What Are the Defenses to Rape in Arizona?
Being charged with sexual assault can be very scary. If you know you didn’t have non-consensual sex with the victim, you may feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. The State tends to believe it when someone makes an allegation of rape or sexual assault. After all, why would someone claim they were raped if they weren’t? Because these crimes carry such heavy penalties, you’ll want to talk to an Arizona criminal defense lawyer right away. You should have one by tour side from the moment you’re arrested and charged.
What Does the State Have to Prove for a Rape Conviction?
Arizona law defines rape as sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact without consent. When the law is broken down, the elements of a crime of sexual assault are rather clear. First, some sort of sexual contact must have taken place. This can include actual sexual intercourse. Or it can involve oral sex. Second, the victim must have not consented to the sexual contact. If the victim was a stranger, the presumption is going to be that the sex wasn’t consensual. Your Arizona criminal defense lawyer will have to prove that this wasn’t the case.
Your Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Have a Hard Time Proving a Rape Didn’t Take Place
The problem with allegations of sexual assault is that it can be hard to disprove. It’s no secret that people accused of rape are presumed to be guilty in the public’s eye. The same may be true for the prosecutor and a jury. With some crimes, the State makes no real judgment until they’ve evaluated all of the evidence. When it comes to sexual assault, the victim is often given the benefit of the doubt until and unless your Arizona criminal defense lawyer can prove otherwise.
You May Be Able to Prove the Victim Consented to the Sexual Acts Committed
One of the more common defenses to sexual assault in Arizona is that the sex was consensual. There are criminal rape cases where the victim had a prior relationship with the defendant. Or the two had engaged in sex before. Nobody would ever imply that a victim can have sex one day and choose not to engage in sex again. However, you may have proof that the victim engaged or agreed to the sexual contact in this instance. For example, you may have a voicemail from the victim indicating that they had a good time with you. Or you may have a text message stating that the sex was good. Rarely is there ever this evidence just served on a silver platter. But that doesn’t mean your attorney won’t look for it.
Can Your Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer Demonstrate that You Never Had Sex with the Victim?
One of the easiest ways to get the charges dismissed is to show that no sex ever took place. This can be very hard to do. However, with so many people relying on digital devices these days, there could be proof that you didn’t have sex with the victim. For example, you may have a video of the event. Perhaps you were at a party or event and the camera shows that you ever touched the complainant. Or you may have a Facebook message or text from the victim admitting that you never had sex with them. Your Arizona criminal defense lawyer can submit this evidence as proof that you didn’t rape the victim.
Talk to a Seasoned Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer Right Away
If you’ve been arrested and charged with rape, you should call a seasoned Arizona criminal defense lawyer right away. If convicted of this sort of crime, you’ll be facing very serious penalties. A conviction for sexual assault typically carries a prison sentence of at least fourteen (14) years. It can be even longer if you have a prior conviction for sexual assault. You’ll also have to register as a sex offender. Rather than have this happen, your attorney may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
With so much at stake, it isn’t a good idea to try to handle this on your own. There’s no reason to assume that the prosecutor is going to even entertain a plea to a lesser offense. At least your Arizona criminal defense lawyer knows what the defense to rape is in your state. Call as soon as possible after your arrest.