Fairfax Statutory Rape Charges

“Statutory Rape” is not a legal term in Virginia but it is a term that commonly refers to an instance where there’s sexual intercourse between a child and an adult. The primary statute deals with carnal knowledge of a child between 13 and 15. If you’re 18 years older and you have sex with 13 or 14 year old minor that could be charged as a class 4 felony. If you’re 18 years of age or older and have sex with someone who is 15-17 that can be considered a class 1 misdemeanor. And then of course there is rape which is sex with anyone under the age of 13.

All of these are treated with the utmost seriousness by all parties involved and carry serious penalties making it important that you consult with a Fairfax sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to look at your case and help you develop the strongest defense possible for your circumstance. Read on to learn more about statutory rape charges.

How Are Statutory Rape Treated in Fairfax?

In Fairfax, Virginia these cases are prosecuted very vigorously. These are considered by many prosecutors to be the worst crimes that exist, and as a result they pull no punches when prosecuting the alleged defenders of these crimes.

What Makes Statutory Rape Different From Other Sex Crimes?

The most notable aspects of statutory rape that are different involve the age of the child. There need not be an argument about whether or not there was consent, but there does need to proof of intent on the part of the alleged perpetrator. The government has to show that there was some knowledge, in that the person knew or should have known, that the person with whom they had sex was in fact under the age of 18.

For example, if the alleged victim was passing themselves off as being 20 years old and in college but in fact they’re 16 years old, and the alleged perpetrator had no way of knowing that, that certainly can be a defense.

Penalties For Statutory Rape in Virginia

A rape offense generally is the penalty of five years to life. The statutory rape, which again is not a legal term in Virginia, but if a person over the age of 18 has sex with a 13-14 year old that’s a class 4 felony which is 2-10 years. And if you’re over the age of 18 and you have sex with a 15, 16, or 17 year old that can be considered a class 1 misdemeanor which is up to one year in jail and a $2500 fine.

What Are Some Important Qualities To Look For in An Attorney For Statutory Rape Charges?

Experience is everything in cases like this. These cases are very often emotional and the evidence that is available to defense could be somewhat limited without the right person knowing the right questions to ask and what to look for at the right time of evidence. So experience makes all the difference in the world because if you’ve never done a case like this before you might not know what to do.

How Can A Defense Be Built For Statutory Rape Charges?

The cases depend greatly on what the victim is saying to determine what kind of defense we’re going to be mounting. It’s almost too difficult to go through all of the different available options for defense in cases like this because there are so many different things that the government might be seeking to prove and there are so many different things that the complaining witness might be saying.

So it’s difficult to say with specificity but almost all of these cases require independent investigation on the part of the defense if it’s going to be done right, and that involves possibly the hiring of an investigator to discuss what went on with the witnesses that are out there including the complaining witness.