RAPE DEFENSE ATTORNEY ORANGE COUNTY CA

Being accused of a rape crime in Orange County is extremely serious, and even a rumor of or arrest for rape can result in devastating consequences affecting both your personal and professional life, even before you are ever tried for the crime or found guilty of any wrongdoing. When confronted with the crime of rape, most people will automatically side with the alleged victim before giving you the chance to defend yourself against the charges. That is why it is imperative that you have skilled legal counsel on your side to protect your rights and help you avoid a rape conviction and the lifetime sex offender registration that accompanies it. If you are facing charges for rape or another sex crime in Orange County, do not leave your future and your freedom up to chance. Contact our reputable rape defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group today to schedule your free initial consultation find out how to best defend yourself against these sex crime charges.

Orange County Rape Defense Attorney

Successfully defending yourself against any criminal charge can be difficult, but rape and other sex crimes are particularly difficult to defend, due to the strong social views regarding such crimes and the fact that emotions are often running high in rape cases. Even when faced with little or no physical evidence of your guilt, a jury can take one look at an alleged rape victim and automatically decide that you are guilty of the crime. In order to get a fair trial and reduce your risk of a conviction, you will need the expertise and skill of a criminal defense attorney who has experience defending emotionally-charged rape crimes. At Seyb Law Group, our years of experience as Orange County trial lawyers means we are uniquely able to offer you the skilled legal defense you are entitled to. Regardless of the circumstances of your rape case, our team of criminal defense attorneys will be in your corner, protecting your rights and defending your innocence every step of the way. Contact our rape defense lawyers at Seyb Law Group today to find out how we can put our expertise to work for you.

Rape

Sex crimes refer to criminal offenses of a sexual nature and rape is one of the most well-known of these crimes. Under Orange County law, the crime of rape is committed when a person has sexual intercourse with another person either without that person’s consent or against his or her will, by use of force, fraud, violence, duress, menace, threats or fear of bodily harm. Rape is a type of sexual assault, and most people think of rape as sexual assault committed by means of physical force, but there are many other ways in which the crime of rape can be committed. It is important to note that if, during the act of sexual intercourse, consent is withdrawn and the withdrawal of consent is communicated to the other person, failure to end the act of intercourse also constitutes the crime of rape.

California Rape Penal Code § 261 PC

California Penal Code § 261 PC is the law that prohibits rape, a nonconsensual “act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator,” under a variety of unlawful circumstances. With regard to rape charges under PC § 261, a lack of consent can involve any of the following situations:

  • The victim was not aware of the sexual activity, either because he or she was asleep or unconscious,
  • The victim was unable to give consent due to a physical or mental disability,
  • The victim did not consent to intercourse, but submitted in response to threats or force,
  • The victim was intoxicated and therefore unable to give consent, or
  • Consent was obtained by fraud.

There are a number of other Orange County sex crimes that are closely related to rape, including statutory rape, oral copulation by force, sexual assault, forcible penetration with a foreign object, spousal rape and child molestation.

Penalties for a Rape Conviction in Orange County

Due to the forceful and violent nature of many rape offenses, this crime is punished harshly in Orange County, and most rape crimes are prosecuted as felony offenses. If you are convicted of felony rape in Orange County, you could face the following penalties:

  • Up to eight years in state prison
  • An additional three years in prison if the victim suffered great bodily harm
  • Formal probation
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • A “strike” on your record under California’ “Three Strikes” sentencing law

If you are found guilty of rape and the alleged victim was a minor at the time the crime was committed, you could face significantly more serious penalties, possibly including a sentence of up to 13 years in state prison.

Orange County Sex Offender Registration Requirements

Rape crimes in Orange County require that the defendant register as a sex offender with the local authorities after being convicted. Although the required timeline for sex offender registration can vary from crime to crime, rape is associated with a lifetime registration. That means if you are convicted of rape, you would be required to report your location and other information to law enforcement agents for the rest of your life. Additionally, a felony rape conviction and the resulting sex offender registration could make it difficult to obtain housing, schooling, loans and even employment in the future.

California’s “Three Strikes” Sentencing Law

The state of California has a “Three Strikes” sentencing law in effect that imposes harsh prison sentences on repeat offenders, or individuals convicted of multiple felony offenses. Under this law, if you have one serious or violent felony on your record, known as a “strike” prior, and you are convicted of another felony, you could face a prison sentence that is double what would otherwise be required by law. If you have two “strike” priors on your record and you are convicted of another serious or violent felony, like rape, you could be automatically sentenced to 25 years to life. Additionally, a felony rape conviction would be considered a “strike” offense under this law, possibly resulting in harsher sentencing for any future felony crimes.

