Westchester County Rape Defense Lawyer
NEW YORK PENAL LAW 130.25, 130.30, & 130.35
Rape is one of the most aggressively-prosecuted crimes in the criminal justice system and a conviction can have dramatic effects, like decades in prison, combined with a requirement to register as a sex offender and restrictions on what type of job you can hold or even where you can live once you’re released from prison.
False allegations of rape and sexual assault can destroy a person’s life. The state of New York strictly punishes those convicted and leniency is rare. If you are accused of committing a rape, don’t wait to retain legal representation. Call an experienced Westchester County rape defense attorney at the law offices of Kimberly Pelesz New York Law, LLC.
RAPE CHARGES IN NEW YORK
There are varying degrees of sexual assault charges in the state of New York. The charges that you face will depend on the circumstances of the alleged crime that you committed. Each charge carries varying penalties including jail time, fines and a registration on the New York sex offender registry. Specifically, New York’s laws regarding rape are:
- Forcible Touching, which is covered under Penal Law 130.25 and charged as a Class A Misdemeanor;
- Rape in the Third Degree, which is covered under Penal Law 130.25 and charged as a Class E Felony;
- Rape in the Second Degree, which is covered under Penal Law 130.30 and charged as a Class D Felony; and
- Rape in the First Degree, which is covered under Penal Law 130.35 and charged as a Class B Felony.
First-degree sexual assault is a class B felony that is defined as engaging in sexual intercourse through force, which could be physical force or the threat of immediate death, physical injury or kidnapping, intercourse with someone that is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless, is younger than 11 years old, or who is less than 13 years old and the defendant is 18 years old or older. Section 130 of the New York Penal Code provides that “sexual intercourse” has its ordinary meaning and occurs upon any penetration, however slight.
Second degree rape in New York is when one engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is less than 15 years old and the defendant is 18 years old or older or who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated. Third degree sexual assault is the lowest degree of the offense and occurs when one engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than 17 years old, who is less than 17 years old, and the defendant is 21 years old or older, and without such person’s consent.
All three degrees of rape are felony offenses and range from class B to class E felonies. These offenses carry sentences of 5 to 25 years of imprisonment for first-degree rape and a maximum of up to 4 years in prison for third-degree rape. The court may also impose a fine of up to $5,000 for a felony offense.
Perhaps even more significant than the prison time and fines that you face is the fact that you will have to register on the sex offender registry in New York. This means that anyone—the public, family members, friends, future employers and landlords, or government agencies—will be able to access your information after you are convicted of rape in New York.
If you have been charged with any degree of sexual assault, hire an experienced Westchester County rape defense attorney who knows the law and the defenses used in rape cases. There are numerous defenses that can lighten your sentence or sometimes even get the case dismissed. You may not be aware of them but a good Westchester County rape defense attorney sure will.
When you work with an experienced Westchester County rape attorney, your case will be thoroughly reviewed and a solid defense strategy will be crafted in preparation to go to court for trial. The defense strategy that you use will depend on the circumstances of your case, however there are a few strategies that are often used.
Many times, the prosecution star witness is a victim who claims that the sexual intercourse was nonconsensual. A rape conviction can greatly impact a person’s life for years to come, so it’s essential that you fight back against false accusations. Using the consensual sex defense shows the court that you admit the sexual intercourse took place, but deny that it was non-consensual and that force was ever used. To prove that the sexual intercourse was consensual, text messages, emails or surveillance video footage may be used. Medical evidence may also be used to prove that there was no force used.
Another defense strategy would be to show that the defendant was not aware that he was committing a crime. For example, the defendant could show that he was unaware the victim was a minor and believed that he or she was over the age of 18. The defendant could also attempt to show he or she was not aware that the victim was mentally incapacitated or unable to provide consent.
Remember, a rape charge does not necessarily lead to a conviction. Rape carries very serious consequences that you will have to deal with for the rest of your life. Do not put your future and your trial in the hands of an inexperienced lawyer or public defender. Instead, call an experienced Westchester County rape defense lawyer as soon as possible if you were subject to arrest and have been charged with this serious offense.
GET LEGAL HELP IMMEDIATELY
When you’re faced with a false accusation or a misidentification that becomes a rape charge, it’s imperative that you trust your case to a criminal defense attorney who is willing to fight. Even when the evidence looks overwhelming, an experienced sex crimes defense attorney can challenge the prosecution’s evidence and witnesses and fight for justice on your behalf. Don’t try to act as your own attorney when facing sexual assault charges, including statutory rape.
If you are charged with a rape or another sex crime, speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Kimberly Pelesz New York Law, LLC serves clients in Beacon, Fishkill, Wappingers Falls, Newburgh, Tarrytown, Greenburgh, Westchester County, Dutchess County, Putnam County, Orange County, and Rockland County. In addition to representing clients accused of sexual assault, our legal team can also offer representation to those who are accused of other crimes such as domestic assault, child pornography, prostitution and even murder. To learn more about how a Westchester County rape defense lawyer can help you and to arrange a free consultation, email or call our law firm at (914) 402-4541.