If you or a family member have been accused of rape or are facing formal rape charges in Beverly Hills or the Southern California area, contact a reputable attorney immediately. It is imperative you do not waste time in building the best possible defense. Rape penalties and consequences in California are too serious to risk defending yourself or risk relying on an attorney who does not have the experience and skills needed to effectively represent someone accused of rape.
The Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin
At the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin, we know how common it is for false rape charges to be filed in Beverly Hills. We also know that many people who hear you are accused or charged with rape do not wait for the charge to be resolved before passing judgement. Instead, they are prone to believe rape allegations are true without conclusive evidence. We have a long track record of successfully defending our clients in all types of rape charges in the Beverly Hills and Southern California areas.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Whether you or your loved one are accused of rape, you can count on us. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin for a free consultation at 310-273-9600. Jonathan Franklin will meet with you to go over the case in detail. He will confidentially discuss potential strategies and defenses.
A lot of information is misleading and inaccurate regarding potential rape charges. At the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin, we want you to understand the truth about a rape charge in Beverly Hills. This means giving you all the truthful information about the definition of rape, penalties and defenses.
Rape in Defined according to California Criminal Law
Rape is outlined according to California Penal Code Section 261. This statute defines rape as engaging in sexual intercourse with an alleged victim without consent. The lack of consent refers to the alleged victim not agreeing to have sexual intercourse with you. Lack of consent can simply mean the alleged victim did not provide consent or it can be that there was some action attached to that lack of consent. Threats of physical force or physical violence could have occurred to force the alleged victim to comply with an act of sexual intercourse. Physical force is often a part of a rape case in Beverly Hills. The threat of physical force typically makes a rape case more diverse and complex.
For instance, duress refers to a clear or direct implication of a threat that makes an alleged victim act in a certain way. The threat will occur if the alleged victim does not comply the way the assailant wants. A threat to injure an alleged victim or another person the alleged victim cares about can be menacing. Whether the threat causes duress or is menacing, the threat must cause reasonable fear. The reasonable fear must be real for the alleged victim to think the assailant will take advantage of them.
The other part of the rape definition according to the California state penal code is lack of consent. As discussed, lack of consent means the alleged victim does not agree to have sexual intercourse. It can also take many forms such as an alleged victim:
- Was too drugged or drunk to know what they were doing
- Was presented with sex as a therapeutic treatment or professional service
- Was taken advantage of because of their mental or physical disability
- Was asleep at the time the sexual intercourse took place
Additionally, there is no consent when someone fraudulently convinces an alleged victim to have sexual intercourse with them.
According to California law, an alleged victim can give consent to have sexual intercourse with you, but withdraw that consent. This means that you and your alleged victim could have engaged in consensual sex, but it later became rape because consent was withdrawn.
However, the alleged victim withdrawing consent must communicate their desire to no longer have sexual intercourse. Also, they must attempt to stop the sexual intercourse. This communication must be in a way that a reasonable person would understand that the alleged victim no longer wanted to have sexual intercourse.
Types of Offenses Related to a Rape Charge in Beverly Hills
A rape charge is defined as having sexual intercourse with someone without their consent. However, there are some charges related to rape allegations in California. The charges related to a rape charge include:
- Spousal Rape: Spousal rape is defined under PC 262. It is illegal for a spouse to have sexual intercourse with their spouse without their consent. It is listed under PC 262, but not PC 261.
- Statutory Rape: According to PC 261.5, it is illegal to have sexual intercourse with a minor with or without their consent. A minor is considered under the age of 18 years old. It does not matter if you thought the minor was older or they told you they were older than their true age.
- Forcible Penetration with a Foreign Object: The state lists forcible penetration with a foreign object under PC 289. The crime is committed when a person is penetrated using an unknown or foreign object without their permission. There is the use of force or threat of force before or during the forcible penetration with a foreign object.
- Oral Copulation by Force: California criminal law outlines this rape related charge under the PC 266c statute. Oral copulation by force is any contact between an individual's mouth and another person's anus or sexual organ without the alleged victim's consent.
- You may be accused of date rape in Beverly Hills or Southern California. The state does not have a specific date rate statute. Instead, it charged under the PC 261 rape charge.
Possible Penalties for a Rape Conviction in Beverly Hills
Non-spousal rape is a felony in California. If convicted of rape under PC 261, person faces the severe punishment of:
- 1,000 fine plus mandatory fees
- State prison sentence of three to eight years in certain rape convictions. It may be possible to be sentenced to one year in county jail and receive probation instead of a prison term. However, if great bodily injury occurred during the rape, county jail time and probation most likely won't be an option. Instead, a person may be sentenced to an additional three to five years in state prison. This is in addition to the original sentence of three to eight years.
- One strike on a criminal record according to the state's Three Strikes Law
In some rape cases, a prison sentence will be harsher than an original rape penalty. For instance, if the victim was a minor, an individual may be sentenced to seven to 11 years in state prison. This is not the same sentence as one would receive in a statutory rape case. That situation involves the conviction of having sexual intercourse with an alleged victim under the age of 18 years old.
The prison sentence increases to nine to 13 years in prison if the alleged victim was under 14 years old.
The fine attached to a rape conviction will increase to $25,000, if the alleged victim was a minor.
Another penalty associated with rape includes a lifetime registration as a sex offender. This lifetime designation is mandatory in most rape convictions. For instance, rape by means of threat of deportation, threat of arrest or fraud may not, in certain circumstances, require the lifetime registration as a sex offender. However, failure to register and continue to update information such as a change of address is a separate crime. This crime is outlined under PC 290.
