Charged with the crime of Statutory Rape in the San Fernando Valley?
Statutory Rape is charged when an adult — someone over the age of 18 — has sexual intercourse with a minor — someone under 18. Unlike the crime of Rape, Statutory Rape is charged when the sexual intercourse is consensual, meaning that both the adult and minor willingly had sex and no force or fear was used to accomplish the acts.
Statutory rape is a “wobbler” offense, meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Statutory rape is a misdemeanor if the adult and minor are no more than 3 years apart. Statutory rape can be a felony if there is more than a 3 year age difference between the adult and minor.
Statutory rape is often charged after the parent of a minor discovers that their minor child is having sex with an adult, or after the minor becomes an adult he or she reports that they were having sex with an adult when they were still a minor.
Prosecutors may charge statutory rape in situations where it seems harsh to punish the defendant. For example, a 17 year old girl has sex with her 18 year old boyfriend, or a an adult and minor are dating with the consent of the minor’s parents.
A strong defense in some statutory rape cases is the defendant’s reasonable belief that the minor was actually at least 18 years old. The minor could appear to be at least 18, tell the defendant she is at least 18, have a proper identification card and otherwise present herself in every way as being 18 or over. If the defendant should not have reasonably known that the victim was a minor, it could be a full defense to the statutory rape charges.
If someone is being investigated for or charged with statutory rape, it is critical to hire a criminal defense lawyer that regularly handles statutory rape cases. At the Law Offices of Schwartz & Weinrieb, we regularly defend individuals charged with statutory rape and all other sex offenses. We will work to either get the charges outright dismissed or reduced to the lowest possible punishment.
Whether you are looking for a Burbank Criminal Lawyer, Glendale Criminal Attorney, San Fernando Criminal Lawyer, Van Nuys Criminal Attorney or an attorney in other parts of Los Angeles, Schwartz & Weinrieb is ready to aggressively defend against your criminal charges.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, contact a criminal defense attorney from Schwartz & Weinrieb today at (818) 888-2711.