Sexual assault cases are difficult cases both for the prosecution and the defense. Often, the credibility of the two parties is the deciding factor. This may also occur in a case where the accused claims the sexual contact was “consensual.” If you are under investigation for or have been charged with date rape, spousal rape, statutory rape or any other type of rape, our lawyers offer a free initial consultation to evaluate your case.
Rape is a serious charge, subject to a prison sentence of 5 to 14 years with no opportunity for early release or parole. If a date rape drug (Rohypnol or GHB) is used, the penalty is increased by three years. While spousal rape used to be a lesser crime in Arizona, today it is treated the same as any other form of rape. All rape charges are registration offenses under Arizona’s sex offender registration law.
If you have been charged with rape, it is important for you not to say anything to investigators before you have talked to a lawyer and prepared a defense. It is vital for your lawyer to understand the rules of evidence in rape cases. Rape cases have special rules called “rape shield laws,” which are designed to protect the accuser. It is important that you hire an experienced attorney who understands how to, when possible, enter into evidence the accuser’s past sexual conduct. This evidence can only be entered through a “Pope Motion” and “Pope Hearing.” At the “Pope hearing” the judge will determine what relevance, if any, the accuser’s past sexual experience has to the case at bar, and then will determine to what extent this evidence is admissible at trial. It is of the utmost importance that you hire an experienced Phoenix date and spousal rape attorney who understands the intricacies of the rape laws.
DEFENSES IN RAPE CASES
There are two main defenses in a rape case:
Consent to sexual conduct with a minor over 14, but under 18, or statutory rape is only a defense if the accused did not know the age of the victim or could not reasonably known. Consent is not a defense in cases of statutory rape where the alleged victim was impaired by drugs or alcohol.
A common misperception in rape cases is that the sexual history of a victim is admissible in evidence. However, unless that sexual history is relevant, such as a dating history with the defendant, it would be inadmissible.
FREE ATTORNEY CONSULTATION
If you are under investigation for or have been charged with date rape, spousal rape or any other rape charge, please contact a lawyer at Blumberg & Associates in Phoenix as soon as possible. The sooner you contact a defense attorney, the more your attorney can do to protect your rights and your future.