Fairfax Rape Charges

Rape in Fairfax, Virginia is defined as a person having sexual intercourse with another person against their will, or causes another person to engage in sex with any other person and that is done against that other person’s will.

“Against their will” means either by force or threat or intimidation, through the use of the complaining witness’ mental incapacity or physical helplessness, or when a child is under the age of 13. So if sex is completed with another person and it’s against that person’s will or the person has some sort of mental or physical incapacity or the person is under the age of 13 — that’s rape. This offense is treated very seriously throughout Fairfax and the rest of Virginia, which means that anyone facing this charge should consult with a Fairfax sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible to discuss their case.

What Are The Different Ways That Someone Can Be Charged With Rape in Fairfax?

Rape can be charged in three ways, one is kind of the way that everybody already knows which is having sex with a person against their will by use of force or threat or intimidation. Another way is if a person is somehow incapacitated either by mental incapacity or physical helplessness. The third way is if the victim is under the age of 13.

Penalties for Rape in Virginia

The penalty to rape are generally five years to life. However there are certain aggravating factors mainly that deal with the third kind of rape in Virginia which is with a child who’s under the age of 13. That can result in either a minimum confinement of 25 years or in the worst case scenario mandatory minimum of life which means you do life if you’re convicted of that and there’s no chance of getting anything less.

What Makes Rape Cases Different From Other Types of Sex Crimes?

In a rape case you always have a victim and in many cases that victim’s testimony will be the only and certainly best evidence against the person. In many cases it’s a “he said, she said” kind of thing so that person’s credibility is very much in play and subject to cross examination. There certainly rape cases that can also involve physical evidence of the alleged crime which is most commonly referred to as a rape kit.

A rape kit is where the police collect evidence from the body of the the complaining witness and they will look for things like hair or semen or saliva or any kind of evidence that might procure DNA, and they will then try to use that DNA as evidence against the person who’s being charged.

How Can An Experienced Lawyer Help With These Types of Charges?

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you because that person is going to know how to manage a case like this. There’s many different aspects of the case like this and knowing the steps to take and when to take them is absolutely critical, because if you miss windows of opportunities to your available witnesses or filing correct motions or hiring an expert to evaluate DNA evidence, you’re not going to get them back. And so you need somebody that has been there and done that and knows the right steps to take and when to take them.

Why Is It Important To Hire An Attorney With Experience With Rape Cases?

A lawyer with experience in handling cases like this is tremendously important because that experience will allow the attorney to go off of other cases that he’s had similar to this one and use whatever defense strategies might have been successful in previous cases. Somebody who’s never done one of these before might not know where to start or might not know the right questions to ask the police or other potential witnesses. But somebody who has that experience will know exactly where to start and how to hit the ground running.