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.
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