Perhaps more than any other type of crime, being accused of a sexual offense means being tried in the court of public opinion. The nature of the accusations is often sufficient to serve as the basis for an assumption of guilt, but that prejudgment is patently unjust. No matter what the charges, everyone has the constitutional right to a fair trial in a court of law where the prosecution must use evidence to rebut the presumption that the defendant is innocent and must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each essential element of the crime.
Accusations of rape are not proof, but they can have immediate and lasting consequences. Protect yourself by talking with an attorney as soon as possible after you have been arrested or charged. It’s the only way to ensure that you have the best defense and the most legal options. From fighting for an acquittal or a dismissal to pleading guilty to a reduced charge, rape defense attorney Dan Carman will work closely with you every step of the way and help you make informed decisions regarding the best course of action. With a military background and skills oriented for both State and Federal criminal matters, Dan is particularly well suited to help you navigate the legal process. Let him work with you to plan the aggressive defense that you will need. Use the convenient online inquiry form or call (859) 838-1415 for a free initial consultation.
Historically, the characterization of rape has tended to center around an act of forced vaginal intercourse by a male on a female who was not his wife. The force typically involved physical violence or imminent threat of severe bodily harm. That definition has evolved to encompass any gender as a possible perpetrator or victim and the reality that rape can occur with objects another than sex organs.
Kentucky currently classifies rape in three degrees, and the circumstances surrounding the rape determine under which law an offender is prosecuted. “Penetration of the sex organs of one person by a foreign object manipulated by another person” is included in the legal definition of rape, which “occurs upon any penetration, however slight; emission is not required.”
The most serious level is rape in the first degree, which happens when:
- A person engages in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion; or
- A person engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is incapable of consent because he or she is physically helpless or is less than 12 years old.
Second-degree rape happens when a person:
- Being 18 years old or more, engages in sexual intercourse with another person less than 14 years old; or
- Engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is mentally incapacitated.
A person who has sexual intercourse with someone in one of the following situations is guilty of rape in the third degree:
- Victim isn’t capable of consenting to the act because he or she has an intellectual disability;
- Defendant is 21 years old or older and the victim is less than 16 years old;
- Defendant is 21 years old or older and the victim is less than 18 years old and lives in the defendant’s foster family home;
- Defendant is in a position of authority or position of special trust, the victim is under 18 years old, and the victim came into contact with the defendant as a result of that position; or
- Defendant is a jailer (or is associated with the Department of Corrections) and knows that the victim is incarcerated, supervised, evaluated, or treated by the Department of Corrections.
Classified as a Class B felony, rape in the first degree is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison. If the victim is under age 12 or is seriously injured, the offense is accelerated to a Class A felony and carries a minimum sentence of 20 years. Second-degree rape is a Class C felony punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison while third-degree rape is a Class D felony punishable by imprisonment of 1 to 5 years. A fine of between $1,000 and $10,000 also applies to all felonies. These sentence ranges are mere recommendations for the court and may be enhanced if certain aggravating circumstances are present.
There is no sugarcoating it – a rape charge is serious and carries serious consequences, including mandatory sex offender registration. If you have been accused of rape, don’t leave the outcome to chance. An experienced attorney knows how to examine important details such as the motive of the accuser, the circumstances under which the accusations arose, and the mental state of the accused, as well as how to argue defenses, from mistaken identity to alibi, consent to insufficient evidence.
Dan Carman has defended clients accused of highly severe felonies to lesser crimes and is dedicated to building the best possible defense for every client. He knows that many factors make up a rape charge and that there are at least two sides to every story. Make sure you have an advocate in your corner, an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will thoroughly review and investigate the factual and the legal issues in your case. Fight back against the accusations and keep your record (and your reputation) clean. For aggressive and comprehensive criminal defense representation, contact the Lexington-based Carman Law Firm. Call our offices today at (859) 838-1415 or fill out our online inquiry form. We have successfully represented countless individuals who have been where you are now, and we have the experience you need.