Top Bullhead City, AZ Statutory Rape Lawyers Near You

Statutory Rape Lawyers | Kingman Office | Serving Bullhead City, AZ

2606 N Stockton Hill Rd, Suite B, Kingman, AZ 86401

Statutory Rape Lawyers | Bullhead City Office

2031 Highway 95, PO Box 20189, Bullhead City, AZ 86439

Statutory Rape Lawyers | Kingman Office | Serving Bullhead City, AZ

310 Oak Street, PO Box 126, Kingman, AZ 86402-0126

Bullhead City Statutory Rape Information

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Find a Statutory Rape Attorney near Bullhead City

What Is Statutory Rape?

Statutory rape is sexual intercourse or sexual contact with someone who is below the age of consent (which varies from state to state). Someone below the age of consent cannot legally consent to a sexual relationship, even if they give verbal consent. It is not up to the underage individual whether or not to press statutory rape charges. The prosecutor can charge a defendant with statutory rape offenses without the alleged victim’s consent.

The penalties for statutory rape depend on the jurisdiction. Statutory rape can be charged as rape, sexual abuse of a minor, or other sexual offenses. Criminal penalties may depend on a number of aggravating and mitigating factors, including:

  • Age of the victim
  • Age difference between the parties involved
  • Type of sexual activity
  • Giving the victim alcohol or drugs

How Is Rape Different From Statutory Rape?

Rape is unlawful sexual intercourse. Rape can be committed through force, coercion, or when the victim cannot give consent. For example, someone who is passed out or drugged may not have the mental state to consent to sexual penetration. With statutory rape, the victim cannot give consent because the law does not consider them to be old enough to give legal consent.

With underage sexual intercourse, it does not matter what the underage person does or says. The underage individual may be encouraging or pursuing sex but they still cannot give legal consent. If the underage person says they will not tell anyone, the defendant can still be charged if law enforcement officers find out about the sexual relationship.

In some cases, parents or guardians may be okay with a sexual relationship between the defendant and their minor child. However, it does not matter if the parents give consent or the victim says that it is okay. If a teacher, counselor, or other friend’s parent finds out about the sexual relationship and reports it, the police can still make an arrest for rape or sexual assault.

What Is the Age of Consent?

The age of consent is 16 to 18, depending on the state. However, the defendant’s age may also be considered in statutory rape charges. There may need to be a sufficient age differential between the victim and the defendant, if the victim is above an age minimum. There may also be a minimum age of the defendant in order to prosecute someone for statutory rape. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to understand the legal defense strategies in your case.

How Much Jail Time Can a Person Get for Statutory Rape?

In most cases, statutory rape or sexual assault of a minor is a felony offense. The felony penalties for a statutory rape conviction may include more than a year in prison. When the minor victim is under a certain age, the prison sentence can be much longer, including up to life imprisonment.

In addition to jail time and fines, statutory rape may be considered a “registerable offense.” After the defendant serves their sentence and is released from jail, they may have to register with local law enforcement agencies as a sex offender. Sex offenders have mandatory registration every year or whenever they move.

Sex offenders are put on a database that is public information and can be searched by the defendant’s name or search location. The sex offender registry may have identifying information, including:

  • Name
  • Photograph
  • Physical description
  • Address
  • Sex crime

Is It a Defense if Someone Lied About Their Age?

In some cases, it may be a defense if the defendant had an honest and reasonable belief that the victim was over the age of consent. However, simply claiming the victim lied about their age may not be enough. It can help the defendant’s case if there are factors supporting their claim, including:

  • Victim had a fake I.D. and claimed an older age
  • Victim was in a place where minors are not generally present, including a bar
  • There were other witnesses who were told and thought the victim was older

However, even if the defendant has substantial evidence of a reasonable belief of the age of consent, there may be a bar to this defense if the victim is under a certain age. If you have questions about this or other legal defenses, talk to a sex crimes defense attorney.

Can You Sue for Statutory Rape?

For criminal statutory rape laws, it is up to the prosecutor to bring criminal charges. The victim is not required to support criminal charges and the victim cannot drop criminal charges. Even if the victim comes to the defendant’s defense, the prosecutor can still pursue a felony conviction.

The victim of statutory rape may be able to file a civil complaint against the defendant for civil penalties. A civil cause of action may allow the victim to recover damages from the defendant, including monetary compensation.

Do You Need a Statutory Rape Lawyer?

There are severe penalties associated with a statutory rape charge, including harsh prison sentences and lifetime sex offender registration. A criminal defense attorney can provide an aggressive defense strategy to help you avoid criminal charges. Contact an experienced attorney for legal advice.

Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney

  • How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
  • How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
  • What is the likely outcome for my case?

In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.

The Importance of a Good Consultation

The goal of an initial consultation is to find an attorney you are comfortable working with and someone who can help you understand your options under the law. Seek to understand the relevant legal experience the attorney brings to your case. While it is not realistic to expect an attorney to resolve your legal issue during an initial consultation, you should gain a level of comfort with his/her ability to do so. A good consultation can clarify issues, raise pertinent questions and considerations for your case, and help you make an informed decision towards resolving your legal issue.

Points to Consider Before Hiring a Lawyer

Experience. Regardless of the type of legal matter you need help with, an experienced attorney will usually be able to get you better results.

Competence. Determine an attorney’s expertise by asking about their track record for the issue you need help with resolving.

Fit. There are plenty of good attorneys out there; make sure you find one you are comfortable working with.

Common legal terms explained

Plaintiff – a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.

Judgment – A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.

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