Manassas Rape Lawyer

Rape is usually defined as non-consensual sex in Manassas, VA. In other words, one person is forced to have sex with another person against their will. Date rape falls under this category in that a person’s ability to refuse has been either partially or completely eliminated by another person’s actions. Virginia law describes three categories of crimes that involve non-consensual sex that can be considered rape under Virginia law. If you have been charged with rape you will need a Manassas rape lawyer experienced in defending rape allegation cases in the area.

Definition of Rape

One definition of rape is sex against the will of the complaining witness by force, threat, or intimidation. That is rape as most people understand it. However, a person can also be charged with rape if they have sex by using the complaining witness’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness. The third way is sex, even if consensual, when it is committed with or against a child under the age of 13. Each of those three categories is considered rape in Manassas under Virginia law.

Evidence in Rape Cases

The evidence in Manassas rape cases is very different from other sex crime cases. Because sex is alleged to have occurred, in many rape cases there will be physical evidence, such as an examination of the victim to determine whether or not any DNA from the victim’s attacker could be recovered. DNA-type evidence sets apart the nature of the evidence from other sex crime cases that involve physical contact.

An experienced Manassas rape lawyer can help by analyzing and evaluating the evidence properly, knowing exactly what it means, knowing what the government will be able to admit as evidence and what things they will likely not be able to admit as evidence, and being able to present for the accused an accurate prediction of how things will go if the case goes to trial.

Often in rape cases, because of the physical evidence involved, witness testimony from experts can discuss how the DNA is both collected and tested. Witness testimony from experts that conducted the examination of the complaining witness can help establish the nature of any injuries that might have been observed at that time. There could be different levels of defenses available that are unique to rape cases, especially in cases where consent can be argued or alleged by the person who is accused.

There are a multitude of different types of evidence that could possibly be admitted or available in a rape trial, so an experienced rape attorney, who has been through it, is going to best be able to analyze the case and know what to expect.

Penalties for Rape in Manassas, VA

Generally, the penalty for rape is five years to life. However, there are aggravating factors. For example, if a person commits rape by having sex with a child under the age 13 and the person is more than three years older than the victim they can get 25 years to life. If the person is 18 years or older and has sex with a child under the age of 13, the penalty is automatically a mandatory life sentence.

Other things could aggravate a sentence recommendation based on guidelines under Virginia Law. It depends on whether or not there was any mental or physical injury to the victim and whether a firearm or other weapon was used in the commission of the felony. All of those things can aggravate it, as well.

Importance of Hiring a Manassas Rape Lawyer

Rape is one of the worst crimes that someone can be charged with.  The allegation alone can destroy your reputation and carries a severe social stigma. You may be looking at a lengthy or even a lifetime prison sentence. If a person is charged with rape in Virginia and they do not immediately contact a Manassas rape attorney, a lot of things can start to snowball against them very quickly. An experienced attorney will begin investigating the case immediately upon being retained and can help stem that tide.