Some of the most serious criminal charges allege the commission of rape. In general, rape involves nonconsensual sexual intercourse. A conviction for this crime involves a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 25 years with the most severe situations resulting in the death penalty.

Clearly, it is essential to mount a persuasive defense against these allegations as soon as possible after an arrest. Potential avenues for defense involve mistaken identity, disputing whether the sexual intercourse was consensual, or arguing whether there was sexual contact at all. A McDonough rape lawyer could assess your case and determine the best course of legal action. Our sex crime defense attorney could protect your legal rights, maintain your reputation in the community, and fight back against the charges during court.

What is Rape Under State Law?

Interestingly, the law in Georgia is narrowly worded so that only a man could be charged with the offense of rape. If a woman were charged with the same conduct, she would have to be prosecuted under one of the many other sexual assault related statutes. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 16-6-1, a man commits rape when he has carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Carnal knowledge in rape occurs when there is any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ. Another essential concept under the state’s rape laws is the idea of consent.

A prosecutor seeking a rape conviction must be able to prove both that the sexual intercourse was the product of force and against the will of the alleged victim. Force does not have to be physical and can be a threat or mental coercion. A common defense to rape is consent. Prior consensual encounters are not a complete defense (a husband could be charged with raping his own wife), but those encounters can make it more likely that the particular encounter was consensual. Rape charges may also follow when an adult forces sex on a child under the age of ten. By definition, these children cannot consent to sexual relations, and any intercourse here can justify an arrest and prosecution. A McDonough attorney could provide more information about the concept of rape as a criminal offense.

Penalties of Rape Convictions in McDonough

A conviction for rape can change a person’s life. This is because state law provides a minimum statutory sentence of no less than 25 years in prison, regardless of any extenuating circumstances. Additionally, the court has the authority to issue a life sentence or even to impose the death penalty. Even if a person is released from prison, they will still be on probation and need to register as a sex offender.

A McDonough lawyer could help someone accused of rape avoid these heavy penalties. As soon as the police make an arrest, an attorney could protect an accused individual’s rights. A lawyer could determine if any procedural regulations were violated that led to the acquisition of evidence and ask for the exclusion of that evidence from trial. Finally, a legal professional could cross-examine the State’s witnesses during the trial or present other information that could raise reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors.

Reach Out to a McDonough Rape Attorney Immediately

Every accusation involving rape is a serious matter. Even a mere arrest under these charges has the potential to forever change your life. If the arrest results in a conviction, even for a lesser charge, it is possible to spend significant time in prison or face other harsh penalties.

Let a McDonough rape lawyer take the lead in defending your rights and freedoms. Our team could get to work immediately to protect you while in police custody, perform an independent investigation into the matter, challenge the legality of police methods, and present potent defenses before and during trial. Contact an attorney today to get started on your case.

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Carl Chapman