Fairfax Rape Attorney
At its core, rape is viewed as nonconsensual sex. Whether sex is consensual or nonconsensual is entirely dependent on whether “consent” was actually given. As a Fairfax rape lawyer, I can tell you that consent can often be a very muddy issue because consent is generally not verbal. Instead, consent is typically based on visual cues and body language. But, to be sure, the question of whether consent was given is generally the most important inquiry in sex crime cases. Another constant when it comes to rape charges is that they are extremely serious and a conviction will likely destroy the accused’s life. Indeed, not only is rape a “strike” under Virginia’s Three Strikes law, but a conviction will include prison time and being placed on the sex offender registry.
Virginia Rape Laws
Pursuant to Virginia Code § 18.2-61, rape requires (1) vaginal penetration against a woman’s will by use of force, threat, or intimidation; (2) taking advantage of a person’s mental or physical disability where they lacked the ability to provide consent; or (3) sexual intercourse with a minor under 13 years of age.
Interestingly, anal and oral sex which occurs through the use of force is not considered rape in Virginia. Instead, it is considered forcible sodomy. However, the penalties for sodomy are identical to the penalties for rape.
Defenses to Rape Charges
There are a number of possible defenses your Fairfax rape lawyer can assert on your behalf. The most common, however, is that the alleged victim gave their consent. You see, when people think of rape, they often envision a masked man holding a weapon. As a Fairfax rape lawyer, I can unequivocally tell you that most rape accusations simply do not fall within the “stranger rape” scenario. Instead, rape charges are often filed against people who know one another. This sort of more common scenario is sometimes referred to as “date rape” and date rape very commonly occurs on college campuses. In these kinds of cases, consent and force can be extremely complicated issues. Particularly when drugs and alcohol are involved. Although consent is the most common defense – likely because it is the hardest to determine – another defense involves the lack of force, fear, or threat. Yet, this defense may prove difficult to mount, as in recent years, the force, threat, or fear requirement has been significantly relaxed in rape prosecutions.
If you or a loved one has been accused of rape on a college campus, our office has a strong record of obtaining favorable results in student defense matters involving school disciplinary hearings.
Punishment for Rape in Virginia
Under Virginia rape laws, a conviction for rape can be sentenced as follows:
- If a person is convicted of common rape, they will be sentenced to a term between 5 years to life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 5 years.
- A conviction for rape of a child under 13 carries a mandatory life sentence in Virginia.
- Additionally, there are potential sentencing enhancements if a weapon was involved, if you have previous sexual offenses, if you violated a restraining order, or if the rape was committed during the commission of a robbery or kidnapping. When rape is committed under these circumstances, the penalty is 25 years to life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 25 years.
Speak With a Fairfax Rape Lawyer Today
Proving a rape case often requires physical evidence and DNA analysis. But in the real world – unlike what we see on TV – DNA collection and analysis is conducted by many people who have very little experience and training and mistakes can and do happen. If you have been arrested, charged, or are even under investigation for rape, you should consult with a Fairfax rape lawyer in order to discuss your options. At the Law Offices of Randall Sousa, we know what it takes to fight rape charges and how to obtain the best possible outcomes in our clients’ cases. Call our office today for a free consultation with an aggressive, affordable, and highly skilled Fairfax rape lawyer. 571-354-6164
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By: Randall Sousa
PASSIONATE AND PERSONAL SERVICE
The Law Offices of Randall Sousa provides clients throughout Virginia with affordable, professional, and aggressive criminal defense legal services. If you have been arrested, charged with a crime, or are under investigation, call us now for a Free Consultation.
Fairfax Criminal Defense Attorney Randall Sousa possesses a deep commitment and passion for criminal defense, and he is relentless when it comes to fighting for his clients in each and every case.
Law Offices of Randall Sousa
3007 Williams Drive
Fairfax, VA 22031