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Los Angeles Criminal Attorney Jeff Voll

Statutory Rape

Actual Case #1

In People v. G.R., the Norwalk District Attorney's Office issued an arrest warrant in late 2015 for my client for rape of a minor family member. After my client bonded out, I had a meeting with the Deputy D.A. assigned to the case who agreed to Not File Charges.

What Is Statutory Rape?

You may have heard the term before, but what exactly is "statutory rape?" The California Penal Code Section 261.5 defines statutory rape as "unlawful sexual intercourse." This crime occurs when someone has sexual intercourse with someone else who is not married to them and who is under the age of 18. Under the laws of California, the person committing the offense does not have to be an adult (18 years or older) in order to be charged with statutory rape. This means that even if you are 17 years old and have had sexual intercourse with your 16-year-old girlfriend, you could still be liable for statutory rape.

How Is It Different From Rape?

How is statutory rape different from rape? Pursuant to the California Penal Code Section 261, a rape charge is brought when sexual intercourse occurs with another person under certain circumstances, including (but not limited to) the following: where the mental and physical capacity of the victim means they can't give consent to the sexual intercourse, where there is the use of force, or where there is the use of drugs or threats. Statutory rape, on the other hand, is based on one thing: the age of the victim. Regardless of any other circumstances, statutory rape occurs if the victim is below the age of 18 and not married to the perpetrator.

What The Prosecution Must Prove And Who They Can Charge

As mentioned above, in general, all that the prosecution must show in order to prove unlawful sexual intercourse is that the victim was under the age of 18. What level of offense a person is charged with, and what penalties they will incur, depends on their age and the age of the victim.

Depending on the circumstances, other rape and sexual offense charges may also apply in a situation where a person has had sexual intercourse with a minor.

What Are The Penalties For Statutory Rape?

Pursuant to the California Penal Code Section 261.5, there are both criminal and civil penalties that may be given to someone convicted of statutory rape.

Criminal

Misdemeanor - unlawful sexual intercourse is considered a misdemeanor when the minor is "not more than three years older or three years younger" than the person committing the offense.

Misdemeanor Or Felony - unlawful sexual intercourse may be considered either a misdemeanor or a felony if the minor is more than 3 years younger than the perpetrator OR if the minor is younger than 16 and the perpetrator is 21 years or older.

  • If the minor is more than 3 years younger than the offender, then the offense is punishable by up to one year of jail time, with further consequences possible under the California Penal Code Section 1170, if the offender has been previously convicted of a felony.
  • If the minor is under 16 and the perpetrator 21 years or older, then the offense is punishable by up to one year in prison or a possible 2, 3 or 4 years in prison, if there was a previous felony conviction, pursuant to the California Penal Code Section 1170.

Civil

Depending on the age of the minor, any adult who is convicted of statutory rape can also be fined a sum between $2,000 and $25,000.

Legal Defenses

A person charged with statutory rape may present the arguments that it was not they who committed the offense or that the alleged conduct did not take place (Steiner, Monica: California Statutory Rape Laws: www.criminaldefenselawyer.com).

In addition, according to the California Penal Code Section 26 and California case law, you may be able to present "mistake of fact" as a defense, if you didn't know that the victim was under the age of 18 (scocal.stanford.edu, People v. Hernandez , 61 Cal.2d 529). Whether this defense is available will also depend on your age and the victim's age at the time of the offense (justia.com, citing Cal. Penal Code 261.5(d), 288a(b)(2), People v. Scott (2000) 83 Cal.App.4th 784, 800-801 [100 Cal.Rptr.2d 70] and Cal. Penal Code 288(a), People v. Olsen(1984) 36 Cal.3d 638, 645-646 [205 Cal.Rptr. 492, 685 P.2d 52]).

Related Offenses

Under the California Penal Code Sections 261-269 and 281-189, there are further penalties associated with the rape of minors and other sexual offenses against them, including fines and prison terms ranging from 1 year to up to 15 years to life, depending on the age of the minor, the age of the perpetrator and the nature of the offense.

How We Can Help

Do you have any questions or concerns about a situation that may involve statutory rape? If you or someone you know has been accused of statutory rape or "unlawful sexual intercourse," you should seek the assistance of an attorney right away. This can be a very serious charge, and having an attorney to represent you can make all the difference in the outcome. The experienced Los Angeles-based criminal defense law firm of Jeff Voll may offer exactly the help you need. If you're facing a statutory rape situation, don't hesitate to call to receive a free consultation and case evaluation. When you hire the Los Angeles-based attorney Jeff Voll to represent you, you can be assured that your case is in good hands. You will be hiring an experienced attorney who specializes in criminal law, including statutory rape cases, and who has handled over 8000 criminal law cases. You will be hiring an attorney who knows the process and knows the system. Jeff Voll has the experience, training and resources to help address your problem.

Call Now for your FREE consultation and case evaluation: 323-467-6400.

Vice President of DUI Association

Vice President of California DUI Lawyers Association

Contact Information

Law Offices of Jeff Voll
3460 Wilshire Blvd. #410
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Telephone: 323-467-6400

100 Criminal Cases Dismissed in 1 Year Alone

I stand by my statement 100% and I implore you to find an attorney who can also state that in one year’s time after announcing “ready for trial” they have proven results of over 100 criminal cases being dismissed. There is no other attorney in Los Angeles who can actually make this claim! Since my first day practicing law my one true goal and the thing that brings me the most satisfaction in my career is defending the legal rights of the accused. I personally have not ever worked as a police officer or a prosecutor. I am confident in my skills, my work, and furthermore dedication to my clients. If you can locate a criminal defense attorney who is able to claim and prove to you greater results than what is listed on my website then I implore you to retain their services and not my own in your current legal matter. Criminal Defense Results

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Jeff Voll