If you’ve been charged with statutory rape in California, you’ll be facing some serious penalties. Regardless of whether your charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you’ll be facing fines and possible jail time. If you’re convicted of statutory rape, you’ll also be required to register as a sex offender in California. This can affect your life even worse than the time you spend in jail. It’s really important that you have an experienced sexual defense lawyer in San Diego by your side.
Most people who get charged with statutory rape are shocked. They don’t realize that this is still a law. They figure, since they had consensual sex, they’re fine. They forget that having sex with someone under 18 is a crime in California.
The age of consent in California is 18. This means that a person (female or male) can’t give consent to sex if they’re under 18. Even if they’re in a committed relationship with someone, they’re legally not allowed to have sex with them.
If you’ve been charged with statutory rape, you need to call a criminal defense lawyer in San Diego. They can work hard to prepare your defense. They’ll fight to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed entirely.
What are the Penalties for Statutory Rape?
The penalties of statutory rape are pretty stiff. Even though it seems like a victimless crime, statutory rape carries fines and even jail time. The severity of the penalty depends on whether you’re charged with a felony or a misdemeanor.
It’s a felony to have sex with someone more than 3 years younger than you – especially if you’re 21 and they’re younger than 16. If this is the case, you’ll definitely be charged with a felony. The penalties for this crime as follows:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Anywhere from 2-4 years in prison
If the court finds that the victim was over 16, you may be given a slightly shorter sentence. For example, if the victim was 16 and you were 20, you may get anywhere from 16 months to 3 years in prison.
It’s considered a misdemeanor to have sex with someone under 18 if you’re not more than 3 years older than them. So, let’s say you’re 18 and you have sex with someone who’s 17 or 18. This would be deemed a misdemeanor. The penalty for misdemeanor statutory rape is as follows:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Up to 1 year in jail
Your San Diego criminal lawyer will try to get you the lowest possible sentence. They’ll work hard to get probation if you’re convicted.
What are the Defenses to Statutory Rape?
There are three main defenses to statutory rape in San Diego. Your criminal defense attorney will prepare your defense based on the facts in your case. If any of these defenses apply, your lawyer may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
- Age: If both parties were 18 or older at the time they engaged in sexual relations, there is no crime. Keep in mind, the court will look at the ages of the parties at the time the sex took place – not when you go to court.
- Reasonable Mistake of Age: If you truly had reason to believe the victim was 18, you may have a possible defense. For example, if you’re 21 and meet someone out at a bar, you may believe they must be at least 21. Otherwise, how did they get in the bar? If you looked at her ID and it said they were 21, this would be a strong defense to statutory rape.
- False Accusation: Often, these cases arise out of false accusations. Someone may be angry with you or upset that you broke up with them. They claim you had sex and have you charged with statutory rape. If you can prove no sex took place, the charges will be dropped. Keep in mind, however, it’s very hard to prove something didn’t
- Marriage: If you and the victim were married at the time the sex took place, it isn’t considered statutory rape.
Your criminal lawyer in San Diego will meet with you to see if any of these defenses are applicable in your case.
Contact a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer in San Diego
If you’ve been charged with statutory rape or any other sex crime, you need to call a criminal defense lawyer in San Diego. They’ll meet with you to review your case. They’ll look to see what kind of evidence the State has against you.
Your lawyer will also look to see if any of the defenses are available to you. If this is the case, they’ll meet with the prosecutor and try to get your charged reduced or dismissed.
Call today and schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney at 1-800 Hurt-Now San Diego today.