Birmingham Rape Defense Attorney

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Rape and Sexual Assault

Sex-related crimes are heavily stigmatized in our society. Unfortunately, that means that law enforcement, prosecutors and the public aren’t always rational about them. In many cases, “the court of public opinion” decides, based on gender or perception of unequal power relationships, long before a real court can hear the evidence.

If you’re accused of rape or another sex crime, you need the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney who can focus attention solely on the facts.

Alabama state law defines several sex crimes, which can be broadly divided into:

  • Rape and other types of sexual assault on an adult
  • Sexual abuse of a child and other child-related sex crimes
  • Prostitution-related charges
  • Indecent exposure, public lewdness and other “nuisance” sex charges

First-degree rape is intercourse by force, intercourse with someone who is physically helpless or mentally incapacitated, or intercourse by anyone age 16 or older with a child younger than 12. It is a Class A felony. Second-degree rape is intercourse with anyone who cannot consent because he or she is “mentally defective.”

Second-degree rape is also Alabama’s statutory rape law, charged against anyone age 16 or older who has intercourse with a minor between the ages of 12 and 16, but only if the age difference is two years or more. It is a Class B felony. Sexual misconduct covers intercourse by fraud or artifice, and is a Class A misdemeanor.

Any other type of non-consensual sexual contact may be charged as sexual torture, a Class A felony, or first-degree or second-degree sexual abuse, which follows the sentencing and conditions for rape.

Molestation of a child is charged as rape in Alabama; sexual abuse of a child is defined as any non-intercourse sexual conduct with a child under 12. However, Alabamans take child molestation very seriously; you can expect prosecutors to ask for the maximum possible sentence.

Furthermore, any child-related sex charges involving the internet are likely to be charged under federal law, which provides very harsh penalties, including decades in prison and confiscation of money and property authorities believe is related to the crime.

Indecent exposure and public lewdness laws prohibit the public display of genitals and are misdemeanors. Prostitution laws apply to suppliers, customers and “pimps,” and range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class B felony, depending on the age of the people involved, the size of the business and the degree of consent.

Statutory Rape

When an adult engages in sexual activity or intercourse with a minor, it is referred to as statutory rape. Defending someone against statutory rape is slightly more complex than defending someone against rape charges involving another adult.

The law does not consider minors mature enough to give consent, which means that even if the minor consented to sex or sexual activity, the defendant can still be charged with statutory rape. Furthermore, statutory rape charges will also be filed against someone who thought they were engaging in intercourse with an adult, only to find out later that the victim was lying about his or her age.

Allegations of statutory rape are extremely serious. If you have been accused of statutory rape, it is crucial that you obtain experienced legal counsel right away. People accused of statutory rape tend to experience discrimination, ostracism, and social backlash before they are even found guilty.

Should the charges result in a conviction, a defendant will undoubtedly be sentenced to years in state or federal prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and mandatory registration as a sex offender, possibly for life.

Date Rape

Date rape is a term used to describe forced or non-consensual sexual intercourse or sexual activity between two people with a pre-existing relationship, such as a couple, friends, neighbors, or acquaintances. In some instances of date rape, the offender may use alcohol or drugs to incapacitate the victim in order to gain control over them.

Certain drugs, such as GHB or Rohypnol, have been nicknamed “date rape drugs” because of the effect they have on the victim. People who consume these drugs tend to lose consciousness quickly and have little to no recollection of what occurred while they were under the influence of the drugs.

Defending Against Rape Charges

Being charged with a date rape crime is a substantial offense. Considered a Class A felony in the state of Alabama, an individual will be charged with potentially up to life in prison, a maximum of $60,000 in fines, and mandatory registration as a sex offender.

To convict an individual of a date rape charge, the prosecution must meet certain requirements to demonstrate that the individual is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Fortunately, a skilled sex crimes attorney will know several ways to create a strong defense against date rape charges.

The Alleged Victim Consented To The Act

One of the primary issues in many date rape cases concern consent. If the prosecution can demonstrate that an individual did not provide consent, a conviction for date rape can often be reached.

In response to a date rape charge, individuals can often argue that consent was actually provided or that opposing has failed to prove consent was not given. To demonstrate that consent was provided, individuals might argue that the individual and the alleged victim were in a committed relationship with no history of sexual assault or violence.

The Wrong Individual has Been Charged

Sometimes, the wrong individual is charged with date rape. If a victim’s ability to identify an individual was impaired for any reason, then an innocent individual could potentially be charged for the crime.

In some situations, a rape victim might even falsely remember how events occurred due to the effect of alcohol or another substance. In other situations, an individual might closely resemble the individual who committed the crime.

The Incident In Question Did Not Occur

The defense may demonstrate that the sexual encounter in question never actually occurred. The defendant may argue that the lack of physical evidence regarding the incident suggests that the event did not happen.

While some individuals might desire to demonstrate that the alleged victim in question was promiscuous or acting out of revenge, this type of argument risks losing the favor of the court and many individuals decide to instead focus on their innocence.

There Is A Lack Of Available Evidence

The opposing counsel must demonstrate that there is a sufficient amount of evidence to charge an individual with committing date rape. In many date rape cases, however, the only evidence for either side relies upon testimony. One potential argument that a skilled criminal defense attorney can use when only witness testimony is available to weaken an alleged victim’s response to rape was unconventional in nature.

The Assistance Of A Top Sex Crimes Attorney

Rape cases have the potential to be particularly complex, which is why it is often wise for individuals who face these types of charges to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Contact Alabama Criminal Lawyers today at (205) 994-0616 for a free consultation.