Fairfax Rape Attorney
Rape is one of the most serious crimes a person can be charged with, and one of the most stigmatized. If you have been charged with rape, you may be worried that even the accusation could ruin your reputation, job prospects, relationships and status in your community. You are likely also concerned about the jail time you could face if convicted.
An experienced Fairfax rape lawyer can put forth a strong defense on your behalf. If you have been accused of rape, contact an attorney in Fairfax today to investigate the allegations and the evidence against you.
What is Considered Rape in Virginia
In Virginia, rape is considered a sexually violent offense, and it carries harsher penalties than other sexual offenses. The offense is classified as violent, even if no weapon was used or the alleged victim suffered no injuries. Under Virginia Code § 18.2-61, rape requires vaginal penetration against a woman’s will, by use of force or threat, or intimidation, or by taking advantage of a person’s mental or physical incapacitation or disability, or engaging in vaginal penetration with a child under 13.
Unlike in some other jurisdictions, forced anal or oral sex does not constitute rape in Virginia. Rather, these offenses constitute the crime of forcible sodomy, though the penalties are the same as those for the offense of rape. In Virginia, it is also against the law to forcibly have sex with your spouse if it is against their will. In marital rape cases, it may be more challenging for a prosecutor to prove that your spouse did not consent to the sexual act.
Possible Rape Defenses in Virginia
There are legal defenses available if you are facing rape charges. Some defenses may include that you believed the alleged victim consented to the act or was able to consent to the act. Depending on your situation, an experienced Fairfax rape attorney can identify which defenses may apply in your case. If you are facing any type of rape charge, do not delay in contacting a qualified Fairfax rape lawyer at our firm for a free consultation.
Whether you have been charged with rape, or with forcible sodomy or another sexual offense, it is critical that you consult a Fairfax rape lawyer as soon as possible.
Consequences of a Rape Conviction in Fairfax
The penalties for all types of rape charges may be harsh. However, the potential consequences will vary depending on the type of rape charge you face and the specific circumstances of your case. Deciding which charges and penalties should apply in each case can be complicated.
In general, rape is a felony that carries a penalty of five years to life in prison. Rape of a child under 13 is punishable by a mandatory life in prison sentence, if you were 18 or older at the time of the alleged rape.
The penalties associated with rape in Virginia depend on the circumstances of the alleged crime, including whether the rape caused serious injury or took place during the commission of another crime, like a kidnapping or burglary, whether a protection order was violated, whether you have previous sexual offense convictions, and whether the victim was a child, or was your spouse at the time.
Spousal rape is sometimes treated differently under Virginia law. If you are accused of raping your spouse and you have never been convicted of a sexual offense before, your Fairfax rape lawyer may be able to ask that the rape prosecution be deferred and that you be placed on probation with the promise that you will attend counseling.
If you are convicted of rape, regardless of the circumstances, you will be required to register with the sexual offense registry in Virginia.
Contact a Fairfax Rape Lawyer for Assistance
Prosecuting rape requires evidence, and certain kinds of evidence in rape cases can quickly become damaged or contaminated if not handled or stored properly. As soon as you are aware that you may have been accused of rape – even if you have not yet been charged – it is important to consult a rape lawyer in Fairfax.
The attorneys at our firm are fixtures in the Fairfax courthouses. They have the knowledge and experience necessary to give your case the defense it deserves, ensuring that your rights are upheld under the law. To learn more about how a Fairfax rape lawyer can help you, call our firm today and conduct your free consultation.