In criminal trials involving rape, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you:
- You had sexual intercourse with the victim
- At the time of the sexual act, you and the victim were not married
- The alleged victim did not consent to the sexual intercourse; and
- The act was accomplished through threats, force or fraud to induce the victim into engaging in sexual intercourse
Perhaps the most important of these elements is that the victim did not consent to sexual intercourse. Consent is very complicated. One of the most common legal defenses our skilled rape defense attorneys have been able to use to help our clients fight rape charges is that the defendant had a reasonable belief that the alleged victim consented to the act.
Reasonable Belief of Consent Defense Against Rape Charges (PC 261)
You should not be convicted of rape under PC 261 if you actually and reasonably believed that the other party involved in sexual intercourse consented to the act, and you actually and reasonably believed that the person consented throughout the entire act of intercourse.
What this means is that your skilled Wallin & Klarich rape defense lawyer may have a valid legal defense to rape charges if you reasonably believed your partner consented to sex.
Can There Be Evidence of Consent?
Many people think that certain evidence can be used to prove consent. For example, the defendant had an existing or previous sexual relationship with the alleged victim, therefore he or she must have consented this time. Unfortunately, it is not that simple when it comes to rape.
Consent can be difficult to define. However, remember that it is up to the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not have an actual and reasonable belief that the alleged victim consented to sex. The court will look at the circumstances of the incident in order to determine whether you should have reasonably believed the other party consented to the act. Would a reasonable person in your situation have believed that consent was given? This is the question that must be asked if your experienced rape lawyer raises consent as a defense.
Contact the Rape Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or someone you care about has been charged with rape, you should discuss all available legal defenses with an experienced rape defense attorney as soon as possible. At Wallin & Klarich, we have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending clients accused of rape. We’ve helped thousands of people in their time of legal need, and we can help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available near you no matter where you are located.
Contact our sex crimes defense law firm today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free, no-obligation phone consultation. We will be there when you call.