Statutory Rape Charges in CA

Ventura Rape Defense Attorney

In California, statutory rape refers to sexual intercourse with a person younger than 18 years of age. This crime is not accomplished by force; in fact, it may actually be part of a dating relationship. If you or someone you love has been accused and charged with statutory rape, you need to seek an experienced Ventura criminal attorney as soon as possible.

Call the Law Office of Christopher P. Welch immediately to set up a free consultation with a dedicated criminal defense lawyer.


Understanding Statutory Rape Charges

Statutory rape is a strict liability offense, meaning that a person is always held responsible for knowing the age of a person with whom they have sexual relations. As a result, a person can be found guilty of the crime even if they honestly believed the other person was 18 or older. Depending on the situation, they may also be considered guilty if the victim consented and gave false information regarding their age.

Because of the nature of statutory rape, the age of both parties involved is critical in determining the sentencing a person will receive. The closer they are in age, the greater chance the defendant has of receiving minimal charges.

Sentencing guidelines are as follows:

  • In the event that one party is no more than 3 years older than the other, the offense will always be charged as a misdemeanor.
  • If the offender is more than 3 years older than the victim, they may receive charges of committing a felony or a misdemeanor.
  • If the victim is younger than 16 and the offender is at least 21 years of age, the guilty party has an increased chance of receiving a felony charge.

Many charges of statutory rape are unexpected or even unfounded. If you have been accused of statutory rape, it is important that you take immediate action to avoid fines, prison time, and registration as a sex offender. The Ventura sex crimes lawyer at Law Office of Christopher P. Welch has handled a wide range of defense cases for more than a decade. With a 9.5 Avvo rating, he is qualified to help you seek a favorable result in the toughest cases.

Call the firm today to discuss your case in a free consultation!