Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.

Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

When a person in Virginia is charged with sex crimes, the threat of prison and other penalties are only part of the problem. The damage to reputation and aftereffects can make a law.com/Practice-Areas/Criminal-Defense/Sex-Offenses-And-Pornography.shtml">sexual assault charge a lifelong issue to deal with. Knowing the law in the state when it comes to rape is one part of lodging a strong defense against these charges.

If there is a complaint that sexual intercourse occurred without the consent of the complainant -- independent of whether or not it is a spouse -- and it is done against the person's will by using threats, force, or intimidation, it will lead to a charge of rape. Sexual intercourse against a person without the mental capacity to object or is physically helpless or with a child under the age of 13, will also lead to a charge of rape. With a conviction, there will be a prison term of at least five years.

If the act is committed with a child under the age of 13 and the alleged perpetrator is three years or more older than the victim and it is part of an abduction or kidnapping, a burglary, occurred during a home invasion with the intent to commit rape or with aggravated or malicious wounding, the penalty will be at least 25 years in prison. If the act is committed with a child under the age of 13 and was committed when the alleged perpetrator was 18 or older at the time the offense occurred, the minimum penalty will be life in prison. These penalties will be served consecutively with other prison terms. If the situation is such that the alleged offender is three years older or more than the victim, the judge can add a suspended sentence of at least 40 years. If the complainant is a spouse, the court can order therapy provided there was not a previous violation of this law.

Given the nature of the crime of rape and the consequences, it is imperative that a person who is accused takes steps to form a solid defense against the charges. Seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney can help in this process.

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