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As a former probation officer, deputy district attorney and probation officer with more than 15 years of experience  I have the experience to help you through your criminal matters we can get you through this. 

Below I will be explaining the law of statutory rape or the laws of unlawful sex with a minor. 

 

CALIFORNIA UNLAWFUL SEX WITH A MINOR (PENAL CODE SECTION 261.5) 

In California it is unlawful to engage in sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of 18 years old.  This is a very serious crime known as statutory rape.  You could face prison time as well as even possible registration as a sex offender.  I have had success representing clients charged with such crimes in the past.  A 10 out Ten rating from AVVO. and excellent google reviews attest to our ability to help clients with difficult cases.  

WHAT ARE THE LEGAL ELEMENTS OF STATUTORY RAPE LAW IN CALIFORNIA 261.5

In order to convict you of statutory rape the prosecution must prove the following elements.  

 

1. You had sexual intercourse

2. You and the victim were not married

3. At the time of the intercourse the victim was under the age of 18.  

 

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON STATUTORY RAPE

If you are withing 3 years of the victim then the case is a Misdemeanor and must be filed within 1 year. 

If you are more than 3 years older than the victim it s a wobbler offense meaning it can be charged as a Felony or a Misdemeanor and three years statute of limitations apllies however, under Penal Code section 803 the so called DNA exception if DNA is found the statue many not apply if after 2001 and dna was collected and analyized within 2 years of the offense.  

OVER THE AGE OF 21

If you are over the age of 21 and the victim is 16 or younger than the offense will always be a Felony. 

 

REGISTRATION AND STATUTORY RAPE

Many people wonder if they will have to register as a sex offender is they are convicted os statutory rape.  The offense is a discretionary offense meaning it will be complicated.  If the Judge found that the offense was as a "result of sexual compulsion, or for the purposes of sexual gratification then there could be registration involved. 

The bottom line is that is that it is not mandatory registration for the offense.  

DEFENSES TO THE CHARGE

Iti is a defense if you actually and reasonably believed that the victim was older than 18 her actions words and where the encounter occurred such as meeting in a bar go into the defense. it must be a good faith belief.

NO PENETRATION

If there was not actual pentration of the vagina then there is a defense to the crime.    

 

The bottom line is a reasonable person in the same situation as you would have believed that the person was 18 years or older at the time of the intercourse than there could be a defense to the crime.  As stated above all of the circumstances of the encounter will be looke at including wha the victim says at the time of the offense.  

Many people ask if it is illegal to date a person under the age of 18.  The statutory rape laws deal with intercourse and that is for a reason it is difficult to tell what someones motives are for being with somoene under the age of eighteen.  However once the relationship becomes sexual then there is a difference and a crime has been committed.  There could even be kissing or holding of hands but not sexual intercourse this would not be a crime but could be some other crime. If you have any questions give us a call at 559-441-1418.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gerald Schwab, Jr.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & DUI ATTORNEY SERVING ALL OF CALIFORNIA

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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
5588 N Palm Ave,
Fresno, CA 93704
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