FREE Case Evaluation

Richmond Statutory Rape Lawyer

Statutory rape under Virginia law is the sexual act where the victim is not of legal age. The issue becomes that they’re not of an age to give consent under Virginia law and it does not matter if individuals were dating or married. Richmond, Virginia prosecutes statutory rape cases very vigorously and it punishes them extremely harshly. Any case where the victim is a minor and has been preyed upon by an adult, the courts and prosecutors will attempt to impose the highest punishment available.

Additionally, if you are charged for statutory rape you are facing serious penalties including fines and jail time for up to 20 years. As a result, it is important that you consult with a Richmond statutory rape lawyer as soon as you are accused. A sex crimes lawyer in Richmond can guide you through the legal process and ensure that you put forth the strongest defense possible.

What Makes Statutory Rape Different From Other Types of Rape?

Statutory rape cases differ from other rape cases in that these do not involve a lack of consent. Typically the contact is consensual, the issue involves the age different and or contact with a minor and an adult. The prosecution does not have to the defendant knew the alleged victim was a minor.  In other words, a Richmond statutory rape lawyer doesn’t have to show that their client was aware of the age. It’s their responsibility to know the age and unfortunately lack of intent is not a defense.

So with many of these cases, what we need to do is either show that there was no intercourse or that the minor is fabricating the story and/or that our client has been wrongly identified.

Furthermore, the penalties for statutory rape can differ from other rape penalties. These penalties are usually not as severe but can still result in life changing consequences.  A statutory rape conviction is a felony and can result in incarceration of up to 20 years. There is also a requirement to register as a sex offender and typically with a statutory rape case, it requires a lifetime registration.

Richmond Romeo and Juliet Laws

Romeo and Juliet laws are laws that are served to reduce or eliminate the penalty for the crime in cases where a couple of age difference is minor and where the sexual contact is only considered rape because of the lack of a legally recognized consent.

While Virginia does not have any clear-cut Romeo and Juliet laws, there are certain provisions in Virginia law that offer protections and exceptions to the law where the parties are both minors or close in age. Age of consent in Virginia is 18, however if the ages of both parties is between 15 and 17 and there was consent, then the statutory provision do not apply. In addition, if the ages are between 15 and 17 and the parties are married, those statutory provisions don’t apply.

What Should Someone Look For in a Richmond Statutory Rape Lawyer?

If charged with statutory rape, you’re looking for an attorney who can challenge the evidence of the state and who is confident in doing so. This is going to require cross-examining minors who will always have the sympathy of the court but doing so to show that they’re not telling the whole truth.  You’re also going to need a Richmond statutory rape attorney who understands the law and who understands the statutory requirements that they may need to prove.

What An Experienced Richmond Statutory Rape Lawyer Can Do For You

In these cases, an experienced Richmond statutory rape lawyer is going to build a defense by examining the evidence of the state.  An attorney must review the statements given by the victim, to determine if they are telling the truth and to determine if the victim has any ulterior motives in testifying or fabricating a story.  A statutory rape attorney in Richmond is also going to examine the state’s case to challenge any scientific evidence the prosecution will attempt to use.

You’re going to need an experienced attorney that understands how to negotiate with the prosecutors on a case like this in an attempt to resolve the matter in a way that most benefits you.  Furthermore, you attorney needs to know when to fight and when to discuss settlement of a case, which also involves negotiating from a position of strength.