New York Statutory Rape Lawyer

The linchpin of any rape accusation is an assertion that there was a lack of consent on the part of the alleged victim. However, when one of the parties to sexual intercourse is a minor, New York law deems them legally unable to provide consent, regardless of any other extenuating circumstances or elements of their sexual contact with an adult.

A charge of statutory rape can be applied to a participant of such conduct more easily than many realize, and the effects can prove truly devastating. If you are facing this type of investigation, or if charges were already filed, the help of a New York statutory rape lawyer may be critical to protecting your rights and representing your best interests. An experienced sex crimes attorney could advocate for you.

Age of Consent in New York

In the state of New York, the age of consent for sexual activity is 17. As such, anyone under that age is legally incapable of providing consent to sexual relations. The legislature in the state has enacted a series of statutory provisions in this realm, with accompanying penalties that are quite severe.

The respective ages of the victim and of the party accused of statutory rape may be important factors in terms of the specific degree of the offense charged, as well as the sentencing possibilities should a conviction be obtained. An experienced statutory rape lawyer in New York could work to identify the potential outcomes of a particular case depending on the relevant circumstances.

Categories of Statutory Rape Charges

If someone who is 21 or older has sexual relations with someone under 17 years of age, they may be charged with rape in the third degree under New York Penal Law §130.25. This is considered a class E felony offense, and as such can be punished by up to four years in prison.

If the accused perpetrator is over 18 years of age and the victim is less than 15 years old, the charge can be upgraded to second-degree rape according to New York Penal Law §130.30, a class D felony capable of yielding up to seven years in prison.

Rape in the first degree encompasses—among other acts—sexual intercourse with a child less than 11 years old, or less than 13 years old with a perpetrator over 18. As stated in New York Penal Law §130.35, this offense is a class B felony for which a prison sentence of up to 25 years may be levied.

Effects of a Statutory Rape Conviction

The penalties for those convicted of statutory rape in New York can be very severe. Depending on the specifics of a given case, incarceration periods can be relatively brief or can last for decades. In addition, individuals convicted of statutory rape generally face mandatory inclusion on New York's sex offender registry.

Ancillary consequences of a statutory rape conviction may be even more crippling than the formal sentence itself. Job loss, familial discord, permanent damage to community standing, and loss of professional licenses are just a few ways in which someone’s life can be altered by such a charge.

Hiring a Skilled New York Statutory Rape Attorney

Criminal offenses in the sexual realm are among the most harshly punished by New York state prosecutors, carrying consequences that may endure well after a convicted individual pays the debt to society their sentence demands. In light of this, accused parties should quickly secure the help of a knowledgeable New York statutory rape lawyer who could work to achieve the best possible result in their case. Call today to schedule a consultation.