Statutory Rape Charges Prosecution Process California Penal Code 261.5
If you are facing statutory rape charges in California, it is important to understand what this crime entails under California Penal Code 261.5. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich want to share with you what the prosecution needs to prove in order to convict you of this offense.
Prosecution of Statutory Rape Charges – California Penal Code 261.5PC
Under California Penal Code section 261.5 it is illegal to engage in sexual intercourse with a minor who is not your spouse. In order to convict you of the statutory rape charges, the prosecution must prove the following:
- You had sexual intercourse with the victim AND
- You and the victim were not married at the time of intercourse AND
- At the time of intercourse, the victim was under the age of 18
The age of the alleged victim is critical in determining sentencing for a statutory rape charge. Thus, the prosecution will have to prove one of the following:
- The victim was under the age of 18 but not more than three years younger than you
- The victim was under the age of 18 and more than three years younger than you
- You were at least 21 years old and the victim was under the age of 16
Sexual intercourse with victim
The prosecution must prove that you had sexual intercourse with the victim in order to be convicted of this offense. Sexual intercourse means any penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or genitalia by the penis. The prosecution can use physical evidence such as semen or pubic hair samples in order to prove that you engaged in intercourse. However absent any physical evidence, testimony from the victim or witnesses can be sufficient to prove that you engaged in this conduct.
You were NOT married to the minor at the time of intercourse
You and the victim must not have been married to each other at the time you engaged in intercourse. Under California law, it is legal for an adult to marry a minor if the minor obtains judicial or parental consent. Therefore, if you were married to the minor victim at the time of intercourse, you cannot be convicted of statutory rape charges. However, if you used force to engage in intercourse against the will of the minor, you can be convicted of the much more serious crime of forcible rape.
Victim was under 18 years of age
The prosecution must also prove that the victim was a minor (under the age of 18) at the time you committed the offense. Under the law, a person become one year older as soon as the first minute of his or her birthday has begun.
Contact an attorney at Wallin & Klarich if you have been charged with statutory rape
If you or your loved one is facing statutory rape charges in California, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who is dedicated to giving you the best representation possible.
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Victorville and West Covina, Wallin & Klarich has successfully represented clients facing statutory rape charges for over 40 years. Drawing from our extensive experience, our talented defense lawyers will thoroughly review your case and develop an effective defense strategy to win it.
Let us show you how we protect our own. Call us today at (877) 466-5245 or fill out our confidential form. We will be there when you call.