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Sex Crimes

San Diego Statutory Rape Defense Attorney

PC 261.5: Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a Minor

The term “rape” is never a good thing when it comes to criminal charges. Although there are opportunities for a skilled defense and positive outcome in cases involving statutory rape, or unlawful sex with a minor, the harsh social stigma surrounding sex crimes and sex offenses which connote violence – even if the circumstances show they actually do not – can make it an uphill battle when it comes to protecting one’s rights, freedom, and future.

In cases as serious as these, working with experienced attorneys familiar with California sex crime laws is crucial. At Premier Criminal Defense, LLC, our criminal defense lawyers are dedicated to protecting clients’ Constitutional rights in challenging and high stakes cases throughout San Diego and Southern California. Led by Attorney Thomas Slattery, a former prosecutor who also served as Supervising Attorney at the nation’s largest criminal defense firm, our team has what it takes to help.

If you are under investigation or have already been charged under California Penal Code 261.5, the time to speak with a lawyer is now. Premier Criminal Defense, LLC is available 24/7 to and offers FREE and confidential case reviews. Call (619) 304-9190 or contact us onlineto get started.

Statutory Rape Laws in California

Statutory rape, often referred to as either “unlawful sexual intercourse” or unlawful sex with a minor,” is a crime outlined by California Penal Code 261.5. It operates under the legal assumption that minors under the age of 18 (the age of consent in California) cannot legally give their informed consent to sexual activities, even if that is not actually the case.

PC 261.5 outlines different ranges of offenses and penalties that vary depending on the individual factors involved, including the age of the minor and the alleged offender. In fact, age difference is one of the most important factors behind whether statutory rape will be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. For example:

  • When the minor in under 18 and the defendant is no more than 3 years older, the crime can be charged as a misdemeanor.
  • When a minor is under 18 and the defendant over 3 years older, the crime can be charges as a felony.
  • Cases involving minors under 16 and defendants over 21 are more likely to be charged as felonies and result in more severe penalties.

In addition to PC 261.5, there may be other related sex crime charges defendants face, such as:

  • Unlawful oral copulation (PC 288a) involving a minor 17 or younger and a defendant of any age.
  • Sexual penetration (PC 289) involving intercourse or any penetration between a minor 14 or younger and defendants at least 10 years older.
  • Lewd and lascivious acts (PC 288) involving sexual contact between minors 13 and younger and defendants of any age, or minors who are 14 or 15 years of age and defendants 10 years or more older.

Unlawful Sex with a Minor Penalties

Statutory rape penalties will vary in accordance to the underlying charges, the age of the minor and defendant, and other individual facts and circumstances. Still, a conviction under PC 261.5 or any other related sex crime offense can come with severe and life-altering penalties, including:

  • Court ordered fines up to $1,000 (misdemeanor) or $10,000 (felony)
  • Up to 364 days in a county jail (misdemeanor)
  • Between 16 months and up to 4 years or more in prison (felony)
  • Sex offender registration (in certain cases)

The penalties with accompany sex crime, including registration as a convicted sex offender, can create long-term if not lifelong repercussions. From difficulties finding gainful employment and repercussions to a professional license to loss of civil rights, various restrictions, and societal stigma, the strains created by registration make it vital that anyone under investigation or facing charges for statutory rape immediately consult experienced legal presentation capable of fighting for their future.

Defense Strategies

Being led by a former prosecutor who knows how investigators and the government work to gain convictions, Premier Criminal Defense, LLC has the insight required of these difficult and very daunting cases. Our attorneys leverage this insight, our collective experience, and our focus on personalized service to carefully review our clients’ cases, explore their options, and wage the most appropriately tailored defense.

While every case is different, some defense strategies may generally focus on:

  • Reducing or eliminating certain penalties, including mandatory registration and incarceration
  • Challenging the government’s claims and evidence, including defenses that sexual intercourse did not take place
  • Reasonable belief minors were over 18, which may involve a fake ID, false or misleading statements made to the defendant, the location where a defendant and minor met (i.e. a place reserved for adults), and witness statements.
  • Challenging false accusations, including any false claims arising from revenge or anger

Call (619) 304-9190 to Request a FREE Consultation

Allegations of statutory rape are indeed serious matters with the potential to alter one’s future. Though serious, there are viable defense strategies you can explore with the help of our proven San Diego sex crime attorneys at Premier Criminal Defense, LLC. Call (619) 304-9190 or contact us online today to speak with a lawyer about your case ad options.

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