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How to Handle False Accusations of Rape

Aug. 13, 2020

Accusations of rape and sexual misconduct are serious. When they’re false accusations, it’s natural to feel an incredible sense of frustration. So much is on the line, personally and professionally. Don’t risk your future. Get help from a criminal defense attorney who specializes in fighting for the rights of those charged with sex-related crimes.

If you have been accused of rape, you can speak with me directly at the Alec Rose Law Office to get the legal guidance you need. For more than 25 years, I've helped clients defend themselves against criminal charges and pursue justice under the law. Contact me for a free consultation. I represent clients throughout Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Orange, San Diego, and San Bernardino County.

Rape Charges in California

Under California Penal Code 261, rape is defined as an act of sexual intercourse under any of the following circumstances:

  • A person is incapable, because of a mental disorder or disability, of giving legal consent.

  • It is accomplished against a person's will by means of force or fear of immediate bodily injury.

  • A person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating substance.

  • A person is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act and incapable of resisting.

  • A person submits under the belief that the person committing the act is someone known to the alleged victim other than the accused.

  • The act is accomplished against the alleged victim's will by threatening to retaliate in the future against the victim.

  • The act is accomplished against someone’s will by threatening to use governmental authority to arrest the alleged victim.

The accuser of sexual misconduct must prove the existence of any of those circumstances in order to follow through with their accusation. The definitions of ‘consent’ as well as what it means to be ‘unconscious of the nature of the act’ are greatly debated and constantly evolving, which is why it is vital to secure an experienced attorney to guide your case.

In California, rape is classified as a felony and is punishable by up to eight years in prison. The sentence may be increased to 11 years if the victim is under the age of 18. The offender will also most likely need to register as a sex offender. Date rate, statutory rape, and other acts of sexual misconduct are taken very seriously in California and those found guilty risk life-altering consequences.

What to Do If You’ve Been Falsely Accused

If you have been charged with rape, you should be prepared to act quickly to build your defense including:

  • Gathering and preserving any physical evidence relating to the alleged victim and the incident

  • Gathering and preserving any documents that could relate to the case, such as letters, emails, text messages, GPS records, or anything else that might show where you were at the time of the alleged incident

  • Making a list of possible witnesses—any person who you think has information about the incident, the accusations, or the alleged victim—and obtain their contact information

You should also be prepared to share all of this information and material with a skilled attorney. In California, there is no statute of limitations (or, deadline) for alleged rape victims to bring criminal charges. Alleged victims may press criminal charges any time after the incident. Note that when accusers of sexual assault seek monetary compensation in a civil case, they must follow strict statutes of limitations.

How Can I Defend Myself?

There are a number of possible defenses to a sexual misconduct charge including:

  • Consent - When the accuser and the accused were personally acquainted beforehand, a common defense is that the alleged victim consented. In some instances, such as a date rape involving alcohol, the issue of consent can quickly become complex.

  • Alibi - Another basic defense is a claim of actual innocence. A defendant may argue that they could not have committed the crime because they were in a different location at the time of the alleged incident.

  • Witnesses - The evidence provided to the court for an alibi may include receipts, plane tickets, credit card bills, and witness statements. This is why it is crucial to reserve documents early in the process.

  • DNA - Defendants may also claim that the accuser has misidentified them. The defendant must provide evidence to support this claim. DNA evidence, if available, might reliably establish whether a defendant was present at the scene.

  • Motive - In some cases, the motives of the accuser are worth examining. If the accuser has something to gain by bringing a charge against the defendant, this motive could be questioned and could be used to weaken their case.

Sex Crimes Attorney Serving Clients in Los Angeles, California

Rape charges and other sexual misconduct accusations can be devastating. If convicted, alleged offenders face the possibility of jail time and other profound effects on their reputation, education, and personal lives. That’s why it is paramount to seek strong, aggressive guidance in a judgment-free environment. At the Alec Rose Law Office, I approach every case as a unique opportunity to guide my clients through the legal process, providing strong defense of their rights under the law. Don’t wait to have a fighter in your corner. I proudly serve the greater Los Angeles area and nearby colleges including UCLA, USC, Claremont Colleges, and the University of San Diego. Call me today for a free consultation.