Virginia Statutory Rape Lawyer
Most everyone understands that a key element when it comes to establishing the crime of rape is the absence of consent on the part of the victim. If an individual who meets the definition of a minor is involved in sexual intercourse, even when consensual in nature, the act can subject the other participant to a charge commonly known as statutory rape.
The reason for this is that the law deems young people of a certain age unable to legally provide informed consent to sex. Charges of this type can seem especially surprising or unfair, particularly when the accused is also a minor and who may never have had any legal trouble whatsoever in their past.
Given the potentially devastating effects a statutory rape conviction can have on anyone, especially someone just starting out in life, it is vital that the help of a knowledgeable Virginia statutory rape lawyer be obtained as soon as possible once an investigation has commenced or charges have been filed.
Important Virginia Code Provisions
There are two primary ways in which statutory rape is prosecuted in Virginia, and the potential penalties imposed will be determined by the specific conduct in which the parties engaged, as well as the victim’s age at the time of the offense.
Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 18.2-61, the Commonwealth’s general rape statute, an individual can be found guilty of a felony if he or she had sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 13. Depending on the age of the perpetrator, terms of incarceration can range from no less than five years up to lifetime imprisonment.
Virginia Code Section 18.2-63 provides that any individual who “carnally knows” a child between the ages of 13 and 15 may be found guilty of a Class 4 felony. Carnal knowledge as defined by statute includes sexual penetration, oral sex and other acts.
In cases where both parties were minors, an accused may face conviction of either a Class 6 felony or a Class 4 misdemeanor, depending on the age difference between the two involved. Each of these crime classifications bring with them terms of incarceration and/or monetary fines.
It should be noted that statutory rape is not a crime for which a prosecutor needs to show that an assault occurred. However, acts of this nature which do in fact involve the use of force can also be prosecuted under Virginia’s aggravated sexual battery law, found at Virginia Code Section 18.2-67.3.
In any of these cases, regardless of the level and category of crime, it is vital to consult a statutory rape attorney in Virginia, in order to discuss possible defense options.
Potential Consequences of Conviction
Despite the fact that many incidents labeled as statutory rape are in fact consensual acts committed by individuals utterly lacking in criminal intent, the consequences of conviction are extremely onerous and can cause a lifetime of heartache.
Even after jail terms are served and fines are fully paid, individuals convicted of statutory rape may be required to register as sex offenders, saddling them with a social stigma that will follow them for the rest of their days.
A criminal record of this type may hinder future employment prospects, cause the loss of existing jobs, prevent admission to certain professional organizations, and cause untold damage to relationships and reputations.
For these reasons, anyone charged with statutory rape in Virginia owes it to themselves and their family to secure the most vigorous legal defense available.
Why Hire a Virginia Statutory Rape Lawyer
In terms of implications for future success, few things are more devastating than a criminal record that includes convictions of a sexual nature. The lifelong effects of such an event can prove financially, emotionally and socially crippling.
A Virginia statutory rape attorney can work to have charges dropped or reduced, but if those options prove difficult, he or she can pursue effective plea negotiations designed to mitigate the harm convictions of this type routinely yield.
If you are facing statutory rape charges in Virginia and require zealous protection of your right to fair treatment under the law, contact an attorney with our firm as soon as possible.
If you are seeking information or representation regarding sex crimes in Maryland, please visit Kush Arora Attorney at Law’s website – available by clicking here.