Been accused of rape is typically an emotionally charged experience to say the least. If convicted, you face a lengthy term of incarceration as well as being labeled a sex offender and required to register with the California sex offender registry when released. One common defense that an individual accused of rape often offers is that the alleged victim actually consented to the sexual contact been charged as rape. If you have been charged with rape in San Diego California and you wish to assert consent as a defense it is imperative that you consult with an experienced California criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. In the meantime, however, there are some things you should understand about asserting consent as a defense to rape in San Diego California.
Whether or not consent is a viable defense when charged with rape in San Diego California depends, to a large extent, on the age of the alleged victim. In California, the age of consent is 18, meaning that anyone under the age of 18 cannot legally consent to sexual intercourse. Of course, we all know that teenagers under the age of 18 do engage in sexual activity; however, the law in California says they are unable to consent to that activity. Therefore, if you have sex with someone under the age of 18 you are committing a criminal offense in California. The seriousness of the offense you are committing is determined by the victim’s actual age as well as your age. The older the victim and the closer in age you are to the victim, the less serious the offense.
If the alleged victim in your rate case is over the age of 18 then he or she is legally old enough to consent to sexual intercourse. Whether or not a judge or jury would agree that the alleged victim consented is something else altogether. Consent often plays a pivotal role in “date rape” cases. The law does not distinguish between “date rape” cases and other scenarios under which an individual is accused of rape; however, the term “date rape” is often used to refer to a situation where the alleged perpetrator and alleged victim knew each other on more than a casual basis prior to the alleged rape. Alcohol or drugs may have played a role at the time of the incident, leading the alleged victim to believe he or she was raped while the alleged perpetrator believes that consent was given prior to the sexual activity. Cases such as this are highly fact specific. If you find yourself accused of rape in San Diego yet you believe that the alleged victim consented it is imperative that you consult with an experienced California criminal defense attorney immediately.
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