In New York, the degree of a rape charge will vary based on the circumstances surrounding the case. Rape is defined as non-consensual sexual intercourse that is carried out against an individual though threats, involuntary intoxication, or physical force.
There are three degrees of rape in New York. According to New York Penal Code Section 130.25, an individual can be convicted of rape in the third degree if he or she engaged in sexual intercourse with an individual who is not capable of consent other than being under the age of 17. If the accused is over the age of 21, and the victim is under the age of 17, the accused could be charged with rape in the third degree.
If the accused is older than 18 and engaged in sexual intercourse with an individual under the age of 15, the accused could be charged with rape in the second degree. An individual who engaged in sexual intercourse with an individual who is mentally incapacitated or mentally disabled could also be charged with second-degree rape.
An individual is guilty of rape in the first degree when he or she engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim through the use of physical force, physical injury, or kidnapping. If the accused engaged in sexual intercourse with an individual who is incapable of consent because he or she is physically helpless, the accused could face a first-degree rape charge. When the victim was less than 11 years old, the accused will be charged with rape in the first degree. If the defendant is older than 18 and the victim is younger than 13 years of age, the defendant will face a first-degree rape charge.
What are the Penalties if Convicted of Rape?
In Queens, all forms of rape are classified as felonies and carry serious penalties. If an individual is convicted of rape in the third degree, he or she will face a Class E felony, which could result in a prison sentence up to four years. Furthermore, the convicted could also have to pay a fine of up to $5,000.
When an individual is convicted of rape in the second degree, he or she will be charged with a Class D felony. The penalty for a Class D felony is a maximum prison sentence of seven years, and the convicted could face a fine up to $5,000.
Rape in the first degree is a Class B felony. Individuals who are convicted of a Class B felony will be required to serve between five and 25 years in prison and have to pay a fine of $5,000.
In addition, those who are convicted of rape in New York will also be required to register as a sex offender even if they move to another city or state. Individuals who are convicted of rape may also have problems finding employment, and they may not be allowed to rent or purchase residential property near schools.
Defenses to a Rape Charge
While the defense strategy will depend on the facts that surround each case, there are a number of defenses that can be used to fight a rape charge in Queens. A primary element to a rape charge is lack of consent, so it could be argued that the sexual intercourse was consensual. A criminal defense attorney can argue that the accused did not use physical force and the other individual wasn’t helpless. Another defense to a rape charge could be mistaken identity. It is the prosecutions burden to provide evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of rape.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
When an individual has been charged with rape in Queens, it is vital that he or she seeks legal guidance as soon as possible. If you have been arrested for rape, it is important to remain silent until you have a criminal defense attorney by your side because what you say can be used against you during trial.
If you or someone you know is facing a rape charge in Queens, contact our law office for a consultation. Our legal experts have more than 100 years of combined experience.
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