May 3, 2013 By Stephen Klarich

After a night of drinking, you meet a woman at the local bar. You are intoxicated. She is intoxicated. You both leave to her place and have intercourse. Now she is accusing you of rape. Does this sound all to familiar? Read the following essential information if you want to remain a free man.

California Rape Criminal Defense Attorneys
A rape criminal defense attorney can help you defend your freedom.


Punishment For Rape (PC 261)

Under California law PC 261, rape is charged as a felony. This means that if you are charged with rape, you face a potential prison term of 3, 6, or 8 years in state prison. If the victim sustained great bodily injury as a result of the rape, the judge has the option of sentencing you to an additional 3 to 5 years.

Punishment can be even more severe if you have prior “strikes” on your record. Any serious and violent felony qualifies as a “strike”. If you have 2 or more prior strikes on your record and are convicted of rape, you may face a minimum of 25 years to life in state prison. If you have one strike on your record, you may face a prison term that is double that of your current sentence.

Rape is a “sex crime” in California. This means that if convicted of rape, you must register with local law enforcement as a >sex offender (PC 290).

The Prosecutor’s Burden Regarding Rape

To convict you of rape under PC 261, the prosecutor must prove the following FOUR elements:

  1. You had sexual intercourse with the victim
  2. You were not married to the victim at the time of the intercourse
  3. The victim did not consent to the intercourse, AND
  4. You brought about the intercourse by either:
      – Force or fear (force, violence, duress, menace or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury to the woman or someone else);
    • – Threats of future bodily harm (a threat to retaliate in the future against the victim or someone else); OR
      – Threat of official action (a threat to use the authority of a public figure to incarcerate, arrest, or deport someone)

If the victim initially consented to intercourse, but later changed her mind, you may still be charged with rape if:

    – She communicated to you that she objects to the intercourse and wished to stop
    – She communicated her objection through words or actions that a reasonable person would understand as her lack of consent, AND
    – You forcibly continued the act of intercourse despite her objections

What Wallin & Klarich Can Do For You

If you face PC 261 rape charges, contact the aggressive rape criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. We know the intricacies of PC 261 and can provide you with an aggressive defense. Wallin & Klarich can oftentimes raise strong defenses after examining your case closely. For example, Wallin & Klarich may be able to show that the alleged victim consented to intercourse. Also, if the intercourse was not brought about by force or threat, the charges you face could be dropped. Also, if the alleged victim’s communications could reasonably be taken as consent, the charges could also be dropped.

Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing PC 261 rape charges and helping them avoid jail time. We have the skill and experience to help you win your case. Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks. Call us today at (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.

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