California Rape Laws – Rape Lawyers Explain Penal Code 261 PC
Are You Looking to Hire a Rape Lawyer?
Being accused of rape is a serious matter that requires the help of an experienced California rape defense attorney. If you are charged with rape under California Penal Code 261, 262, 266, or 289, you can potentially be facing a felony state prison sentence, a hefty fine, and registration as a sex offender. However, just because you are charged with a crime that has potentially devastating consequences does not mean you will be found guilty.
The rape attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 38 years of experience defending those charged with rape and are readily available to assist you with your case.
Read below for more information on rape laws or simply pick up the phone and call (877) 466-5245 for free, immediate advice from an expert California rape lawyer.
Why Hire Wallin & Klarich?
The success of our rape defense firm has helped us achieve the highest of merits, including a 5 out of 5 AV rating on Lawyers.com, a 10 out of 10 rating on AVVO.com, and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
For over 30 years, the California rape defense lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have helped many people like you get the best possible results in their case. Here are just a few testimonials provided by some of our previous clients who wanted to share their stories:
“I WAS ACCUSED OF Rape of a child under 12 years of age, sodomy of a child less than 12 years of age and indecent acts with a child under 12 years of age. I faced a maximum of life imprisonment if convicted of these crimes. I was referred to the law firm of Wallin & Klarich, a firm I was told had tremendous experience defending against child molests cases. I was given a Wallin & Klarich attorney who was familiar with my jurisdiction. The attorneys of Wallin & Klarich moved aggressively to present my case in the best light to the court and negotiate with my prosecutor. My Wallin & Klarich attorney filed 8 evidentiary motions in order to put my case in the best possible position when the case went in front of the jury. While the jury was deliberating the prosecutor mentioned to my attorney that upon conviction he would request 28 years in prison. However, after a little more then an hour of deliberating the jury came back not guilty on all counts. I walked out of the courtroom a free man and back to my family and job. Were it not for the attorney of Wallin & Klarich my life would have been ruined. As a result I enthusiastically recommend them for any child molests or criminal matters.”
“I received a letter in the mail from the District Attorney’s office informing me that I was being charged with sexual battery against a woman I was seeing. Needless to say I was distraught over the entire ordeal. Here I was facing a year in jail and if convicted, I would have to register as a sex offender for the rest of my life! I knew I needed an attorney who would aggressively advocate my case because I was innocent and was being wrongly accused of a horrific crime. My relations were consensual and now to be accused that I forced myself upon someone against their will was not only completely out of character, it was disturbing.
I opened the yellow pages and come across hundreds of different ads for attorneys and didn’t know which to pick. I called a few and was disappointed, until I called the law firm of Wallin and Klarich. The conversation I had with an attorney was so reassuring that I made an appointment and went into their Tustin office to sit down and further discuss my case.
I met with an attorney and after discussing what really happened I knew she was the right attorney to represent me. Although I knew I was innocent, I was afraid because the criminal process really feels as though I have to prove I’m innocent, not that the prosecution has to prove I’m guilty. I am so appreciative that she was successful in arguing my case and pointing out all the inconsistencies in the police report and what the alleged victim had said I had done. It was all a lie and she was able to show that and bring the truth to the forefront.
Anyone going through such a horrid ordeal should have someone like Wallin & Klarich representing them. Wallin & Klarich’s knowledge of the law, along with the fact that they believed me and actually cared about the truth is what made the difference in my case. Thanks to her abilities, my case was dismissed.”
“I wanted to express my enormous relief and gratitude to Wallin & Klarich. My son was arrested for statutory rape and domestic battery. The allegations were extremely serious. We were concerned that our son would end up in jail and also be branded a “sex offender” for the rest of his life. What made the case more difficult was that the police claimed that my son admitted to a sexual relationship with a minor.
We didn’t know where to turn. We retained the experienced law firm of Wallin and Klarich to help our son. We knew they would have their work cutout for them. Wallin and Klarich was able to determine that the prosecution might have difficulty with proving certain elements of the crimes charges. The prosecutor was insisting on a 90 day jail sentence and a guilty plea. This would have required our son to miss a semester of school and be exposed to what could happen to him in jail.
Wallin and Klarich, after a very tough battle, was able to convince the judge to dismiss the statutory rape charge. Our son plead guilty to the battery charge only. He was spared any jail time. He has to do an anger management program and eight hours of community work service and some “cal trans” time.
Our family lives out of State and soon after our son was arrested our lawyers arranged for our son to be permitted to return to his home. This case was going on for many months. However, throughout the process whenever we would email or contact Wallin and Klarich they would gladly speak to us and explain what was going on with the case. We felt from day one we were in good hands with Wallin and Klarich.
We would strongly recommend Wallin and Klarich if your family has a loved one facing criminal charges. Going through the criminal process can be a frightening experience. If you are lucky enough to find a law firm like Wallin and Klarich willing to fight for you will be fortunate.”
Call Wallin & Klarich Today
You can place your trust in Wallin & Klarich. Our knowledgeable California rape lawyers are committed to defending your rights and your freedom. Call us today for immediate help on your case.
For more information on California rape laws, read below or simply pick up the phone and speak to one of our skilled rape defense attorneys today.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation.
California Rape Laws – Elements Under Penal Code 261
Generally speaking, under California Penal Code 261, rape is any nonconsensual sexual intercourse accompanied by means of threat, force, or fraud.
- Consent is defined as cooperation in action or attitude out of one’s own free will (i.e., they freely agree to it).
