A person being accused of rape can be one of the most devastating and serious things that could happen. How can you defend yourself against rape accusations? The best thing to do is immediately hire a Toledo rape lawyer at Patituce & Associates, LLC.
People who are otherwise not guilty end up in trouble because they try to solve the problem. You can be sentenced to 3 to 11 years in prison for raping a person under the age of 13. If you are convicted of raping a child younger than 13, you could spend your life behind bars. A rape conviction can also mean that you will be a sex offender throughout your entire life.
Do Not Wait to Get a Lawyer if You Have Been Accused of Rape in Ohio
People hesitate to speak to a lawyer before they talk to the police. This is because they were taught early on that it was important to respect the police and that they are here to help. It is impossible to be more wrong. Before you speak to the police about a rape accusation, it is a good idea to hire a lawyer.
Hiring a Toledo criminal defense lawyer is essential if you’re innocent. People often ask, “But I didn’t do anything wrong!” They think they have nothing to worry about unless they’re guilty. These are the people who are often convicted because they do or say something that the police feel is incriminating.
Your freedom is at stake. You should not talk to the police about allegations of rape until you have obtained competent, experienced counsel. To protect yourself, you must act fast. You should contact a Toledo rape lawyer immediately if the police call you.
While polite to police officers, they are only there to conduct criminal investigations. Your criminal defense lawyer will advise you if it is in your best interests to speak.
Can You Use Consent as a Defense to a Rape Charge?
Consent is one of the strongest and most common defenses against a rape allegation. We are former prosecutors who have dealt with many cases involving rape and can tell you that consent is the most difficult defense to beat in cases of “he said, she said.” Many cases of rape are without witnesses and involve no serious injuries (such as black eyes, scrapes, or cuts).
Some alleged victims may feel regretful about their actions the next day and claim that they were raped. False allegations of rape can also arise in cases involving infidelity.
Are You Allowed to Use Past False Rape Claims as Evidence or Defense?
It is a horrible thing to be accused of rape. This is in large part due to the stigma attached. It is worse to be falsely charged by someone with a history of making false claims. Our clients often ask us if they can use false rape claims from the past as a defense. False claims are a common defense strategy for Toledo rape defense attorneys.
Although some certain requirements and rules must be followed to present the evidence, if the evidence is properly collected and used, it can be used against the witness to discredit him before the jury. A witness who lies about such serious charges is unlikely to be forgiven.
If I Am Convicted of Rape, Will I Be a Registered Sex Offender?
Yes. If you are convicted of any type of rape in Ohio, you must register as a sexual offender. You will need to register as a sex offender every 90 days throughout your entire life in any county where you live, work, or attend school.
If you are accused of rape, it is crucial that you immediately retain counsel who can aggressively and actively defend you. For some rape cases, the penalty can be life imprisonment. But if you’re released after a rape conviction, you will need to worry about the lifetime registration requirements that go along with these cases.
What Are the Penalties for Rape (O.R.C. Ohio 2907.02)?
To find out the penalties for a rape conviction, you should speak to a Toledo rape lawyer. The mere accusation of rape has led to the dissolution of marriages, loss of employment, and the removal of children. However, the penalties can be more severe.
Rape is a first-degree felony and can result in a sentence of 3 to 10 years imprisonment. After you have been released from prison, you will also be labeled a Tier 3 Sexual Offender. You will need to register publicly for the rest of your life every 90 days.
Penalties for rape can also be increased based on the victim’s age, to the point that a conviction of rape could carry the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. A conviction could also mean that the victim can be sentenced to life if they are minors.
What Is the Penalty for Rape if You Are a Juvenile Defendant?
We often receive difficult and emotional phone calls from parents who want us to represent a child charged with rape. We are former prosecutors and know the difficulty of these cases. The first question that parents ask is whether the penalty for rape is different for an underage defendant. It depends.
The juvenile court system differs from the adult system. Technically, a conviction in the juvenile court means that the maximum time you can spend in prison as a juvenile is until your 21st birthday. Ohio often tries to transfer juveniles 16 years and older to the adult division.
