New York Rape Lawyer

Anyone charged with rape may potentially face prison time, long periods of probation, and steep fines. Contact a New York rape lawyer before answering law enforcement questions when at all possible.

An experienced rape attorney can review your situation, determine what legal defenses may be available to you, and investigate what might have really happened versus what is being alleged.

Legal Definition of Rape

New York law defines rape (also sometimes referred to as sexual assault, sexual battery, or criminal penetration) by degrees. There are generally three degrees of rape under New York’s penal code:

First-Degree Charges

According to New York Penal Law § 130.35, first degree rape is a class B felony which involves engaging in sexual intercourse with another person:

  • By forcible compulsion
  • Who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless
  • Who is less than eleven years old
  • Who is less than thirteen years old and the actor is eighteen years old or more
Second-Degree Charges

According to New York Penal Law § 130.30, second-degree rape is a class D felony which involves a person who is 18 years old or older, that engages in sexual intercourse with another person less than fifteen years old. Or, someone who engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated.

Third-Degree Charges

According to New York Penal Law § 130.25, third-degree rape is a class E felony which involves a person who:

  • Engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than seventeen years old
  • Is 21 years old or more and engages in sexual intercourse with another person less than seventeen years old
  • Engages in sexual intercourse with another person without such person`s consent where such lack of consent is by reason of some factor other than incapacity to consent
Possible Penalties

First-degree rape charges can result in up to 25 years in prison, tens of thousands of dollars in potential fines, or both, whereas second and third-degree rape charges are class D and class E felonies respectively and may have lesser penalties.

In addition, rape convictions in New York can also result in having to register as a sexual offender. This can affect someone’s life for decades as more and more employers, landlords, and financial institutions require criminal background checks.

Potential Defenses Against Rape Charges

Most New York rape charges center on whether the sexual contact was consensual. It is well understood that when someone says no to sexual contact, that is what they mean. However, sometimes a person does not say no and the issue becomes muddled. In these situations, a New York rape lawyer can investigate the relationship between the parties as a whole.

Specifically, they can analyze what each person said during the incident, how they behaved, and what other factors may have been present to substantiate filing rape charges.This pre-trial investigation is crucial and may have a significant bearing on whether rape charges can ultimately be dismissed or mitigated through a plea bargain.

The bottom line is anyone who has been charged with rape should avail themselves to an experienced New York rape attorney to find out more.

Value of a New York Rape Attorney’s Assistance

If you are facing a rape charge, find out how a New York rape lawyer can help you. It is very important to understand the charges against you, what legal defenses are available to you, and how a conviction can affect your life. Your future is too important not to have the information you need to make an informed decision.