Rockland County Rape Lawyer

Few criminal charges have the potential to change a person’s life as much as those involving rape. Not only will a conviction under New York’s Penal Laws likely result in a substantial prison sentence but it may also require a person to register as a sex offender.

However, even before the case gets to trial, the effects of an arrest will throw your life into chaos. Allegations of rape feed into the sensationalist news media and can result in you being forced to move out of your home and may affect your employment.

A Rockland County rape lawyer understands the effect that a rape allegation can have on your life. From the moment of initial arrest, all the way until the case is concluded, a competent sex crimes attorney is dedicated to protecting your freedom and reputation.

Laws Concerning Rape Allegations

Rape is far from a one-dimensional crime. Depending upon several factors, New York’s Penal Law creates three levels of rape allegations that all carry their own potential penalties. The basic level of rape is provided in New York Penal Law §130.25. This statute says that it is illegal for any person to participate in sexual intercourse with another who is unable to consent. In addition, this statute may apply if a person over the age of 21 has sex with another who is under the age of 17. This is a criminal act even if the younger person allows the contact. A conviction here is a class E felony.

The middle level of rape is known as rape in the second degree. According to New York Penal Law §130.30, rape in the second degree occurs when a defendant is accused of having sex with a person who cannot consent because of a mental incapacity. For example, someone forcing themselves on a person who is mentally challenged would fall into this category. Convictions here are class D felonies.

Finally, the most serious version of rape is rape in the first degree. Under New York Penal Law §130.35, it is illegal for any person to have sex with another who cannot consent due to a physical incapacity. Alternatively, it is illegal to force another to have sex through the use of threats or physical restraint. Convictions here are class B felonies.

Defending Against Rape Charges

Consent is a key concept in all rape cases. Rape can only occur if an alleged victim does not consent to the sexual contact. However, there are some situations where a person can never consent. This includes:

  • The alleged victim is under the age of 11
  • The alleged victim is a child under the age of 17 when their partner is over the age of 21
  • The alleged victim is rendered unconscious due to drug or alcohol use

If someone faces charges based upon these allegations, their defense may center around whether the alleged conduct actually took place. If the allegations involve an otherwise willing and able to consent partner, a Rockland County rape lawyer may present evidence in trial that the sexual intercourse was discussed and agreed to prior to contact.

How a Rockland County Rape Attorney Can Help

Allegations involving rape are some of the most serious criminal charges that a person can face. A conviction may result in a serious prison sentence, can ruin familial and personal relationships, and will usually require the person to register as a sex offender. It is essential that anyone facing any level of rape charge take a positive step towards protecting their future.

Speaking with a Rockland County rape lawyer could be this positive step. Attorneys work to evaluate the strength of the prosecutor’s case, to conduct their own investigation into the incident, and to present a defense at a trial designed to protect the rights and freedoms of their clients. To get started on your defense, call today.