Facing criminal charges for rape or another sex crime has immediate professional and personal consequences. California law works to aggressively prosecute rape cases. If you are under investigation or have been charged with a sex crime, speaking to Riverside aggravated rape attorney Gregory H. Comings is a critical step toward ensuring your legal rights are protected. Attorney Comings diligently reviews the specific circumstances and evidence in your case. Relying on decades of experience, he analyzes applicable legal defenses. In some situations, Attorney Comings may be able to negotiate a plea bargain, enabling clients to face less serious charges. In other cases, Attorney Comings may be able to show the prosecution lacks the evidence to convict. Attorney Comings handles felony and misdemeanor sex crimes, violent offenses, and drug crimes, and takes the time to ensure that clients understand their legal rights and options.Aggravated Rape According to California Law
Rape is a felony crime in California and carries severe punishments. According to Penal Code 261, rape is nonconsensual sexual intercourse accomplished either by threat, force, or fraud, or with a victim incapable of consenting or unconscious. As a felony, the crime of rape is punishable by imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines. Additionally, a rape conviction requires lifetime registration as a sex offender.
Aggravated rape occurs when a sexual assault involves use of a weapon, more than one attacker, or force that results in great bodily injury. California law holds that a suspect with at least one previous conviction on their record may also face charges for aggravated rape. Aggravated rape can result in up to 25 years imprisonment under California’s one strike law. If the crime was committed against a minor, the accused can face a life sentence.
Aggravated rape crimes do not have a statute of limitations. This is a period of time within which a victim must file their legal claim. For example, if an alleged victim identifies their attacker thirty years following an incident, the suspect could be arrested and sentenced.Defending Accusations and Charges for Aggravated Rape
The State of California must set forth evidence that proves the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. For all crimes, A strong defense may rest on the absence of an element of the offense. For instance, an element of rape is that the accused and victim engaged in sexual intercourse. If the two individuals were making out, without penetration, a charge for rape cannot stand. The element of “sexual intercourse” has not been satisfied.
The defense of consent may apply in an aggravated rape case. As an element of the crime of rape, the prosecution must show lack of consent. Often consent is shown by acts that are “free and voluntary.”
For the defense of consent to apply, certain factors must be met. The victim must be of a certain age to consent, and have the requisite mental capacity. Minors are considered incapable of consent. There may be some cases involving withdrawn consent.
Additionally, consent requires the accused actually and reasonably believed that the other person consented to intercourse. California law makes clear that specific circumstances may support a showing of consent, or no consent. The accused may have held a reasonable belief that the alleged victim consented to sex. A skilled defense attorney will be capable of analyzing previous case law in light of the evidence to assess whether consent is an applicable defense.
Finally, in some cases, innocent people are accused of rape. When an individual is falsely accused, or the victim has mistaken identity, the defense may have a strong legal argument that the charges cannot stand.Speak to a Rape Defense Attorney Representing Clients Throughout Riverside and San Bernardino
Facing accusations or arrest for aggravated rape does not mean you will be convicted. Gregory H. Comings develops a strong case for your innocence focusing on the unique facts of your case. Together with his team, he will guide you through all steps of the criminal court process and keep you informed of your legal options. The Law Office of Gregory H. Comings assists people throughout Riverside, as well as areas of Palm Desert, San Bernardino, Montclair, Rancho Cucamonga, and Redlands. We can be reached by calling 951-686-3457 or completing our online form.