Rape Defense Lawyers in San Diego, CA
A rape charge works two-fold throughout the United States. First the victim can pursue criminal charges against the accused, and second, they can seek civil claims against not only the accused but also a third party who may or may not hold partial liability. A rape defense lawyer should understand all aspects of the case including how many entities are charged with either rape or negligence resulting in rape.
The short definition of rape is that the defendant involved forced a person (now recognized by the state as the victim) to engage in some form of sexual activity. These acts can include any form of penetration which occurred without the express consent of the other party. These charges are also commonly referred to as:
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Criminal sexual penetration
- Criminal sexual conduct
But, these can claim can also pair with several other charges. For instance, a rape defense attorney may inform you of all the claims you are facing. Rape itself is a felony charge that is especially damaging to your reputation. However, when rape is paired with assault & battery or breaking & entering you are now up against multiple felonies that have extreme consequences.
Finding a Rape Defense Lawyer
If you are facing rape charges, the first step is to retain a rape defense lawyer. This will give you the best edge possible in defending yourself against the claims put against you. A rape defense attorney should advise you on how to proceed, what evidence gathering is necessary and what not to do based on the details of this case.
Rape defense lawyers understand that each of these cases is unique. However, that can make it difficult for them to provide any advisement without meeting in person and having an in-depth conversation about the details of your side.
Most people who are defendants in rape charge seek out a rape defense lawyer to have their side heard. A criminal trial is difficult for both the defendant and the alleged victim. However civil cases often go over much more smoothly. Finding a rape defense lawyer should be easy. Contact a few and feel free to conduct a sort of interview. You are putting a lot of faith into a person’s ability to defend you in court against serious charges.
Criminal Courts – Rape Charges
In the criminal justice system, the courts pursue charges with the resolution for conviction meeting the requirement of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” It is difficult to prove anything “beyond a reasonable doubt” and have a full jury agree. Rape charges are notoriously difficult for prosecutors, however in recent years that has changed drastically.
Where decades ago if there was not a plethora of physical evidence there was essentially no case, prosecutors are still seeking cases where there is little or no physical evidence. Additionally, years ago victims were often shamed by others around them or felt guilty themselves and failed to pursue criminal charges. Again, this has changed in recent years as well. More often alleged victims are speaking up and making their claims public.
For those accused of rape, this means a new fear or anxiety for anyone engaging in sexual activity. Not to mention the concern that false allegations make it difficult to identify how many alleged victims are making factual claims and how many accused are being judged appropriately. False allegations are being found more often in criminal courts. But that doesn’t make the process any easier. In fact, it makes the defense even more difficult. While the prosecution has a list of allegations, all you have is “That isn’t what happened,” and it becomes a battle of one person’s word against another.
Criminal courts rape charges are often what lead to jail time, registration on the national sex offender’s registry, and in some cases restitution fees.
Civil Courts – Rape Charges
The alleged victims are now more than ever seeking action through civil courts. Where criminal trials require a claim to be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt” civil courts work a little differently. Civil court rulings are encouraged to make determinations on a lesser scale. Using the basis of “more likely than not” and this is because there aren’t criminal consequences on the line.
Civil court cases of rape are leading to many rape defense lawyers to improve their knowledge of negligence and assault matters. For many people finding themselves in civil courts for a rape-related charge, they aren’t the person accused of rape.
Rather a rape defense attorney is more likely to find themselves defending an employer, or property management company than the accused. Instead of pursuing monetary compensation from the defendant directly, they seek out anyone that appears to possibly hold partial liability.
Cases are popping up nationwide where the alleged victim makes claims against the person they believe raped them and files civil claims against the property holder of where the alleged rape took place. The grounds for this is negligence.
If you or your company are dealing with charges related to rape through civil courts where the alleged victim is seeking monetary compensation, seek the help of a rape defense attorney immediately. Although it may seem counterintuitive, that you aren’t the one on trial for rape, these lawyers understand the full gravity of the charges at hand. This is not a standard personal injury case for a slip-and-fall claim. Companies, as well as people, can experience extreme damage to their reputations when they are found to be negligent and that it resulted in a rape.
Property management companies are at extreme risk. Will you have future tenants after the public is made aware that due to a lack of security one of the former tenants was possibly raped in their own apartment? Employers are also at risk. A case pressed against them for an alleged rape on company property can damage its relationship with clients and potential employees.
Protect yourself and your assets by seeking the help of a rape defense lawyer. They can help you navigate the legalities of rape charges.
There is Already a Criminal Trial. Why Am I Facing Civil Claims Now?
If you are facing rape charges, odds are the alleged victim has pressed charges against you in the criminal justice system. This means that the prosecutor involved doesn’t directly represent the alleged victim, but instead the state. Making it difficult for the alleged victim’s side to be heard, as well as your own. The interests of the state are to prove the defendant either guilty or innocent.
Because this extreme judgment to determine guilt is at hand, the criminal justice system requires that juries make their decision “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This reduces the likelihood of someone being wrongly found as guilty. The best bet to a defense in any trial involving rape charges is to hire a rape defense lawyer. They can explain what you are up against in a criminal trial.
However, you aren’t limited to only charges being placed against you in a criminal court. The alleged victim can also pursue charges in civil court. Although the civil justice system is not lesser to the criminal justice system, there are different requirements in each lawsuit.
