Statutory rape is a serious criminal offense in California. It occurs when a person unlawfully has sex with a minor (someone who is under 18 years of age). Notably, consent is not a defense against a statutory rape charge. Under California Penal Code 261.5 (PC 261.5), a minor does not have the ability to give consent.

Statutory Rape

At the Law Offices of David Lehr, our California sexual assault defense attorney has the skills and legal experience to defend the full range of statutory rape charges. If you or your loved one is facing statutory rape allegations, please do not hesitate to call our Ventura law office for a free, strictly confidential review of your case.

Statutory rape falls under California Penal Code 261.5. Here are five of the most important things that you need to know if you or your family member is facing statutory rape charges under this law:

  • To convict someone of statutory rape, prosecutors must prove that sexual intercourse occurred and that the victim was under the age of 18.
  • The law includes a marriage exception. In California, it is possible to get married while under 18 with parental consent. Marriage is a defense to statutory rape.
  • Statutory rape can be charged as a felony or a misdeamnor—depending on the specific circumstances of the case.
  • California does not have a full ‘Romeo and Juliet’ law. A person can still be charged with statutory rape even if they are only slightly older than their underage partner.
  • In California, you can raise a “mistake” defense. If you had an honest and good faith belief that the alleged victim was older than 18, you can raise that as a defense against a statutory rape charge.

Statutory rape cases are especially complex. If you or your loved one is facing a statutory rape charge, it is imperative that you have a skilled legal advocate in your corner. Ventura County criminal defense attorney David Lehr will help you devise the most sensible, effective defense strategy to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future. Call us now for immediate assistance.

All statutory rape charges must be taken seriously. That being said, the severity of these charges can vary widely based on the underlying allegations. The prosecution may choose to pursue felony statutory rape charges or misdemeanor statutory rape charges. Here are some of the key factors:

  • Age of Offender: If the parties are within three years of each other, it is generally misdemeanor statutory rape. If the gap is wider, prosecutors are more likely to pursue felony charges.
  • Age of Victim: The younger the alleged victim, the more likely California prosecutors are to bring felony statutory rape charges.
  • Conduct: If the defendant was genuinely unaware of the alleged victim’s age, prosecutors may decide to pursue misdemeanor charges.

Were you accused of or arrested for statutory rape in Southern California? We are here to listen and help. Call our Ventura, CA law office today to set up your free, confidential initial consultation.

If you have been charged with

staturoy rape assault in California, call 805-477-0070 now.

We provide free, strictly confidential case evaluations. 

At the Law Offices of David Lehr, our California criminal defense lawyer provides legal representation to people facing sexual assault charges, including statutory rape charges. With an office in Ventura, we serve communities throughout all of Ventura County. Call us now to set up a free, completely private initial consultation. No attorney/client relationship has been created by visiting this website. The contents of this page are for informational purposes and do not replace professional legal advice.

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