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Arlington Date Rape Lawyer

Facing a date rape charge is very serious. Because Virginia Code does not mention date rape specifically, it is charged under the broader umbrella of rape. Rape charges have a lasting impact on a criminal record, which means that not only will this follow you for the rest of your life, it will severely impact your chances at retaining current or obtaining future employment, determine your housing options, and alter how you are received in the general community as well. It is also important to be aware that those convicted of sex crimes in Virginia are almost always then recorded on the Virginia Sex Offender database. Being a registered sex offender will further hinder your freedom. Therefore, contacting an experienced Arlington rape attorney is highly important in protecting your rights and freedoms.

Classification of Date Rape Under Virginia Law

The term date rape really has no classification under Virginia law because it is not mentioned in the Virginia Code. Rather, it is punished like any other rape. In theory, if you are charged for date rape, you are essentially charged with rape. Generally, when someone speaks of date rape, they are saying it is a type of rape that occurs when the alleged victim and the perpetrator already know one another and rape occurs. This term can apply to people who are acquaintances, friends, long-term romantic partners, or even spouses. However, there is no firm distinction in Arlington, because Virginia covers rape as one charge, whether it is date rape or otherwise.

Differences from Other Sex Crimes Cases

Date rape is any type of rape which occurs when the victim and the alleged perpetrator already know one another. It may occur between two people who just met that night, between long-term, romantic partners, or even between spouses. The Code of Virginia covers various forms of rape, and while date rape is not mentioned in the Code, it is still charged as rape and carries the same consequences. Rape, as defined by §18.2-61, whether it happened between people who knew one another beforehand or strangers, is any act of sexual intercourse performed against a victim’s will by force, threat, or intimidation against the victim or another person, or by way of the victim’s physical helplessness or mental incapacity.

Not all date rape involves the alleged perpetrator using violent force to subdue the victim. If the victim was under the influence of alcohol or drugs which could cause physical helplessness or mental incapacity, there is ground for a rape charge. Many rape cases happen when a victim is unable to give proper consent. In cases like that, some individuals might be unaware that they are even committing a crime.

The consequences of the conviction will vary depending on the nature of the rape in question, but they are always severe. Again, in Virginia rape is charged under a certain Code section. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for any rape conviction and a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Finding Credible Evidence

The interesting thing about rape cases that make them hard for prosecutors is that commonly you have one person’s word against another. There are usually not many witnesses to a rape allegation. Alcohol can be involved in a rape allegation, which can make memory difficult and lead to somewhat less credible evidence at trial.

It is sometimes hard for the prosecution to put forth evidence of a rape because of the lack of witnesses and a possible lack of memory. Victims who allege rape are immediately taken to a nurse examiner who collects physical evidence. This is often the state’s best evidence of the offense, because the physical evidence cannot be manufactured and you have an expert who is looking specifically for evidence involving rape.

Oftentimes, the state will also build their case by speaking with the person accused and using the exchange as evidence against them. They may also have the victim reach out to the accused to try to get them to admit to any rape or other offenses that may have occurred that night.

Penalties for Date Rape

The penalties for date rape are the exact same as for any kind of rape, specifically five years in jail up to life in prison. A person should not expect that they will be facing a slap on the wrist if they are charged with date rape — the potential repercussions are just as serious. A lawyer can do various things to help mitigate your sentence, mitigate the charges, or set up a successful defense at trial.

Importance of an Arlington Date Rape Lawyer

People should not avoid hiring a lawyer in these cases because of the potential repercussions of these charges. An Arlington date rape attorney is there to fight for you and your rights, and will work to help you achieve a favorable outcome, particularly in court. These are very serious charges and highly nuanced laws. There are a lot of factors at play and trying to take them on without an experienced attorney is risky.

Someone may want avoid retaining the services of an attorney because they may feel they are guilty and that an attorney cannot do anything for them, or they may be embarrassed. Sexual offense charges are often viewed in a negative light, and people may feel that a lawyer will not be able to do anything for them, so they neglect to contact one. This is an incorrect assumption.

When you are being investigated for a rape offense, police are trying to build their case against you. They are trying to get any evidence they can. Police may be contacting you to speak with you or they may be sending the victim out to speak with you as well. They also may be observing your movement and your actions as the charges are pending. Accordingly, having an attorney who can advise you on how to minimize your exposure to any rape charge is crucially important. If you have been contacted by a police, if you have been contacted by the victim, or even if you have not been contacted but know the police are investigating the rape charge against you, a lawyer can help put you in the best position to never be charged or if you are charged, for the Commonwealth or state to have the least amount of evidence against you as possible.

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