Arrested for Statutory Rape: Building a Defense

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If you have been arrested for the crime of statutory rape, you can potentially be in very serious trouble. Because of the current nationwide crackdown on perceived sexual predators, statutory rape charges are running rampant. Statutory rape is defined as knowingly having sexual relations with a person who is under the age of consent (which varies from 14-18, with 16 being the most common). 

True or False?

In many situations the allegations of statutory rape may be truthful, and, as such, deserve a full investigation with charges being filed against the perpetrator. In other situations, however, the accusations may arise from a college-age boy having sex with a high school girlfriend, a teenager who is angry with a step-parent, or a student falsely claiming an improper relationship with a teacher. In nearly all cases, the story told by the accused is in direct opposition to the alleged victim's story. You may feel as if everyone who looks at you believes you are guilty, and you desperately need someone to believe in your innocence. Once you have actually been arrested, your life probably feels like it is in total chaos and you are uncertain of which direction to turn.  

What You Should Not Do

During this uncertain time, you should not take any action whatsoever that might have later legal ramifications for you. Rely on your attorney to guide you and tell you what will happen next and what he has planned for your defense. You should also caution your family against speaking to anyone about the situation, as words can be misconstrued and later used against you. Don't speak to the police or Social Services without your attorney present, even if they say they are conducting an objective investigation. 

Plea Bargain?

If you have been arrested for statutory rape, never let yourself be intimidated into agreeing to a plea bargain in the hopes of making this unpleasant experience disappear. The majority of plea bargains will require you to register as a sex offender for the remainder of your life and may also limit your ability to find work or housing for you and your family. You could also lose contact with your own children if you agree to a plea bargain. Don't let this happen--fight for your innocence and your life. 

A Strong, Solid Defense

A strong defense is your most critical weapon when contesting statutory rape charges, and it is imperative that you hire the most skilled defense attorney. This is a situation where hiring the first general practice attorney you find in the phone book will not benefit your defense. You must hire an attorney who has an extensive background in defending those accused of sexual crimes, as very specific techniques are required. Because sex crimes are often considered somewhat "distasteful" to the the general public, inexperienced criminal defense attorneys and court-appointed counsel may be reluctant to aggressively defend you.

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