A conviction of rape in California has another penalty not listed in the state's statue. That penalty is the stigma of a rape conviction. The conviction will affect your chances of finding employment and trying to lead a normal life in your community after you successfully complete your sentence. That's why it is critical to fight a rape charge with the expertise of a skilled criminal defense attorney.
The Prosecutor Must Prove Elements to Convict You of Rape in California
The definition of rape includes several elements. These elements are separate things the prosecution needs to prove to convict you of rape beyond a reasonable doubt. This means they must not leave any doubt in a jury's mind that you are guilty. To prove your guilt, a prosecutor must show four elements to prove guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. These four elements are:
- Sexual intercourse occurred. Sexual intercourse is defined as any type of sexual penetration between you and the alleged victim. It does not matter the degree of penetration. It could be slight penetration to prove that sexual intercourse occurred.
- You and the alleged victim were not married at the time of the alleged rape. This would negate a general rape charge because it would be spousal rape.
- The alleged victim did not consent to having sexual intercourse with you
- Sexual intercourse was committed via threat of force, physical violence or fraud
In many California rape cases, the prosecution's case will hinge of one element, the lack of intent. It is important to note the following about lack of consent:
- Asking the person to wear a condom or use birth control does not prove consent. However, it can show you had a reasonable belief the alleged victim consented to sexual intercourse.
- Being in a current dating relationship or past marriage or dating relationship does not imply consent to have sexual intercourse with an alleged victim
- The prosecutor must prove the alleged victim physically or verbally resisted to the sexual intercourse
- The prosecutor must prove you were aware the alleged victim did not give you consent to have sexual intercourse with them
- The rape shield law prevents you from presenting information that an alleged victim was promiscuous
- Men and women can be accused and convicted of rape in California
- You can be accused and convicted of rape if you aided and abetted in the rape. This means you do not participate in the rape, but you allegedly helped the rapist before, during or after the crime was committed.
As you can see, a lot of the rules of evidence in rape cases favor prosecutors. However, many rules of evidence in rape cases can also favor defendants. Other rules of evidence fall somewhere in the middle and favor a defendant or prosecutor. These rules of evidence show you that you cannot fight a rape charge by building a defense strategy based on what you assume California law should be. A good defense attorney will know the complexity of California criminal laws and how those laws will typically play out in criminal court.
Possible Defenses Available to You When Facing a Rape Charge in Beverly Hills
When you are accused of rape, you are entitled to a defense. A defense is a way to challenge the prosecution's claim that you committed rape. At the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin, we understand you have numerous defense strategies available to you.
Your exact defense strategy is determined by the circumstances and facts of the case. However, we want you to stay informed about the available defenses to rape such as:
- False Accusation: A rape case may result from a misunderstanding about consent. It could be a complete lie. It is easy to file rape complaints in California without substantial evidence.
- Consent Occurred: The most common defenses in a rape case is the alleged victim gave consent to the sexual intercourse. In addition, the alleged victim never withdrew consent.
- No Sexual Intercourse Occurred: A rape defense may include the fact that no sexual intercourse or oral copulation happened. Sexual intercourse is an important element of a rape case.
- Lack of Evidence of Rape: In cases of rape, an alleged victim may not seek immediate medical care. They may not tell anyone of the rape for months or years. This creates a situation where there is lack of physical evidence. Lack of evidence may support a "Not Guilty" finding.
- Mistaken Identity: When a complete stranger commits a rape, they may ambush a victim at night or wear a disguise such as a mask. This situation may cause the alleged victim to mistaken you for the real rapist. If you have a past criminal history, this may also influence the police or a witness to claim you committed rape.
- Mistake of Fact: A mistake in fact occurs when consent did not exist or was withdrawn, but you had a contrary belief. You had a reasonable belief that you had consent because the alleged victim sent mixed messages regarding consent. In addition, they never clearly resisted your advances, tried to stop the sexual intercourse or clearly communicated their desire to stop or avoid sexual intercourse. This mistake of fact defense could be used in defense of rape allegations in California.
Remember, your exact defense may not be listed in the common rape defenses available to you. Your defense strategy will be based on your side of what happened, and the circumstances and facts surrounding the rape allegations. It will also address the weaknesses in the prosecution's case.
Contact Us Immediately for Legal Assistance Regarding Your Rape Charge in Beverly Hills
At the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin, we have comprehensive knowledge of California rape law and statutes relating to rape crimes. Jonathan Franklin is an experienced courtroom attorney who knows how to negotiate with prosecutors and judges in an effort to reduce or eliminate rape charges against you.
If you or a loved one have been accused of rape, do not assume you will be convicted and sentenced to prison. The rape charge is only an accusation. It is imperative to find a skilled attorney to aggressively fight the charges so that you can move on with your life.
Jonathan Franklin is a former prosecutor who knows how to challenge witness testimony, evidence surrounding the rape allegations and the prosecution's argument. He works for the best possible outcome and will explain each option you have. This can mean working on a negotiated plea deal on your behalf, if that is what you want. However, Jonathan Franklin will be prepared to take your case to trial and diligently challenge the prosecution's case.
Your future depends on a strong defense. We will provide a strong defense for you designed to protect your rights and preserve your freedom. From the moment your free initial consultation begins, we will start preparing a strong defense in your rape case. We will also work diligently to resolve this rape accusation quickly. We know your future is at stake and look forward to confidentially discussing you matter with you.
For a free consultation, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin at 310-273-9600. You can call us anytime. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.