Facing rape charges can be a truly shocking experience, especially when the alleged victim is your spouse. It can ruin your reputation and your career and break your family apart. Many people falsely believe that you cannot be charged of raping your spouse because sex within marriage has unspoken consent. Whereas that used to be reflected by the law-until 1975 the rape of a spouse was legal-that is no longer the case. You can be charged with the rape of your spouse even if they did not physically try to fight you off or resist. At Kroger Law Group we understand the large impact this charge could have on your life. If you have been accused of spousal rape, call our office at (323) 655-5700 to schedule a free consultation.What is Spousal Rape?
Rape is non-consensual intercourse between any two people . Rape has several different categories such as date rape, statutory rape, spousal rape. Any case of rape is about consent. It does not matter if the victim is married to the perpetrator. But proving spousal rape can be more tricky.California Laws Regarding Spousal Rape
Under Section 262 of the California Penal Code spousal rape is nonconsensual intercourse. This can be due to force, intimidation or threats being used in order to force the other person into the act. It can be due to the other spouse being too intoxicated to consent. It can also be due to the spouse being asleep at the time.
In order to prove that you committed the crime of spousal rape, prosecutors have to prove that:
- You engaged in intercourse with your spouse.
- The intercourse was not consensual due to the use of force, threats, violence or bodily harm to the spouse or someone else.
- The spouse couldn't give consent because they were sleeping or intoxicated.
- The defendant knew, or should have known, that their spouse could not consent.
Spousal rape carries the same punishments as rape. Depending on the circumstances, it carries a sentence of three, six or eight years in prison. You can be fined up to $10,000. You do not have to register as a sex offender if convicted of spousal rape unless the court orders you to do so.Defenses Against Spousal Rape
There are different defenses to the charge of spousal rape. Your criminal defense attorney will go over the facts of your case and help you figure out which one is applicable in your situation.
- False allegation: it is not uncommon for a spouse to falsely accuse the other spouse of rape. This can be done out of hurt, anger, resentment, or in the midst of a divorce or a custody battle. Because the D.A. rarely ever charges a woman with perjury if the charge turns out to be false, there is not much of a downside for some people to lie about this in order to win a personal vendetta or help their case in child custody.
- Consent: the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your wife did not consent to the sex. Because intimacy between spouses can hardly be classified as formal, if you reasonably believed that your spouse was giving consent you cannot be convicted. The spouse can take back consent during intercourse but in order to communicate that they have to let the other spouse know that they no longer want to continue and attempt to stop the act.
Spousal rape is a serious accusation in the state of California. If you have been accused of spousal rape you are facing serious legal repercussions that can negatively affect the rest of your life. The attorneys at Kroger Law Group have been defending clients facing sex crimes charges for years. We understand how difficult these charges are for our clients and how important it is for them to clear their name. If you have been accused of spousal rape, call our office at (323) 655-5700 to schedule a free consultation.