In the civil court system, there is no attempt to identify the defendant as guilty or innocent. Instead, civil cases are determined on whether the defendant was likely to commit all the aspects of the wrong. Which means that even if you are found not guilty in a criminal trial, a civil claim may leave you with a hefty fine to pay for the personal injury or damages.
It comes down to the alleged victims need for control. In a civil lawsuit, the victim acts as a party who is entitled to any information relating to the case and makes decisions such as whether to accept a settlement or not. Just because they’re controlling so much of the case though doesn’t mean that you are completely powerless. Hiring a rape defense lawyer can help keep a civil trial relating to rape charges on track. Most often the alleged victim is seeking monetary compensation through a civil trial because the likelihood of being awarded a high amount of restitution through a criminal lawsuit is very low.
You could face civil claims in a separate court because the alleged victim is attempting to receive compensation for:
- Mental health expenses
- Treatment for trauma or stress
- Lost wages
- Reputational damage
- Medical expenses including therapy
- Pain and suffering
These forms of compensation build up quickly and can be expensive. Don’t fight these charges on your own. Seek the help of rape defense lawyers to have your best chance against paying compensation in two courts.
In some cases, the alleged victim is seeking charges against the defendant in civil court because they did not receive a favorable outcome in the criminal court system.
What to do if You’re Faced with a Rape Charge
Whether it is date rape, statutory rape or the term rape is used as an umbrella in your case the fines, fees, and potential punishment of jail time are major consequences. These consequences, of course, are best avoided if possible.
Step One: Seek a Rape Defense Lawyer
Depending on circumstances such as the alleged victim’s age there is the potential of serving more than ten years in prison depending on your state. Not to mention the additional charges for bodily injury and assault.
Hire an experienced rape defense attorney who understands the extreme nature of the crime. A rape defense attorney is likely to more easily navigate the rape case at hand. These accusations most often rely on one person’s word against another. Rape defense attorneys can investigate the alleged victim to identify any ulterior motives they may have or how they could benefit from these claims.
This is especially important in civil cases where someone is more likely to target your assets and it is easier for them to sway a jury in their favor.
Step Two: Keep Quiet
This step goes for both, the police and the press. You can cooperate with the police and aid in their investigation by answering questions minimally or by staying quiet. Exercising your right to remain silent does not mean you are uncooperative or guilty. However, police throughout the investigative process will likely ask the same questions multiple times or in various ways to provoke a response. Maintain patience and request to speak with your rape defense attorney before speaking openly. The goal is to avoid stating anything that could twist into sounding incriminating. Police will review the various ways your responses can be interpreted.
The police aren’t the only ones who will review your responses to different interpretations. The press is likely not far behind waiting to get any response they can. If you misspeak with the press they are likely to use it to rally support for the alleged victim. Anything you say is liable for someone to take it out of context.
Step Three: Bail
If you are facing a criminal case, prepare for bail. At the end of your arraignment, the judge will determine a bail amount. This is almost certainly because rape is a violent crime and a felony. Prior to posting bail always contact a rape defense lawyer. They can advise you on how to save money for bail and how to save money on bail.
Most often bail is set at about $100,000 depending on the details of the case. This number can drastically vary though and typically with bonds you’re paying a substantial portion of the bail. Even 10% of a $100,000 is difficult to manage. Most people don’t have $10,000 in the bank in case they have to pay a bail bond.
Often rape defense lawyers advise their clients to wait until formal charges are filed as there is a very small window for the prosecution to file. If they miss this window of opportunity, then you will be released without having to post bail. Saving you thousands of dollars. Keep in mind that bail bonds are non-refundable. Although a discount can save you thousands of dollars, sometimes following the advice of a rape defense lawyer and waiting a few days can save you thousands more.
If you’re only facing civil claims for rape charges, you can bypass this step.
Step Four: Gather Evidence
The alleged victim isn’t the only one who has evidence to support their side of this case. Whether you are in a criminal or civil case, the evidence is necessary to support your case and defend yourself. A rape defense lawyer can advise you on what information you have that you might not have considered as evidence.
Any of the following can serve as evidence in your case:
- Time cards
- Cell phone records for calls and text messages
- Pictures or videos that have a time and date record
All of these can help to establish that you were not at the scene, had a different perspective on the situation or that your accuser is not credible. Any of these would serve as valuable pieces of evidence.
Step Five: Contact Witnesses
The most common defense against a rape charge is that you weren’t even present because you were somewhere else with friends. This is also an easy way to resolve the matter. If you were not present at where the alleged victim claims the crime occurred, contact a witness. A rape defense lawyer can assist you in preparing any witnesses for the trial.
Step Six: Go Through the Court Proceedings
This is definitely the most difficult part to go through. The trial itself is often draining, but a rape defense lawyer is one of the most valuable resources to assist you and any witnesses throughout the trial process. They can also help prepare you for the possible outcomes.
If you’re dealing with a civil lawsuit a rape defense attorney can prepare you for possible settlement negotiations and expenses. There are often many facets of resolution, which is why it’s important to have an attorney to help you through to the end.
Contact a Rape Defense Lawyer
If you are facing rape charges, or rape-related charges in a civil courts lawsuit it is important to contact a rape defense lawyer. They can act as a valuable resource offering advice and guidance through a difficult and stressful period of your life.
If you are a company or third party with charges pressed against you for rape-related charges a rape defense attorney can provide the insight that many personal injury case attorneys can’t if they are unfamiliar with this section of the law.
Use any resources available and put up your best defense. Contact a rape defense attorney today, so your case is handled with care and consideration for your side of these events.