Rape

Using threats, fraud, or force to have non-consensual sexual intercourse in the state of California is defined as rape. The state is unique as it’s one of the few states to actually refer to the crime as rape rather than sexual assault. California is also known to have harsh penalties for sex offenders, especially those who commit rape. The crime is a felony and can result in up to 8 years in prison upon conviction.

In addition to the penalties listed above, those with a rape conviction are required to register as a lifetime sex offender. That means if you’re convicted of rape you will be obligated to register as a sex offender for the end of your days. Failure to register on time or correctly can then result in additional criminal charges. If you or someone you know has been charged with rape in the California area, it’s highly recommended you seek legal representation.

Rape Defense Attorney in Ventura, California

If you or someone you know has been accused of rape or any sexually motivated crime, it’s time to act now. Simple allegations could potentially ruin your reputation and harm your employment and future career opportunities. A conviction could completely decimate those dreams. For these reasons and more, we highly encourage you to seek legal representation with Jay Leiderman Law.

Jay Leiderman of Jay Leiderman Law is an experienced criminal defense attorney with decades of trial practice under his belt. He’s defended clients accused of all types of sex crimes including rape, sexual battery, statutory rape, and spousal rape. Find out your legal options today by calling Jay Leiderman Law at (805) 654-0200. Jay Leiderman Law accepts clients throughout the greater Ventura County area and surrounding communities including Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Moorpark, Ojai, Camarillo, Piru, Fillmore, Oak Park, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Ynex, Buellton, Van Nuys, and Los Alamos.

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California Rape Law

Rape is one of the most serious crimes you can be accused of under California law. Conviction will automatically mean a felony and a lifetime registration as a sexual offender. These harsh penalties, however, cannot be imposed unless the prosecutor can prove all of the following elements listed under the California Penal Code 261.

  • You committed an act of sexual intercourse with another;
  • Both parties were not married at the time of the offense;
  • The act was committed despite the fact the other person didn’t consent; and
  • You coerced or forced the other person into sexual intercourse by:
    • Means of force
    • Duress
    • Violence
    • Menace
    • Retribution
    • Fear of bodily injury
    • Fraud

In context to the statute, the following terms are defined as:

  • Force – Meaning to use physical force to overcome another’s resistance/will
  • Duress – Using a threat that coerces another into sex
  • Fear of Bodily Injury – The person is reasonably afraid of being injured
  • Menace – Using threats, statements, or acts to show you have intent to injure the victim
  • Retribution – Using rape as a form of payback or revenge
  • Fraud – Using trickery or deceit to influence another into sex
  • Violence – The victim is afraid and submits due to behavior that shows an intent to hurt or even kill the victim

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Consent in California

One of the biggest elements the prosecution must prove in a rape case is that the sexual intercourse was nonconsensual. The term “consent” in context to Penal Code 261 means the other person freely and voluntarily knew the nature of the act and agreed to it. Consent can be taken away at any time during a sexual encounter. Even if the alleged victim initially consented and then decided to change their mind during the act– it wouldn’t be considered consensual.

If the victim retracts their consent during intercourse, it would still be considered rape if:

  • The victim communicated they didn’t consent with either their words or actions; and
  • A reasonable person would have understood these words/actions meant the victim was retracting their consent; and
  • You forcibly continued the act of intercourse despite the victim’s objections

It’s important to note, the victim does not need to physically resist or fight back in order to communicate their lack of consent.

In addition, according to California sex laws certain people cannot consent to sexual intercourse at all with anyone. That is because these groups of people are considered to be not capable of consenting. They may be uncapable to consent if:

  • They were too intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or drugs
  • They had a mental disorder and were unable to consent
  • They were unconscious
  • They were a minor under the age of 18.

The legal age of consent in California is 18 and the state does not carry a “Romeo and Juliet law.” That means there are no close in age exemptions when it comes to sexual intercourse with a child. Acts of rape against children under the age of 18 will result in enhanced penalties.


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How Long is a Sentence for Rape in California?

In California, rape is classified as a felony. The maximum sentence a person can receive for rape, without any aggravating factors, under California law includes:

  • Up to 8 years in prison
  • Formal probation

If an alleged victim suffered great bodily injury, then you’ll face an additional 3-5 years in prison as a result. Your prison time will also be increased by the judge if the alleged minor was under the age of 18. A conviction for rape of a minor can result in a maximum sentence of up to 11 years in prison. If the victim was under the age of 14, then the judge will extend the sentence to up to 13 years in prison instead.

The majority of rape convictions will also result in a lifetime sex offender requirement. You will be obligated to re-register at least once a year within 5 working days of your birthday. Your community will be able to discover your status with a simple search and every time you move to another area, you’ll have to personally report your new information to the local PD.


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Additional Resources

Rape Laws in California – Visit the official website for the California Legislation to learn more about their laws regarding rape. Access the site to read up on the legal definitions of rape, consent, the penalties for raping another person, and other similar offenses.

RAINN | National Sexual Assault Hotline – Visit the official website for the Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network to access their data on sexual assault as well as their hotline. Access the site to read up on the latest sexual assault statistics, new related to sex crime reform, survivor stories, and the specific sex crime laws in your state.


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Sexual Assault Defense Attorney in Ventura, California

If you or someone you know has been arrested for rape or another similar sexually motivated offense like sex trafficking or child pornography, it’s time you gain legal representation. Call Jay Leiderman Law today to set up your first consultation free of charge. With 20 years of experience on his side, Jay Leiderman can confidently develop a sturdy defense for your charges.

Plan ahead and call Jay Leiderman Law at (805) 654-0200 to set up your first consultation free of charge. Jay Leiderman Law accepts clients throughout the greater Ventura County, Santa Barbara County and Van Nuys area in California.