Virginia Rape Attorney
Speak with a Virginia rape lawyer if you have been charged with a sexually-related crime and need representation. Our team of criminal defense attorneys have experience handling these serious charges with discretion and compassion, and we’re ready to assist clients like you. Working with a Virginia rape attorney as early as possible can be one of the most important decisions you make before or upon receiving charges. Call our Virginia law offices today.
Under Section 18.2-61 of the Virginia Code, rape is committed when a sexual act occurs without someone’s consent or when the alleged victim, even if they do consent, is under the age of 13. Crimes involving an alleged victim who is under the age of 13 carry a mandatory punishment of 25 years in prison, and if the accused is 3 years or more older than the victim and at least 18 years old, a mandatory life sentence will be imposed. As a result, it is imperative that if you are accused of rape that you consult with a Virginia sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.
Importance of Hiring An Attorney For a Rape Case
It is important to contact a lawyer with experience handling and trying felony cases if you are charged with a sex crime because these sorts of crimes are very aggressively prosecuted and in many cases are not resolved short of trial because no acceptable plea agreement is ever offered by the prosecutor. Because of this, it is important to have an experienced trial lawyer who has been through this process many times and is able to give you the benefit all of their experience and expertise in the courtroom setting. Someone who deals not just with minor offenses, but also the most serious crime offenses where the stakes are higher.
Rape Charges in Virginia
Rape can be charged in a number of different ways. The first one is if there is force or the threat of force which is used to accomplish a sexual act against the will of a victim. Rape can also include consensual sex where one of the participants is so young that the law considers them legally unable to consent to the act. So for example, anytime someone older than 18 has sex with someone who is less than 13, that is considered rape under Virginia law.
Other Types of Rape Under Virginia Law
Statutory rape involves consensual sex where one of the partners, or both of the partners, are less than the age that is required for consent to be given for a sexual act in Virginia. This involves a relatively minor misdemeanor offense where you have two consenting parties both between the ages of 13 and 16 all the way to where you are dealing with an adult over the age of 18 having sex with someone who is between 13 and 15 which is a felony.
Date rape can refer to a scenario where someone is administered a drug which makes them helpless and takes away their ability to consent. Under circumstances where a person’s ability to consent has been taken away, having sex intercourse with them or having sexual contact of any kind will be considered rape. Date rape can also refer to any time, in a social or date setting, where force or the threat of force is used to accomplish a sexual act. These all carry serious consequences and as a result a Virginia rape lawyer should be contacted.
Penalties For Rape in VA
If a person is convicted of one of the rape offenses in Virginia the sentence will be for not less than 5 years and can be as much as life in prison. Under scenarios where a child is involved, the age of the victim is an aggravating factor which can cause a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years to be imposed and in some cases a mandatory minimum sentence of life to be imposed. If the rape is accomplished with the use or threat of a weapon that can be an aggravating factor as well.
How Rape Differs From Other Types of Sex Crimes Cases
Rape cases often turn on the issue of consent. So as opposed to a statutory rape where the evidence shows that both the parties consented, in many kinds of rape cases the prosecution needs to prove that one of the parties didn’t consent and that the sexual act was accomplished by either force or threat of force. What makes that unique is it creates a typical ‘He said’, ‘She said’ situation where the credibility of each the accused and the alleged victuim can become very important.
In other kinds of rape cases that involve children who are less than 13 years old, the unique aspect of that involves a number of things including that there is typically a simultaneous civil investigation by child protection services which may create evidence in the case. There are also issues of the testimony of children being admissible in court or special circumstances under which they are allowed to testify.
Consulting With a Rape Lawyer in Virginia
An experienced Virginia rape lawyer can help you in a number of ways. First, they are going to be able to help you in the preliminary phases of the case by giving you good advice on how to proactively work to build your defense as well as steps you should not take which can harm your case. They are also going to have an insider’s knowledge of the law and the kinds of evidences that the Commonwealth will bring forward during the trial. They are going to understand what kinds of evidence is going to help you in your case and what sorts of evidence will not.
Finally, an experienced Virginia criminal defense lawyer is going to be able to give you the best opportunity to prevail at trial by utilizing their courtroom experience and knowledge of the system in a way that will be