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Home » Sex Crimes Lawyer » Statutory Rape Lawyer

California Statutory Rape Attorney – Penal Code 261.5 PC

Fight And Win A Statutory Rape Charge

Are you in need of a California statutory rape lawyer? Have you been accused of having sex with a minor in California? Are you fearful that a sex crime charge can ruin your life and reputation? If so, put these fears to bed. My Rights Law is a knowledgeable law firm. Our sex crimes lawyers are not only award-winning. We have a proven track record of dropped charges and dismissed cases. Call (888) 702-8882 or leave us a message on our secure contact form to get your free confidential consultation today.

What Is Statutory Rape?

Statutory rape is a serious sex crime. You are in violation of this crime when you have sex with a minor. A minor is someone who is under 18 years old. Ejaculation is not required as long as penetration occurs. The state may charge fellow minors with statutory rape. For example, an officer may arrest a seventeen-year-old for having sex with a thirteen-year-old. A sixteen-year-old may be arrested for having sex with a fourteen-year-old.

Is This A Misdemeanor Or Felony?

This crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.[1] It is a misdemeanor if the alleged victim minor is not more than three years younger or older than you. If the alleged victim minor is more than three years younger or older, the prosecutor has the discretion to charge you with a felony or misdemeanor. If you are twenty-one or older and the minor in question is fifteen or younger, the prosecutor has the discretion to charge you with a felony or misdemeanor.

What Are The Penalties?

The punishment for statutory rape varies. If jurors convict you of misdemeanor statutory rape, the judge may sentence you up to one year in jail. If jurors convict you of felony statutory rape, you may serve two, three, or four years in state prison. [2]

There are financial penalties, too. If you are older than twenty-one and the minor is younger than sixteen, you may have to pay $25,000 in fines. If the minor is at least three years younger than you, you may have to pay $10,000 in fines.[3] If the minor is at least two years younger than you, you may have to pay $5000 in fines. If the minor is less than two years younger than you, you may have to pay $2000 in fines.

Fortunately, sex offender registration is not mandatory for this crime. However, other charges that may stem from the same incident can require sex offender registration, such as lewd and lascivious acts with a minor.

It is very important for you to have a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer on your side as early as possible if you face a statutory rape charge. A criminal defense attorney could help you avoid a conviction on statutory rape charges. My Rights Law statutory rape defense attorneys are experienced in representing the accused in California.

What Are My Defenses In A Statutory Rape Case?

If you have been charged with statutory rape, there may be defenses available to you, depending on the circumstances. As ugly as the stigma surrounding statutory rape can be, don’t give up. An experienced statutory rape defense attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to craft a defense appropriate for our case.

Insufficient Evidence

To win, prosecutors must prove the elements of the crime charged against you. Proof comes from sufficient evidence. A skilled criminal defense attorney will try to convince a jury that the prosecution cannot prove all elements of the charged crime because the evidence is insufficient.

For example, suppose your alleged victim claims you beat her severely. In this case, prosecutors would need a medical report confirming bruises and injuries. Photos of such marks or witness statements confirming they saw marks, welts, or blood are necessary.

Typically, forensic investigators find DNA and sexual excretions at sex crime scenes. There are grounds for reasonable doubt based on insufficient evidence if neither your DNA nor sex fluids are present on the alleged victim or scene.

Mistake Of Age

You may argue that you reasonably believed the minor was at least eighteen. If you had a good faith belief the minor was an adult, you did not act with criminal intent.[4] Let’s face it, people lie about their ages. What may seem harmless to them can have significant consequences for you. But how do you prove that you had a legitimate and reasonable belief the minor was an adult? Perhaps the minor showed you a fake ID. Perhaps the minor’s sexual maturity and experience made you believe they were older. Maybe you met the minor while at a bar or other place where only adults may enter. The mistake of age is a viable defense against this sex crime.


Marriage to the alleged victim can be a defense to statutory rape and can be used to defend your innocence. However, marriage is not a defense to other rape charges, so it is important to know the charge against you.

False Accusation

The alleged victim might falsely accuse you of rape.[5] This accusation happens for all kinds of reasons. If this is your situation, a criminal defense attorney can help you mount a successful defense relating to the false accusations.

Why Choose A Statutory Rape Attorney At My Rights Law?

When police arrest you for unlawful sexual intercourse, it’s not enough to hire just any attorney. You want an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you avoid a statutory rape conviction. But you may not know which criteria make a certain attorney your surest bet. Proven case results, client testimonials, and a remarkable reputation from prestigious lawyer-review organizations all suggest you’re in good hands. Call us at (888) 702-8882 or leave us a message on our secure contact form to get a confidential free consultation today.

Other sex crimes we defend: Sexual Assault and Battery

[1] California Penal Code 261.5 PC
[2]  California Penal Code 261.5 PC
[3] California Penal Code 672 PC
[4] CALCRIM 1072
[5] CALCRIM 1000

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