Rape is one of the most serious crimes prosecuted in the state of California. A mere accusation of rape can leave you with a negative stigma that is difficult to overcome. A conviction for rape in Anaheim can lead to severe consequences, including a lengthy prison sentence, heavy fines, a violent criminal record (a “strike”), GPS-enforced parole supervision upon release from custody, separation of families and, worst of all, mandatory sex offender registration for the rest of a person’s life. That is why it is important to hire an experienced rape lawyer in Anaheim who can help you with your case.
Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich want you to understand that a rape charge must be taken very seriously and dealt with immediately. We will do everything we can to help you and your loved one win his or her case.
What is the Punishment for Rape? (PC 261)
In California, Rape is classified as a felony offense. This means rape carries very severe consequences. If you are convicted of this crime, you could be sentenced to three, six or eight years in state prison. You could also be fined up to $10,000 and required to register as a sex offender for life under PC 290. A rape conviction could also count as a “strike” on your criminal record under the California Three Strikes law.
However, the punishment for rape could also vary depending on the specific facts of your case. The victim’s age and whether you caused great bodily injury factor into your potential sentence, and you could face up to 13 years in state prison for rape.
So, what should you do if you are charged with rape in Anaheim? Our rape defense lawyers want to share with you a few things you can do to support your loved one in this difficult situation:
What Can You Do to Help a Loved One Facing Rape Charges in Anaheim?
1. Immediately speak to a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling rape cases
Because of the serious nature of this crime, you need to hire an attorney with extensive experience successfully handling rape cases. Rape accusations are often a case of “he said/she said.” In these cases, your Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney will investigate the accuser to see if he or she has ulterior motives for making the accusation, and we may be able to demonstrate that the accuser is not a credible witness.
Additionally, if your attorney discovers that evidence against your loved one was not lawfully obtained, he or she may be able to file a motion to suppress evidence pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1538.5. A successfully argued motion strikes the unlawfully obtained evidence from being used against you in your case, generally resulting in a reduction or dismissal of the pending charges.
2. Do not offer information to the police
Most people think cooperating with a police investigation means having to answer every question asked. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t necessarily make things easier for the person accused.
If the police want to question you, politely but firmly exercise your constitutional right to remain silent. Additionally, request to have your attorney present before agreeing to answer any questions.
Remaining quiet is much better than inadvertently saying something that could make matters worse for you later on in the case.
3. Don’t talk to the press
Rape cases are often highly publicized. Don’t make the mistake of speaking to reporters. The media will often slant their reporting in favor of an alleged victim. Be careful, as anything you say could be taken out of context and perhaps poison potential jurors if your loved one’s case goes to trial.
4. Make preparations for bail
At an arraignment, the court must set reasonable bail for eligible defendants who are in custody. Rape is a violent felony, often resulting in bail set at $100,000 or higher depending on the circumstances.
Before attempting to post bail, it is critical that you contact Wallin & Klarich. If our law firm refers you to a bail bondsman, you will be entitled to a 20% reduction in the normal bail bond fee of 10%. The premium drops to 8% when the bondsman knows it is an “Attorney Referred Bond.” In a case where the bail is $100,000, this can save you $2,000.
Alternatively, it may be prudent to wait until formal rape charges are filed before posting bail. The prosecution has 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, to file formal charges against an in-custody defendant accused of rape. If charges are not formally filed within this timeframe, the accused will be released without posting bail. This can save you thousands of dollars.
It is also important to remember that money paid to a bondsman is non-refundable. Thus, if formal charges are not filed or the bail is raised at the initial court date, the money paid to get you or a loved one out of custody is lost forever.
5. Make alternative living arrangements
If your loved one is accused of raping a person in a shared residence (another family member, roommate or live-in partner), he or she will likely be subject to a protective or restraining order prohibiting any contact with the alleged victim. Your loved one will have to live somewhere else while a “no contact” order is in place.
6. Gather contact information from supporting witnesses to give to your attorney
As your attorney begins to collect information to defend your loved one, he or she will likely enlist your help to locate witnesses that may be favorable to the defense.
In many cases, our clients tell us that they could not have committed the crime because they were at a different location when the alleged crime occurred. This is called an “alibi defense.” When this happens, your Anaheim rape attorney will work with an investigator to interview all possible witnesses who can verify this alibi defense.
7. Gather supporting evidence
Begin collecting physical evidence that may support your loved one’s defense. For example, time cards, receipts, cellphone texts, pictures, videos and other records that can be used to show that your loved one could not have been at the scene of the crime. For more, check out these 11 Ways to Disprove Your Accuser’s False Rape Allegations.
8. Prepare a defense fund
Defending against a serious charge such as rape can get expensive. Not only will you have to pay for a rape attorney in Anaheim, but there may be additional costs, such as psychologists’ evaluations, expert witness testimony fees, trial expenses, fines and victim restitution, should your loved one be convicted.
How Do I Find the Best Rape Attorney in Anaheim?
Facing allegations of a serious sex crime such as rape can be daunting. Hiring an experienced, aggressive criminal defense firm to represent you may be one of the most important decisions of your life. The tips listed below can assist you in making an informed decision.
l. How many years of experience does the sex crime law firm have in helping people accused of the type of crime you are accused of?
It is very important that the sex crime law firm be familiar with the type of criminal charges that you are facing. Asking the law firm how many cases of your type they have handled is totally appropriate, and advisable.
2. How much experience does the sex crime law firm have in the exact court where your case is pending?
Not only should your sex crime law firm be well versed in the law governing the type of charges you are facing, they should be equally familiar with the venue where your case is pending. Knowing the court procedures and how the judges and prosecutors operate can give you a major advantage in your case.
3. How many sex crime lawyers work together at this law firm?
You will want to retain a law firm that has multiple experienced sex crime attorneys who can work together on your case. Remember the famous quote “two heads are better than one.” Sex crime matters can be very complicated. You are much better off retaining a highly skilled sex crime team with multiple lawyers that can work together on your case as opposed to a sex crime lawyer that works alone or with just one other partner
4. Does your attorney understand and know how to attack any evidence the district attorney will try to introduce to show evidence of abuse?
Many issues may come up during an investigation or trial regarding evidence against you. An experienced attorney will know the law on what evidence may and may not be used against you.
Your attorney needs to have the knowledge to object to evidence that is wrongfully presented against you by the district attorney.
5. Is your attorney willing to investigate the alleged victims background in an attempt to attack there credibility by establishing a motive to lie or has the reputation for lying, cheating or stealing- things that go directly toward there credibility as a witness?
It is absolutely necessary that your attorney be willing to investigate the alleged victims in your case. If it is found that the alleged victim(s) have a tendency of or motive to lie about aspects of your case, attacking the credibility of the alleged victims can be an extremely useful tool in your defense.
Contact an Experienced Rape Lawyer in Anaheim
If you or someone you know has been charged with committing rape, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have more than 35 years of experience successfully representing our clients charged with registerable sex crimes such as rape.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Los Angeles, West Covina, Torrance and San Diego, our skilled Anaheim rape lawyers at Wallin & Klarich will aggressively defend you against the life-altering consequences of a rape conviction. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you win your case.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.