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San Diego Statutory Rape Lawyer

Statutory Rape in San Diego

Statutory rape consists of an act of sexual intercourse with a person under the legal age of 18, who is not the spouse of the perpetrator. In San Diego a minor cannot legally consent to have sexual intercourse. This means that statutory rape is a crime regardless of whether or not the sexual act was consensual. For the purpose of statutory rape, the determining factor is the minor's actual age. If the minor is no more than three years older or three years younger than the perpetrator, then the perpetrator is guilty of a misdemeanor. Thus, two minors who engage in sexual intercourse with each other can both be punished under the statute. 

 

Understanding Penal Code Section 261.5

In consideration of the seriousness of sexual battery, California has criminalized it under Penal Code section 261.5. Under this law, “Unlawful sexual intercourse is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person who is not the spouse of the perpetrator, if the person is a minor."

Sexual Intercourse:

Any penetration, regardless of how slight.

Minor:

Any person under the age of 18.

Adult:

Any person who is at least 18 years of age. 

Basically, to convict someone of PC 261.5, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant willfully engaged in sexual intercourse with a minor;
  2. It is important to note that a defendant who believed the victim to be 18 may still be convicted if the belief is unreasonable. 
  3. The defendant was not married to the minor at the time;
  4. It is irrelevant that the victim was previously married to someone else.

 

Statutory Rape is Filed As a Misdemeanor or a Felony

An act of sexual intercourse with a person under the legal age of 18, who is not the spouse of the perpetrator is a wobbler. A wobbler is a charge that the prosecutor has discretion to file as either a misdemeanor or a felony. In statutory rape cases, the issuing attorney at the District Attorney’s Office determines the severity of the charges based on the following factors: 

  • The defendant's age.
  • The victim's age.

Misdemeanor Statutory Rape Penalties

If you engage in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is not more than three years older or three years younger than you, you could be facing:

  • A maximum sentence of 1 year in county jail;
  • A fine of up to $1,000;
  • Informal probation.

Felony Statutory Rape Penalties

If you engage in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is more than three years younger than you, you could be facing either a misdemeanor or a felony: 

  • A maximum sentence of 3 years in California state prison;
  • A maximum fine of up to $10,000;
  • Formal probation.

 

Not Guilty

These are some of the criminal defenses that we can assert on your behalf to help you overcome the charges statutory rape filed against you: 

  • False Accusation; no sexual intercourse took place.
  • The minor alleged he or she was over 18 years old.
  • You and the minor were legally married at the time the sexual intercourse took place.


Best Defense

Statutory rape charges can follow you the rest of your life. If you or a loved on is charged with statutory rape, especially if you are facing the threat of having to a felony conviction, the best thing you could do is find a skilled criminal defense attorney. You should particularly try to find a local criminal defense attorney who knows the local San Diego judicial system. Local criminal defense attorneys know how local judges and local prosecutors work, and can use that knowledge to better represent you. While this may sound easy to handle on your own, the reality is that litigation is quite complicated. To make sure you get the best legal scenario possible, call Monder Law Group today at (619)405-0063.

 

Contact San Diego Statutory Rape Criminal Defense Attorney Vik Monder for a FREE consultation today at: 619-405-0063

Contact San Diego Criminal Attorney Vik Monder for a free consultation today at: 619-405-0063

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