In this criminal defense law blog, we have previously covered rape, statutory rape, spousal rape, sex crimes against children and forced oral copulation, but perhaps the most serious of all sex crimes is aggravated rape. While all sex crimes require the help of an attorney, aggravated rape accusations require the help of a criminal lawyer with experience handling these types of difficult cases.
What is Aggravated Rape in California?
This crime occurs when a sexual assault involves more than one attacker, a weapon, use of force that resulted in great bodily injury or a suspect with at least one prior conviction on his or her record. These cases are not only more serious than a standard rape charge, but they will also often result in a more biased jury, which means your San Diego aggravated rape attorney will need to work even harder to fight the charges.
What is the Penalty for Aggravated Sexual Assault?
Generally speaking, sexual assault has a maximum penalty of up to eight years, but aggravated rape can result in either 15 or 25 years to life in prison under California’s one strike law for rapes that involve bodily injury, weapons, more than one attacker, or during a burglary or kidnapping. California aggravated rape laws also call for life sentences in prison for anyone convicted of such a crime against a minor.
Even if you have been released, you will need to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life, even under California’s newly modified registration system. If you are considered a particularly dangerous violent offender, you could even be subjected to mandatory confinement in an institution or chemical castration.
There is No Statute of Limitations
It’s important to recognize that in the state of California there is also no statute of limitations for aggravated rape crimes, so if someone identifies their attacker forty years after the incident occurred, that suspect could still be arrested and sentenced despite the long stretch of time since the act actually took place. With all this in mind, it’s easy to see why it is so important to only fight these charges with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in San Diego.
You Can Fight These Serious Charges
If you have been accused of aggravated rape in San Diego, it is critical you work with a criminal defense lawyer with experience handling cases involving these type of serious sex offenses. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain for you to face lesser charges, particularly if minimal force or violence was used. Alternatively, if the victim has reason to falsely accuse you of such a crime and there is a lack of evidence other than his or her testimony, your lawyer may show the prosecution does not have evidence to convict you. Finally, many people accused of these types of serious offenses are simple victims of mistaken identity and even if the incident actually took place, that doesn’t mean you were involved or broke the law in any way.
Remember that what you say can be used against you and attempting to defend yourself could actually hurt your case later on. That is why anyone who has been accused of the serious offense of aggravated sexual battery or any similar sex crime should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Never speak to the police, prosecutor, the victim, a witness or any other person involved with the case without an attorney present.
If you have been accused of aggravated sexual assault or believe you may be accused of the crime, please call Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024.
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