Even just being accused of statutory rape can severely damage your reputation. A conviction can seriously disrupt your life. You could be sent to jail and subjected to other harsh penalties.

When your reputation is on the line and your freedom is at stake, you need top-notch legal support. Our Folsom statutory rape lawyer will fight fiercely for your rights and interests throughout the criminal justice process. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Walsh Law for help when you have been arrested and are facing an uncertain future.

Call (916) 443-1111 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation.

What Is Statutory Rape in California?

Statutory rape is having sexual intercourse with a minor, which is a person under 18-years-old, who is not your spouse. California Penal Code 261.5 is the governing statute for statutory rape offenses.

Elements of a Statutory Rape Crime Charge

To be successful in a statutory rape crime charge the prosecutor must prove that:

  • Sexual intercourse took place.
  • The person you had intercourse with was a minor.
  • You were not married to each other.

Even if sex was consensual, you can still be charged with statutory rape. The age of consent in California is 18, so, legally, a minor cannot consent to sex.

Possible Related Charges

Sometimes related sex crimes charges are filed along with statutory rape charges. Possible related charges dependent on the case include:

Charges for a Statutory Rape Conviction in Folsom

Statutory rape can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The specific charge is generally based on the ages of the parties involved when the alleged intercourse occurred. The greater the age difference, the more serious the charge:

  • If you and the alleged victim were three or fewer years apart, the offense is charged as a misdemeanor.
  • If the alleged victim was more than three years younger than you, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
  • If the alleged victim was under 16 years old and you were 21 years old or older, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

Offenses that can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies are called wobblers in legal terms. Prosecutors have discretion in deciding how to charge wobblers based on the overall facts of the case and whether you have a criminal history.

Penalties for a Statutory Rape Conviction in Folsom

Penalties for statutory rape charges can include probation to up to four years behind bars. Fines of up to $10,000 may also be imposed. Cases with the greatest age difference between the parties typically receive the most severe penalties,

Do You Have to Register as a Sex Offender if Convicted?

In most situations, you do not have to register as a sex offender if you are found guilty of having intercourse with a minor. But if you are convicted of other related crimes you may have to register as a sex offender. Depending on the crime, it could be for life.

Statutory Rape Charge Defenses

Several defenses can be used to disprove charges of statutory rape. Our Folsom statutory rape lawyer will build the strongest defense for your case based on all the evidence.

Mistake of Age

If it’s proven that you honestly believed the alleged victim was 18 or older, you will not be prosecuted. Proof in this situation could include the alleged victim lying about their age to you and in front of witnesses, carrying a fake identification, that you met them in an adults-only location, or otherwise presenting themselves as being of age, such as by their appearance.

False Accusations

Sometimes people are falsely accused of statutory rape. This can happen when an alleged victim is angry at the accused or is seeking revenge for some reason. It is also possible to be mistakenly accused. If you were falsely or mistakenly accused, our statutory rape lawyer in Folsom will examine all the evidence to find weaknesses and challenge the accuser’s assertions.

Insufficient Evidence

To get a conviction, the prosecution must show physical evidence that proves your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes there is simply insufficient evidence to prove such a charge. If the evidence in your case is weak, we may be able to have charges dismissed before trial. If your case goes to trial, we will work determinedly to poke holes in any evidence the prosecutor presents.

Statutory Rape Charge FAQs

Can minors face statutory rape charges?

Yes—minors can face statutory rape charges. Minors charged with statutory rape are prosecuted in juvenile court. If you are a minor who has been charged for having relations with your partner, our law firm will forcefully defend you.

How long do prosecutors have to file charges for statutory rape offenses?

Prosecutors have one year to file charges for misdemeanor statutory rape offenses. They have three years to file charges for felony offenses. The clock begins running the day of the alleged crime. Keep in mind, though, that the alleged victim’s age at the time the incident took place determines the specific charge.

How can an attorney help when I am being charged with statutory rape?

An attorney such as those at Walsh Law will build a case to prove your innocence. In some circumstances, your attorney may be able to have your charges dropped before your case goes to trial. If there is evidence of guilt and you are being charged with a felony, your attorney can potentially have your charges reduced to a misdemeanor.

What is the difference between rape and statutory rape?

Rape is a violent act in which another person is forced to have sex against their will. Statutory rape is having intercourse with a person under 18 years of age. The minor may have initiated sex themselves or been a willing partner.

Reach Out to Walsh Law When You Are Accused of Statutory Rape

Statutory rape cases are very complex. Many factors can determine the outcome of such a case. At Walsh Law, we have extensive experience disproving allegations of statutory rape. We will aggressively stand up for you against these life-altering charges.

Reach out to us today at (916) 443-1111 or contact us online to arrange a consultation with an experienced statutory rape attorney.

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