The crime of rape can be one of the most complicated types of crimes. It is not just committed by strangers on unknown victims. In the majority of cases, the victim and the suspect know each other. Sometimes they may have had a consensual sexual relationship or some type of friendship or other relationship before the alleged crime was committed.
If you are being charged with rape, the complexities of your relationship with the victim could make being charged with this crime even more confusing and overwhelming. You could find yourself in a situation where her story and your story of what happened are dramatically different—and challenging to really prove what happened. You do not want your emotions to control you. These are very serious charges that you face with consequences that could affect the rest of your life. You need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney right away who can build your defense and guide you through the criminal process.
What Crimes Could You Be Charged With If You Are Being Accused of Rape?
You could be charged with different crimes other than rape if that is the crime you are accused of committing. Rape is considered a sexual battery crime, and rape crimes are often felonies. Some common crimes that are considered rape include:
- Rape. Rape is defined as perpetrating rape and causing rape. Perpetrating rape involves having sexual intercourse with someone against her consent. Causing rape occurs when the perpetrator forces the victim to have sex with someone else against her consent. Both types of rape involve penile-vaginal intercourse and penetration. There also must have been the use of force, threat or intimidation, or the taking advantage of the individual’s physical or mental disability. It can include physically or mentally incapacitating the victim.
- Statutory rape. This involves any sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of 13 years old. Assault does not need to be proven. A person could be charged with carnal knowledge of a minor if the minor is 13 years old or older.
- Date rape. Date rape involves the use of a drug to incapacitate the person so the person is unable to consent. Sexual intercourse or any sexual interaction could be considered rape.
- Forcible sodomy. This is a form of rape that involves coerced oral or anal sex. Like rape, it involves the use of force, threats, or intimidation. No use of force needs to be proven if the victim is a minor who is under 13 years old.
- Object sexual penetration. Using an inanimate or animate object or forcing the victim to do so to penetrate the labia majora or anus is a crime that is often brought in conjunction with rape charges.
What Are the Sentences Associated With a Rape Conviction?
A rape conviction comes with devastating consequences that will impact on the lives of you and your family. If convicted of rape, statutory rape, forcible sodomy, and object sexual penetration, the sentences are the same in Virginia—a minimum of five years in prison to a life sentence. If there are certain extenuating circumstances, you could be sentenced to a minimum mandatory sentence of 20 years to life. In addition, you can face large fines.
If you are convicted of one of these crimes, you could be required to register with the Virginia Sex Offender Registry for your lifetime. Being required to register as a sex offender can seriously limit where you can live, the jobs you can apply for, custody of your children, and other areas of your life. You will be labeled as a sexual offender—with all of its negative connotations.
Let Greenspun Shapiro PC Help You Defend Against Rape Charges
If you are facing any rape charges, the Fairfax criminal defense attorneys at Greenspun Shapiro PC are here to answer your questions and build your defenses to the serious charges you face so that your outcome is as favorable as possible. You absolutely should not try to go it alone against the prosecutor when facing rape charges. Even if you believe you are guilty, you could have constitutional and procedural defenses that could result in the charges against you being dismissed or significantly reduced. Fill out our online form now to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn about your options.