail
  • Up to 4 years in California State Prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Payment of civil penalties

Defenses Against Statutory Rape Charges

Even when the evidence is stacked against you, there are defenses your Oakland sex crime lawyer will utilize to have the charges against you reduced or even dismissed. If you reasonably believed that the victim was over the age of 18 or if the victim misrepresented himself or herself, then you cannot be convicted of statutory rape. Also, if sexual intercourse never took place, then you could not be convicted of statutory rape.

For example:
Jim met Donna at a club for over the age of 21 and they had sex later that night. Donna was only 16,but had a fake ID representing herself as 21. Jim could not be found guilty of statutory rape because Donna misrepresented herself as an adult.

We proudly help clients in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Concord, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (510) 907-6600 today to learn how we can use our experience to help you!

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