Is it Still Statutory Rape if the Sexual Encounter Was Consensual?

Blog

Is it Still Statutory Rape if the Sexual Encounter Was Consensual?

February 12, 2019

Is it Still Statutory Rape if the Sexual Encounter Was Consensual?

If a person who is 18 years old has sex with a person who us under the legal age of consent (which is 18 in the state of California) they could potentially be charged with and convicted of statutory rape. Most people associate rape with a violent act and so it is common to wonder: If the sexual encounter was consensual is it still considered statutory rape?

Keep reading to get the answers and to find out about potential consequences of a conviction. If you have been charged with this or another sex crime, contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 for a consultation.

A Person Under the Age of 18 Cannot Legally Consent

The answer to the question is complicated in that it is impossible for a person under the age of 18 to legally consent to sex. This is because the law states that any minor is incapable of legally consenting to sex. Even in the event that both parties involved are in the same high school and one is a few years older, the older person can be charged with statutory rape if their relationship becomes sexual.

Defense Options for Charges of Statutory Rape

Since a person under the 18 of cannot give consent, there is no purpose in arguing that you are not guilty due to their consent. Instead, we will focus on finding a way to fight the charge you are facing. One option is to show that you had reason to believe that the alleged victim was of age. For example, if they looked older and showed you a fake ID that stated they were 19, then you can argue that you had no way of knowing they were not yet old enough to consent.

You may also argue that you did not have intercourse with the minor. Even if a person flirted with a person who is not yet 18, unless they had physical contact they are not guilty of statutory rape. We may argue that your relationship never crossed the line into being physical.

There Are Options Even if There is a Mountain of Evidence Against You

What happens if you are guilty of statutory rape and you know there is plenty of evidence against you? You may think that this is a situation in which you do not need a criminal defense attorney but the opposite is actually true. Statuary rape is a wobbler offense in California, which means it can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.

The prosecutor will determine how to charge it based on the specifics of the case. For example, if the age difference between the two is three years or less then it will always be charged as a misdemeanor. If the age difference is greater than three years then it is up to the prosecutor. If the victim is 16 or younger and the offender is at least 21 then there is a good chance it will be charged as a felony but your attorney may be able to argue for leniency. Call The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 now for your free legal consultation.

Comments are closed.


Get A Free Consultation
 
 
The Mattern Law Firm Located at
Westwood Gateway, 11111 Santa Monica Blvd, Ste. 1700, , Los Angeles, CA.
The Mattern Law Firm Logo Phone: 310-342-8254