- Sexual intercourse is defined in California as any penetrative act – however slight – that is sexual in nature. Even sexual penetration with foreign objects can satisfy this requirement.
More specifically, under California Penal Code 261, rape is defined as:
- An act of sexual intercourse;
- Accomplished with a person not a spouse of the accused;
- Under one of these circumstances:
- Where the victim is either mentally, developmentally, or physically disabled, the law may consider these people unable to consent;
- Where it is accomplished against a person’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another;
- Where a person is prevented from resisting because they are too intoxicated, and the accused should have reasonably know of this intoxication;
- Where a person was “unconscious of the nature of the act,” which means incapable of resisting because:
- They were asleep, or;
- They did not know or perceive that the act occurred;
- The accused fraudulently misrepresented the act as a part of a professional service when in fact it was not a part of a professional service;
- Where a person does not know the identity of the accused at the time of submitting to the sexual activity because they were deceived to believe the person they were consenting to having sex with is one person, but through trick or deceit they had sex with another person;
- Where a person is threatened with retaliation in the form of kidnapping, false imprisonment, or harm to one’s person or the person of another if they do not have sexual intercourse;
Rape by Means of Threat under PC 261
Under California rape laws, threats are generally statements that promise some sort of retaliation if the victim does not comply with the order. A threat could be used in a rape case if, for example, you tell the victim that you will steal her money if she refuses to have sex with you. Or another example would be when the non-marital father of a child threatens the mother to kidnap the child if the mother does not have sex with him
Rape By Force under California PC 261
Force is defined as power, violence, or pressure directed against a person or thing. If the victim tells you that she does not wish to engage in intercourse and you restrain her physically in order to engage in the sexual act, then such a situation would constitute force under PC 261. Additionally, if one threatens to use force against someone unless that person has sex with them, if the threat of force is reasonably understood, then this would be prosecuted as a rape.
Rape By Fraud in California under PC 261
Under California rape laws, fraud is a knowing false representation of the truth or concealment of an important fact in order to cause another to act to his or her own disadvantage. Fraud can be used to cause someone to have sex with you through actions such as using a position of power over the accuser and stating that the sexual act is necessary for professional reasons.
California Rape Prosecution under PC 261
Under California Penal Code 261, rape is vigorously prosecuted in the state of California. In California, the crime of rape is covered by multiple statutes to address different types of activity that constitute non-consensual sexual intercourse. In order to convict you of rape under California Penal Code 261, the prosecutor must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That you had sexual intercourse with the victim;
- At the time of the sexual act, you and your accuser were not married;
- Your accuser did not consent to the sexual intercourse; and
- The act was accomplished by you using threats, force, or fraud to induce your accuser into engaging in sexual intercourse.
Although the burden of proof on the prosecution in a rape case seems heavy, you can still be convicted of rape based solely on the testimony of the alleged victim. What this means is that if it is the alleged victim’s word against yours and the jury believes the testimony of the alleged victim beyond a reasonable doubt, then you can be found guilty of rape. There does not have to be any medical evidence to be convicted. There also does not have to be any other witness testimony to support the alleged victim’s claim of rape.
The law states that “the testimony of one witness, if believed, is sufficient to establish any fact.” This is why you need to immediately retain the experienced rape defense lawyers at Wallin & Klarich if you find yourself facing rape charges.
Defenses to a Rape Charge in California under PC 261
Rape charges can be difficult to defend. Fortunately, there are many defense strategies an experienced rape defense attorney can utilize to help you win your case. For instance, in cases where the accuser claims that he or she was drunk and could not consent due to their intoxication, we have been successful in the defense of our clients facing rape charges by raising the following defense:
- The accuser was intoxicated at the time of the alleged sex act and cannot accurately recall events that led up to the intercourse.
- No intercourse occurred between our client and the alleged victim.
- The alleged victim consented to the act of intercourse.
- Another person (other than our client) engaged in an act of intercourse with the alleged victim.
The jury must find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a rape case. We are experienced trial lawyers. If we cannot have the case dismissed prior to trial, then we have successfully raised all of the above defenses in prior rape cases that have led to our clients being found not guilty at trial.
Sentencing and Punishment for Rape under PC 261
Rape is a violent crime, and a conviction for rape is devastating. If you are found guilty or plead guilty to a rape charge, you must attend a formal sentencing hearing. At the sentencing hearing, the court will decide whether to sentence you to 3, 6, or 8 years in state prison. In addition, you will be required to register as a sex offender per California Penal Code 290. This is a lifelong registration requirement.
If the victim was a minor, then you will be facing a sentence between 7 and 13 years in state prison. If you are charged with raping your spouse or someone who lives with you, then you can also be charged with Corporal Injury on a Spouse or Cohabitant under California Penal Code 273.5 and can face an additional prison sentence of up to 4 additional years in state prison or one year in county jail, depending on whether or not it is charged as a felony or misdemeanor, as well as a fine of as much as $6,000.
California Rape Frequently Asked Questions
In order to give you a better understanding of frequent issues that come up during rape cases, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have provided in our FAQ section answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about rape charges in California. There you will find answers to questions like:
How Can Our Lawyers Help You Today?
Being accused of rape is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. You need the help of an experienced attorney if you are charged under one of California’s rape laws. At the Law Offices of Wallin & Klarich, we have over 38 years of experience defending our clients against accusations of rape. When you hire us, we will be committed to fighting for your rights from the moment we take on your defense.
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Victorville, West Covina, San Diego, Torrance and Sherman Oaks., there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense available near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today for a free phone consultation at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. Also, feel free to visit our Sex Crimes Website for further information. We will get through this together.