January 23, 2018 By Stephen Klarich

When you hear the term “sex offender” you probably think of someone who committed a horrific crime. However, in many cases, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, you could find yourself facing sex crime charges for an act that you thought was consensual sex. It happens often.

That is why you should learn how to avoid being accused of a sex crime. Here are some tips from our experienced sex crimes lawyers.

How to Avoid Rape Charges (PC 261)

In California, you could find yourself accused of the crime of rape when another person of any age claims that you engaged in sexual intercourse with that person without his or her consent. Rape is a felony offense that carries a sentence of up to eight years in state prison. You do not want to face these harsh consequences for rape.

So how could you be accused of this crime? Let’s say you’re at a party where many people are drinking alcoholic beverages and consuming drugs. You meet someone at the party and engage in sexual intercourse with that person. The next morning, the person realizes what he or she has done and claims that you gave him or her a drug or a drink that was spiked by drugs. Now, you could be facing rape charges.

The best way to avoid a rape conviction is to avoid these situations completely. If you are at a party where people are consuming alcohol or drugs, try to avoid being alone with someone. While we all know that people often engage in the use of drugs or alcohol to lower their inhibitions, when that level is lowered to a point where you can no longer remember what happened, you are putting yourself at grave risk.

Remember that what may appear to be consent to you in the moment often is not consent to the other party. Whatever immediate pleasure you may obtain from the act of intercourse will easily be offset by the lifetime of pain and suffering you will endure if you find yourself convicted of rape.

How to Avoid Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a Minor Charges (PC 261.5)

The lawful age of consent in California is 18 years old. It is a crime to have intercourse with a minor who is under 18 years of age. You could be sentenced to up to one year in jail or face more severe penalties depending upon the circumstances of your case if you violate this law.

In some cases, people accused of violating PC 261.5 did not realize that they were in fact having sexual intercourse with a minor. There are many situations in which you may have reason to believe the person you are engaging in intercourse with is 18 or over, such as:

  • You met the minor at a place where you would not expect minors to be present, such as a 21 and over bar
  • The minor told you she was 18 and showed you what turned out to be a fake ID to prove his or her age

Although these may be valid legal defenses to PC 261.5 charges, you should always make sure anyone that you are engaging in sexual intercourse with has the ability to provide consent. It is not a valid defense to say the minor looked 18 unless you had a “good faith belief” that the minor was 18. It is not a valid legal defense to say “she was really into it” or “she was all over me.”

If you find yourself accused of having unlawful sex with a minor, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

The first thing you should do if you are accused of a sex crime is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Not all criminal defense attorneys are equipped to handle the complex issues that rape cases present. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys have been successfully defending clients facing sex crimes for more than 35 years. We have developed a unique understanding of the dynamics of these types of cases and have a reputation of success when it comes to sex crime cases. Let us help you now.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich sex crimes attorney available near you no matter where you work or live.

Contact our law firm today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation regarding your case. We will be there when you call.

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