Aiken Rape Lawyer

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Table of Contents

Understanding Rape Charges

What is Rape?

Rape charges, also known as Criminal Sexual Conduct (“CSC”), can be described as forcible sexual assault. It happens when the accused forcibly penetrates the victim through anal or oral sex without consent.

But to be charged with rape in South Carolina, the prosecution must prove three scenarios:

  • The defendant used aggravated force on the victim
  • The defendant committed sexual battery on the victim after kidnapping, trafficking, robbing, etc.
  • The accused caused mental or physical incapacitation to the victim.

Rape charges are highly emotional for both the accuser and the accused. It’s possible to be prosecuted wrongly for the offense of rape. Having an Aiken rape lawyer who understands the magnitude of the charges and your right is crucial for coming up with an appropriate defense.

Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer and Staggs in Aiken work with criminal defense lawyers who understand the ins and outs of rape charges.

What Are the Types of Rape Charges?

The state of South Carolina recognizes rape in different types depending on the activities surrounding the offense. The types include:

Statutory Rape

Statutory rape occurs when the accused commits a sexual offense against a person below the legal age of consent. In SC, the legal age of consent is 16 years. Even if the victim willingly participated in the sexual activity, the perpetrator will not be able to use consent as a defense.

Date Rape

Date rape is a forcibly sexual act during a social engagement. In this case, the engagement does not involve sexual agreement. The accused may even use drugs to intoxicate the victim and perform a sexual offense on them. Even if the victim willingly agreed to the social engagement, the accused cannot use this fact as a defense.

Acquaintance Rape

Acquaintance rape occurs when the accused is a well-known person to the accuser. It can be a classmate, friend, relative, or colleague. This can happen through force, coercion, or manipulation.

What Are the Potential Consequences of a Rape Conviction?

Rape conviction presents both legal and social consequences. If you’re successfully convicted of rape, you must be ready to face huge criminal penalties, which might include staying in prison for a long time. To be convicted, your charges must fall under the following classes:

  • Third-degree charges: These involve non-consensual touching or sexual contact that does not cause serious emotional or physical harm. Third-degree charges fall under Class I misdemeanor with one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
  • Second-degree charges: These charges occur through non-consensual touching or sexual contact with the victim with no mental or physical capability to resist. The assault causes severe physical and mental injuries to the victim. This is a Class IIA felony, attracting up to 20 years in prison.
  • First-degree charges: This is non-consensual sexual penetration, which includes intercourse, sodomy, digital penetration, or oral sex. The victim may be intoxicated or sleeping. The offender will be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison for this offense.

If you commit either first-degree or second-degree sexual offenses, the state will require you to perform a sexual offender registration. This also carries serious social consequences, including social stigma, employment termination, revocation of professional licenses, and employment disqualification, among others.

What Are Common Defenses Against Rape Charges?

It’s possible to get acquitted of rape charges. But that can only happen if your Aiken rape lawyer comes up with an appropriate defense to prove your innocence. Make sure you understand the state laws regarding rape charges before taking any action. Sometimes, a simple act such as contacting the victim may jeopardize your case.

Here are common defenses used against rape charges:

Consent

To prove that the accuser consented to sex, you must also prove that they’re on the legal age of consent. Consent defense will not work in cases where the victim is below the consent age. You must present enough evidence in terms of emails, text messages, or photos to prove consent. Witness testimonials can also help.

Lack of Evidence

Rape charges require sufficient evidence to be convicted. Lack of physical evidence or evidence pointing to another suspect may work as an appropriate defense. Negative DNA testing can be of great help here.

Innocence

Providing an alibi to show that you were in a different place when the offense occurred can save you. The victim may also misidentify their attacker, leading to the dropping of your case.

False Allegations

It’s also common for victims of rape to falsely accuse their attackers, either knowingly or mistakenly. There might also be mistakes during investigations, leading to the accusation of the wrong person. If your lawyer can prove this, you will be acquitted.

Is it Possible to Have Rape Charges Reduced or Dismissed?

If the victim decides to withdraw from the case midway, it might not be dropped yet. This is because the charges are now in the hands of the prosecutors, who are allowed to proceed with the charge. However, without the victim’s involvement, the prosecution may find it hard to proceed with the case. Lack of cooperation from the victim can result in dismissal or dropping of the case.

Another way to have the case dismissed is by presenting evidence that casts doubt on the prosecution’s evidence. A good piece of evidence that can help prove if the sex was consensual is text messages between the accused and the accuser.

You’re also allowed to bargain the charges through a plea agreement to reduce the charges. Talk to your lawyer before pleading guilty to sex charges so that they can advise if that’s the best decision.

What Should You Do If You’re Facing Rape Charges?

Rape charges are serious, and talking to law enforcement by yourself can put in in a tight spot. No matter the circumstances surrounding your case, you have the right to remain silent until your lawyer arrives.

Contacting an experienced Aiken rape lawyer such as JJWLS is crucial. Your lawyer will ensure your rights are not violated during the investigation period. They will ensure all evidence presented against you is credible. They will help you understand the charges against you and guide you on how to behave during investigations so that you don’t worsen things.

Finally, you should maintain open communication and collaboration with your lawyer. Answer all the questions and cooperate as much as possible to help the lawyer defend you appropriately.

Why Choose Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer and Staggs in Aiken for Your Rape Defense?

Compassionate Expertise in Rape Defense

Our lawyers understand the emotional impact rape charges can have on you. They will work with you every step of the way and offer the emotional support you need during the trying times. Our lawyers will not judge you but assure you of the best possible outcome.

Experienced Rape Defense Attorneys

Our lawyers have years of experience in tackling rape charges and understand the ins and outs of your case. They have a proven track record of navigating complex rape charges and coming up with the best defense.

Client-Centered Approach

JJWLS lawyers put your best interest first in all circumstances. They offer personalized attention and support throughout the legal process. They also maintain open communication and address all your concerns appropriately.

Get JJWLS Lawyers to Defend You Against Rape Charges

Rape charges are complex and require enough evidence and strong defense to prove your innocence. Working with an experienced Aiken rape lawyer can help you navigate the legal process. Your lawyer will help protect your rights and gather enough evidence to get the case dropped or dismissed.

Working with Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer and Staggs in Aiken lawyers is the best decision you can make if you have a rape charge. The attorneys have years of experience defending clients accused of rape. They will help defend your rights and gather enough evidence to defend you. Contact JJWLS today, and let’s work together to prove your innocence in rape charges.