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Oakland Rape Defense Attorney

If you’re looking down the barrel of a gun at rape accusations, you may be facing the potential of years in prison, registration as a sex offender, and a permanent criminal record that will destroy your life. Those who are accused of rape are often surprised by the charges and have no idea where to turn. You need a strong-willed rape defense lawyer who can help you handle the potential devastation that is looming. Attorney Elliot Silver is that person. He has more than 20 years of experience doggedly fighting for people facing their darkest days, and has helped defend against rape accusations before. When it seems like you’re up the creek and in real deep trouble, seek help from Silver Law Firm.

Attorney Elliot Silver has years of experience as a dedicated advocate for his clients’ rights, and Silver Law Firm understands how to help you during this difficult time. To speak with a compassionate and understanding Oakland rape defense lawyer, call us today at (510) 995-0000.

California’s Rape Law

State Penal Code 261 defines rape as nonconsensual sexual intercourse accomplished by means of threats, force, fraud, or with someone who is unconscious or otherwise incapable of providing consent. Rape may be committed by one of the following means:

  • Using physical force or violence against the other person, known as simple battery or aggravated battery
  • Through duress. For example, by threatening a certain consequence, such as an employer threatening to fire an employee unless the employee agrees to have sex with the employer.
  • By threatening retaliation or bodily harm, also known as simple assault, to the alleged victim or another person
  • By fraud. An example of rape by fraud would be a doctor convincing a patient to have sex so as to serve some fraudulent medical purpose.

Sexual intercourse with anyone in these conditions will also result in a rape charge:

  • A person who is incapable of giving legal consent because of mental disorder or developmental or physical disability
  • A person who cannot consent due to intoxication
  • A person who is unconscious of the nature of the act, for example due to sleep

The specific facts of your case are important since some aggravating factors may result in more serious charges and more prison time.

There are many rape-related charges in California. Some of the most common include:

  • Spousal rape/marital rape – Rape of one’s spouse is defined by Penal Code 262, but otherwise it is identical to rape as defined in Penal Code 261, which is detailed above.
  • Statutory rape – Defined under Penal Code 261.5, this charge is for someone who allegedly had sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 18 years. It does not matter if the person under 18 years gave consent, since minors are considered unable to consent. This crime is a “wobbler,” meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. If the accused is less than three years older than, or is younger than, the alleged minor victim, the case will be charged as a misdemeanor. If the accused is more than three years older than the alleged minor victim, then the crime may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If a person over the age of 21 engages in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of 16, then they may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, but most probably this will be a felony.
  • Date rape – This is a common term used to describe a rape that occurred between two people who had freely decided to spend time together, but legally it is considered to be the same as a rape under Penal Code 261.
  • Oral Copulation or Sodomy by Fraud – Described in Penal Code 266c, this involves inducing a person to engage in oral or anal sex by false or fraudulent representation or false pretense to create fear.
  • Forcible Penetration with a Foreign Object – This may involve committing an act of sexual penetration with another person with a foreign or unknown object without the other person’s consent and is described in Penal Code 289.

Consequences of a Rape Conviction

Being convicted of rape will have a lasting impact on your life. Any rape conviction in California will leave you with a permanent criminal record which may affect your ability to seek employment or go to school. California Penal Code 290 requires a person convicted of rape to register as a sex offender, and this requirement lasts for life. Failure to comply with the state’s sex offender registration requirements can result in an additional criminal charge.

If you are convicted of rape, your punishment may include:

  • A prison term of up to eight years, plus an additional three to five years if the victim has great bodily injury. If the victim is under the age of 18 years, your prison sentence can be enhanced up to 11 years.
  • A fine of up to $10,000.
  • A strike on your record based on California’s Three Strikes Law.

Defenses Against Your Rape Charge

Many people fail to consider that a rape charge can originate from many different circumstances. In fact, many defendants are genuinely shocked to find out that they have been charged with rape. The details of your case will determine how your lawyer will approach your defense. Some of the most common defenses used against rape allegations are:

  • Consent – Generally, you don’t get a sex partner to sign a release right before you are about to engage. Consent can be given verbally by a definitive “yes,” or through non-verbal cues. Non-verbal cues, such as heavy breathing, moaning, removal of clothing might show that you were reasonable in believing that consent was given. “Reasonable belief” means that an average person would have thought that consent was present in the situation, despite it not being expressly stated.
  • False identification – Many rape situations occur in poorly lit environments, or drugs or alcohol are involved. This may result in a situation where you are erroneously identified as the attacker. DNA evidence usually plays a big role in these cases.
  • False Accusations – Your accuser may be lying about a rape incident in order to get back at you as an act of revenge, or maybe they have remorse about what they have done. When defending against false rape accusations, a strong rape defense attorney with fierce cross-examination skills will be able to destroy the claims against you and point out unexplained contradictions that arise under questioning.

An Oakland Defense Lawyer Can Help You

Your world can be turned upside down if you are facing an allegation of rape, and it is easy to become anxious and depressed if you are in this position. Given the possibility of a long prison sentence, a permanent criminal record, and sex offender registration, it is important to seek a dedicated and experienced rape lawyer as soon as possible. You will need to begin building your defense right away to fight the accusations being thrown at you. With years of experience as a compassionate legal advocate, attorney Elliot Silver knows how to defend you during every part of the criminal process.

To speak with an Oakland rape defense attorney about your case today, contact Silver Law Firm online or call us at (510) 995-0000.