A juvenile aged 16 or over can be tried as an adult and could face life imprisonment with parole if they are convicted of O.R.C. 2907.02(A)(1)(b). This sentence can be reduced to three to eleven years if certain criteria have been met. While it is important to keep the penalties in mind, it is also important to concentrate on fighting the charges. If handled correctly, many of these cases are possible to resolve.
What Is Sexual Battery?
Sexual battery or assault (O.R.C. 2907.03) is a serious offense that can cover a wide variety of possible behaviors. The statute generally penalizes sexual behavior that involves coercion, fraud, or the inability to consent.
Situations that can lead to charges include sexual contact with someone who is not able to consent due to intoxication or where the defendant is a teacher at school while the victim is a student.
Individuals held in prisons or hospitals are protected by the statute. Based on the theory that prisoners cannot freely consent, those who have supervision or disciplinary authority over them be charged with sexual battery.
The penalties for sexual assault and sexual battery are severe. Without additional factors, sexual battery can lead to a three-degree felony conviction with a sentence of between nine months and five years in prison. A definite sentence of at least two years in prison and as long as eight years could be given if the victim is under 13 years old.
Gross Sexual Imposition (O.R.C. 2907.05)
A prosecutor charges you with gross sexual imposition if they can prove that you forced someone to have sexual contact against their will.
This is possible through:
- Force or threatening force
- Drugging the victim or taking advantage of a drugged situation
- If the victim is younger than 13 years old and cannot legally consent
- If the victim is suffering from a mental or physical condition or has reached an advanced age that affects their ability to consent
A conviction for a first offense is a third-degree misdemeanor. It can carry a sentence of up 60 days. You’ll be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor if you have previous sex crime convictions, you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and face a six-month maximum sentence.
If the victim is younger than 13, gross sexual imposition is a third-degree felony that can lead to a 5-year sentence.
What if I Am a “John Doe” Suspect in Cold Case Rape Indictment?
Ohio recently pushed to review “cold” cases of rape.
The state lab is receiving old DNA evidence. It is producing high volumes of results. The prosecution will file charges if the lab finds a match. In cases where the lab does not match, the prosecution will file charges against John Doe for rape to protect their right to seek a conviction even after the statute of limitations has expired.
What if you believe you are a John Doe? This is a highly contested issue in some courts. You should seek aggressive counsel to help you mount the strongest defense possible against sex crime charges. There may be constitutional challenges, as well as challenges to DNA evidence and other evidence that the prosecution may use.
What Happens at My First Court Date on a Rape Charge?
Your arraignment is your first appearance in court. Similar hearings are held in other courts. You will enter a plea agreement at your arraignment. This plea protects your rights from possible punishment and allows you to fight the case.
The court will also address one of the most important aspects of your case at your first court appearance: setting a bond. The bond serves two purposes: it ensures that you appear in court and protects the public. Although you are presumed innocent, the prosecution wants to ensure that the public is safe.
Can We Appeal the Verdict in a Case of Rape?
You have thirty days from the sentencing date to appeal a rape conviction to the Court of Appeals. A Notice of Appeal will be filed by an attorney in the trial court along with all motions and forms. The attorney will request a copy of the transcripts of the proceedings. A brief will be prepared to explain the errors made by the trial court.
The brief will be filed and the state of Ohio can respond. After the briefs have been submitted to the Court of Appeals, a date for oral arguments will be set. The lawyer will be able to present arguments to the panel.
The judges will issue a ruling later. The court has the option to affirm or reverse the decision of the trial judge.
Contact an Experienced and Trusted Toledo Rape Lawyer Today!
We have been called upon to appeal rape convictions where we weren’t the original firm representing them. We are very skilled at what we do.
Our team at Patituce & Associates has over 70 years of combined legal experience. We don’t believe that you should be required to pay to discuss your case. We offer a free and confidential consultation.
Please tell us all about your case so we can properly defend you. If we accept your case after the initial consultation, we will immediately start defending you by obtaining evidence and examining it.