Under Penal Code § 667.71 PC, Orange County’s habitual sexual offender law, any person convicted of a certain sex crime who is later convicted of the same sex crime or another particular sexual offense faces felony charges punishable by imprisonment in state prison for 25 years to life. Sex crimes covered under PC § 667.71 include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Rape (PC § 261)
  • Spousal rape (PC § 262)
  • Sexual penetration (PC § 289)
  • Lewd or lascivious acts (PC § 288)
  • Kidnapping to commit specified sex offenses (PC § 208)
  • Aggravated sexual assault of a child (PC § 269)
  • Oral copulation (PC § 288(a))
  • Sodomy (PC § 286)

Orange County Rape Defense

No one should be accused or convicted of a crime they didn’t commit, but being falsely accused of a sex crime like rape can be particularly devastating, as these offenses are typically prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The police will use every resource at their disposal to gather evidence against you and the prosecutor will do everything in his or her power to get a conviction and send you to jail. Fortunately, there are a number of legal defenses your attorney can raise on your behalf to convince the court that you are not guilty of the crime. As in any criminal case, the burden of proof in an Orange County rape case lies with the prosecution, which means the prosecutor assigned to your case must prove the following “elements” of the crime in order to get a conviction:

  • You engaged in sexual intercourse with another person,
  • You were not married to the person at the time (otherwise, the act would be a separate crime known as spousal rape),
  • The other person did not consent to the intercourse, and
  • You accomplished the act by one of the unlawful means noted above.

Under new rape laws in Orange County, the prosecutor is no longer required to prove that the alleged victim attempted to physically resist the act of sexual intercourse to get a guilty verdict in your rape case.

Best Defense Strategies in Orange County Rape Cases

Being arrested for Orange County rape may seem like the end of the world, and it is true that a rape conviction carries harsh penalties and a social stigma that could follow you for the rest of your life. However, it is important to remember that you still have rights. It is your right to defend yourself against any criminal charge, including rape, and that is where we come in. It is our goal to craft a strong defense in your case and challenge the prosecution’s evidence against you, thereby creating doubt in the minds of the judge and jury that the charges against you are true. Some common defense strategies used in Orange County rape cases include the following:

  • False accusation – The alleged victim falsely accused you of committing rape
  • Consent – The alleged victim gave consent, or you reasonably believed he or she gave consent
  • Insufficient evidence – There is not enough evidence to charge you with the crime of rape
  • Mistaken identity – You were mistakenly identified as the person who committed the rape crime
  • Not intercourse – Whatever physical contact took place between the accuser and the accused, it fell short of actual intercourse

There are many different reasons why you could be facing charges for a rape crime you did not commit. According to The Innocence Project, a non-profit organization committed to exonerating wrongfully convicted people, mistaken identity is the number one cause of wrongful convictions in the United States, and innocent people are falsely accused of committing rape perhaps more than any other crime. Unfortunately, if a person claiming to be the victim of rape says that you were the one who committed the sex crime, proving otherwise could be extremely difficult.

How Hiring a Rape Defense Attorney Can Help

Sex crimes like rape and sexual assault carry a great number of legal, personal, professional and social implications, and it is far too easy for a jury to condemn a person for committing a rape crime without fully considering evidence to the contrary. In fact, because of the wide-reaching laws involving rape offenses and other sex crimes, you could find yourself facing charges of rape without even knowing that you committed a crime. That is why you need an aggressive and highly-skilled rape defense lawyer to defend you against these serious sex crime charges. Facing rape charges in Orange County means fighting an uphill battle to prove your innocence, and having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side who is intimately familiar with sex crimes law and the inner workings of the Orange County criminal justice system will be a tremendous asset to your defense.

At Seyb Law Group, we understand that all rape cases are different and we believe in working right alongside our clients to make sure that their specific needs are met. When you hire our law firm, our criminal defense attorneys will handle every aspect of your Orange County rape case, from helping you understand the charges against you, to constructing a strong defense on your behalf, disputing the prosecution’s evidence, skillfully cross-examining the prosecution’s witnesses, establishing reasonable doubt that you are guilty of committing the crime, and ensuring that your legal rights are protected throughout the process. Having a reputable rape crimes defense attorney in your corner can only help your case, so if you have been accused of rape in Orange County or the surrounding counties, do not hesitate to hire a criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights.

Contact Our Experienced Rape Defense Attorneys Today

It only takes a moment to be tried and found guilty of rape, but the adverse effects of a rape conviction can last a lifetime, especially if you are required to register as a sex offender. That is why you should never leave your defense in the hands of a lawyer without extensive experience handling Orange County rape cases. At Seyb Law Group, our attorneys have more than 60 years of combined criminal defense experience and we have the skill and knowledge necessary to help you get the best possible outcome in your Orange County rape case, whether that means getting your rape charges dismissed altogether or negotiating with the prosecution to have the charges reduced to a lesser offense with less severe penalties. For more information about our law firm, or to speak to a reputable Orange County sex crimes defense attorney about your rape case, contact Seyb Law Group today.

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