Westchester County Statutory Rape Lawyer
If it results in a conviction, a charge of statutory rape can result in significant prison time. However, cases of statutory rape may be less clear-cut than they appear to law enforcement and prosecutors. If you are accused of statutory rape, it may be worthwhile to contact a seasoned attorney to ensure they have a solid defense against these charges.
A dedicated attorney is available to help defendants in New York State with their case. If you were charged with statutory rape, a Westchester County statutory rape lawyer could sit down with you and discuss your situation. Then, we could research your case to develop a defense strategy that suits your specific needs and covers every step of the process, from arraignment until trial.Statutory Rape Charges in Westchester County
Generally, the term “statutory rape” refers to sexual intercourse between an adult, usually over the age of 18 or 21, and a minor. Unlike rape cases involving adults, consent is not a defense in statutory rape cases. In the eyes of the law, a minor cannot legally consent to sexual activity, so any sexual intercourse between an adult and a minor is potentially a criminal offense.
Under New York Penal Law, there are different types of statutory rape charges that may be levied on a defendant depending on the age of the defendant and the age of the minor involved. A Westchester County statutory rape lawyer could help defendants with each of these different types of cases.Differences Between Levels of Statutory Rapes
One type of statutory rape case involves sexual intercourse between a defendant who is an adult 21 years of age or older and a minor who is less than 17 years of age. New York Penal Law defines this as rape in the third degree under New York Penal Law §130.25.
Third-degree statutory rape is the least serious version of this crime, although it is still a felony punishable by a maximum prison sentence of four years. Another more severe statutory rape scenario involves sexual intercourse between a defendant who is 18 years of age or older and a minor who is under the age of 15. Under NYPL §130.30, this is classified as rape in the second degree, which is a class D felony.
The most serious type of statutory rape is one in which the defendant is an adult and the minor is under the age of 13. New York Penal Law treats these cases as rape in the first degree, which NYPL §130.35 classifies as a class B felony.Possible Statutory Rape Defenses
New York Penal Law specifically provides for a few affirmative defenses in statutory rape cases where the individuals involved are relatively close in age. A defendant who is 18 years of age or older cannot be convicted of second-degree statutory rape if they are less than four years older than the minor involved, according to NYPL §130.30.
Additionally, under NYPL §130.10, an individual cannot be convicted of statutory rape if they are legally married to the minor in question. A Westchester County statutory rape lawyer could provide further information on possible defenses and how to respond to statutory rape charges.Get Help from a Westchester County Statutory Rape Attorney Today
Although statutory rape can be a frightening accusation to face alone, you may have legal options that are not immediately clear. In such a situation, it is important not to lose sight of your rights, including the right to a fair trial.
A qualified criminal attorney could review your case, investigate the prosecution’s position, and work with you to plan a defense that gives you the best shot at a favorable outcome. For assistance with your defense, get in touch with a Westchester County statutory rape lawyer today.