Orange County Statutory Rape Charges

Anaheim Sex Crime Defense Lawyer

Statutory rape is sexual activity with an individual who is under the legal age of consent, which is 18. These charges can stand regardless of whether or not the sex was consensual. An Anaheim criminal attorney from The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs can provide aggressive defense if you or someone you love was accused of statutory rape (sex with a minor). Attorney Gibbs has been in the local criminal justice system for over 30 years. He is always prepared and knows what it takes to get sex crime charges like this reduced or dismissed.

California Statutory Rape Laws

According to § 261.5 of the California Penal Code, it is illegal to have sex with someone who is not yet an adult (18 years old). An individual of this age is considered a minor and not legally able to give their consent to sexual activity. Statutory rape charges can vary in severity depending on both the age of the victim and the age of the alleged perpetrator. For example,

  • If the minor is not more than three years younger than the perpetrator, then this is considered a misdemeanor. (§ 261.5B)
  • If the minor is more than three years younger than the perpetrator, this could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A punishment of up to one year in jail is warranted. (§ 261.5C)
  • If the perpetrator is 21 years or older and the victim is under 16, then this could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Possible imprisonment for two, three or four years. (§ 261.5D)

There are also civil penalties, different than criminal penalties, for engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Depending on the ages of both parties, a perpetrator may be required to pay restitution in the amount of $2,000 to $10,000.

Defenses Against Statutory Rape

If you have been arrested or threatened with statutory rape charges, there are actually many defenses that could work out in your favor. Consider the following common defenses against sex with a minor accusations:

  • You did not know the age of the individual
  • The individual lied about their age
  • No sexual activity actually took place

In some cases, courts will rule that a defendant is indeed guilty of statutory rape even though the defendant claimed he or she did not know the age of the victim. Why does this happen? Primarily, it is because the courts rule not based on whether or not there was knowledge of the victim's age, but whether or not the perpetrator should or could have reasonably come to know the victim's actual age.

Another possible defense is claiming that the defendant never actually had sexual intercourse with the alleged victim. False accusations can be common, especially when it comes to minors. With the right line of defense and a strategic use of criminal statutes and case law, an Anaheim criminal lawyer from The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs may be able to get your charges dropped.

Experienced, Compassionate Legal Counsel

If you or someone you know has been charged with sex with a minor, an Anaheim defense lawyer from this firm may be able to help. This firm provides aggressive defense and is always prepared with effective strategies. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. Call for a free consultation today so that this firm can fight to maintain your innocence and your reputation.