Westchester County Rape Lawyer

Rape accusations are often a very serious issue that can bring about the possibility of extended prison time. As a result, any individual accused of or charged with rape of any degree should ensure they are represented by a dedicated criminal attorney with the goal of defending your rights every step of the way, up to and including any trial.

If you were accused of rape in New York State, contact a Westchester County rape lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney who is familiar with different types of rape cases could investigate your specific situation and work with you to plan out a defense strategy that works best for your case.

Degrees of Rape in Westchester County

New York Penal Law has three different degrees of charges for the rape of an adult. As a general rule, rape involves, at minimum, unwanted and unconsented sexual intercourse. According to New York Penal Law §130.00, sexual intercourse occurs upon any sexual penetration, no matter how slight. A Westchester County rape lawyer may be able to assist any defendant charged with any of the following different degrees of rape:

  • First-degree rape
  • Second-degree rape
  • Third-degree rape

First-Degree Rape

Rape in the first degree is the most serious form of rape listed in New York Penal Law that addresses the rape of an adult. It occurs when an individual has intercourse with another adult by forcible compulsion or when they are physically helpless, according to NYPL §130.35.

Forcible compulsion, as defined by NYPL §130.00, refers to any kind of physical force or threat of immediate injury or death. Therefore, first-degree rape charges often occur in cases where there is alleged kidnapping or physical restraint. Since first-degree rape is a class B felony, anyone convicted may face up to 25 years in prison.

Second-Degree Rape

Under NYPL §130.30, rape in the second degree occurs if someone has sexual intercourse with any person incapable of consent due to mental illness or mental disability. New York courts punish second-degree rape as a class D felony, which means that it carries a prison term of up to seven years in length.

Third-Degree Rape

NYPL §130.25 defines rape in the third degree as any sexual intercourse that occurs without the other individual’s consent, or which occurs despite the other individual being incapable of consenting. For example, third-degree rape may occur if an individual simply forces another person to have sex without their consent. Third-degree rape is punished as a class E felony, which means that it carries a potential prison sentence of up to four years.

Possible Defenses to a Rape Charge

There are various possible defenses to a rape charge depending on the degree of the charge and the specific facts of the case. In many situations, a defendant may be able to claim the other individual consented to sexual intercourse. If the alleged victim is incapable of consenting due to a mental disability, such as in second-degree rape cases, a defendant may still be found innocent if they were unaware of the mental disability or the individual’s inability to consent.

In first-degree rape cases, meanwhile, an accused party may be able to defend themselves on the basis that there was no forced compulsion and that both parties consented to the use of physical restraints. Those who need further information on possible defenses should contact a Westchester County rape lawyer for an individualized consultation.

Reach Out to a Westchester County Rape Attorney Today

If you were charged with rape, you may be at a loss for what to do next. Many individuals are unfamiliar with the court system and may also be unfamiliar with their own rights.

A Westchester County rape lawyer could assist you in defending yourself in court and in protecting your rights. Seasoned criminal attorneys are committed to helping defendants obtain positive outcomes in their cases, and they could work with you to understand your specific case and develop a plan to defend that case in court. They could also conduct any investigations necessary to obtain evidence that may help your case.

When facing rape charges in New York State, do not hesitate to seek professional help. Call a Westchester County rape attorney as soon as possible to start exploring your legal options.