Top Cottonwood, AZ Statutory Rape Lawyers Near You

Statutory Rape Lawyers | Prescott Office | Serving Cottonwood, AZ

1550 Plaza West Drive, Prescott, AZ 86303

Statutory Rape Lawyers | Flagstaff Office | Serving Cottonwood, AZ

9 West Cherry Avenue, Suite B, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Statutory Rape Lawyers | Flagstaff Office | Serving Cottonwood, AZ

209 N. Elden Street, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Statutory Rape Lawyers | Flagstaff Office | Serving Cottonwood, AZ

224 E Birch Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86001-5246

Statutory Rape Lawyers | Prescott Office | Serving Cottonwood, AZ

711 Whipple St, Prescott, AZ 86301

Statutory Rape Lawyers | Flagstaff Office | Serving Cottonwood, AZ

121 E Birch Ave, #309, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Statutory Rape Lawyers | Flagstaff Office | Serving Cottonwood, AZ

609 N. Humphreys Street, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Cottonwood Statutory Rape Information

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Find a Statutory Rape Attorney near Cottonwood

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.

What sort of issues can I seek legal help with?

Specialized legal help is available for most legal issues. Each case is unique; seeking legal help is a smart first step toward understanding your legal situation and seeking the best path toward resolution for your case. An experienced lawyer understands the local laws surrounding your case and what your best legal options might be. More importantly, there are certain situations and circumstances – such as being charged with a crime – where you should always seek experienced legal help.

What to Expect from an Initial Consultation

  • Seek to determine whether the attorney can represent you. There is no one-size-fits-all legal solution and it may turn out your needs are better served by an attorney in a different specialization.
  • It’s important to find a legal ally who is both competent in the law and someone you can trust to protect your interests.
  • Discuss how the practice’s billing works and discuss possible additional charges or fees that may arise during or after the resolution of your case.

An attorney consultation should provide you with enough information so that you can make an informed decision on whether to proceed with legal help.

How will an attorney charge me?

A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:

  • Bill by the hour
  • Contingent fee agreement
  • Flat fee agreement

Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.

Common legal terms explained

Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.

Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.

Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.

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