Statutory Rape Defense – Penal Code 261.5 PC
When charged with a potentially serious crime such as statutory rape, you need an sex crimes attorney that will fight for you using an effective statutory rape defense strategy. There are several defenses available that could result in a dismissal or reduction of your charge. Here are some successful defenses that our lawyers at Wallin & Klarich can raise on your behalf:
Statutory Rape Defense 1: Good faith belief that the victim was 18 years of age or older
You are not guilty of statutory rape under California Penal Code section 261.5 if you held a good faith belief that the victim was 18 years of age or older. In order to assert this good faith defense, you must have actually believed that the victim was 18 years or older. This is a subjective standard in which the jury will determine whether or not you personally believed the victim was 18 or older at the time of the offense. The jury must also determine that your belief was objectively reasonable. In other words, a reasonable person in your shoes and under the same circumstances must have believed that the victim was 18 years or older. The jury will consider the physical appearance of the victim and any statements that he or she made which lead you to believe that the victim was an adult.
Statutory Rape Defense 2: You did not engage in sexual intercourse with the victim
If you did not engage in sexual intercourse with the victim, you cannot be convicted of statutory rape. This offense requires that there be some sort of penetration of the vagina by the penis. Therefore engaging in kissing, fondling or even oral sex with the victim is not sufficient to convict you of this offense. Often times statutory rape charges are brought by the prosecution based on non-credible hearsay or rumors. Your attorney can help discredit the prosecution’s witnesses and show the jury why the charges brought against you are without merit.
Statutory Rape Defense 3: You were married to the victim
If you were married to the victim, even if he or she was a minor at the time you engaged in sexual intercourse, you cannot be convicted of statutory rape. It is legal for a minor to marry an adult in California so long as the minor obtains parental or judicial consent. If you were married to the alleged victim at the time of intercourse, your attorney can present evidence and documentation of your legal marriage to prove your innocence.
Statutory Rape Defense 4: The victim was not a minor
If the victim was not a minor at the time you engaged in intercourse, you cannot be convicted of statutory rape. Since the age of the victim is a key element of this crime and can affect your sentencing and punishment, your attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to determine the true age of the victim and when the alleged offense actually occurred. If the victim was an adult at the time you engaged in intercourse, you cannot be convicted of statutory rape.
Consent of Minor is NOT a Defense
Consent is never a defense to statutory rape under California Penal Code section 261.5. Under the law, a minor under 18 years of age is not capable of giving valid consent due to their inability to appreciate the risks and circumstances associated with such a decision. Therefore even if the victim consented to your conduct, this will not act as a defense to a charge of statutory rape if he or she was under the age of 18 at the time of the offense.
Statutory Rape attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you are looking for an aggressive criminal attorney to fight for you during this difficult time, a sex crimes attorney at Wallin & Klarich can help you. With over 30 years of experience and offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Victorville and West Covina, our highly skilled and professional defense attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and passionately argue that your case should be dismissed.
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.