Posted on August 4, 2019

What is the Punishment for California Rape? PC 261

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In California, rape is charged under penal code 261 pc[1] making it unlawful to have sexual intercourse with another without their consent. The prosecution may rely on several theories when proving their case. For example, the prosecution could argue the act was accomplished by fear or force, fraud, or because the alleged victim was deemed incapable of consenting.

The punishment for rape will largely depend on someone’s prior criminal history, the age of the alleged victim, the degree of planning and sophistication, and the circumstances of how the act was carried out. Aside from receiving a lengthy prison sentence, a person convicted of rape will be required to register as a sex offender with local law enforcement restricting their ability to socialize with love ones, reside near a school, and the conviction will become public information available via internet search. Additionally, rape is a violent felony, making it applicable to California’s Three Strike laws.

Ordinarily, rape is punishable in the state prison for a period of 3, 6, or 8 years. If the prosecution finds any sentencing enhancements true, then additional prison time will follow. Furthermore, the age of the alleged victim is a significant factor when determining punishment. If the purported victim is 14 years or older, then you face a state prison sentence of 7, 9, or 11 years.[2] If the alleged victim is under the age of 14, then the crime becomes more aggravating. Consequently, you face a sentencing range of 9, 11, or 13 years.[3]

Contact Us to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

If you have been charged or are under investigation for rape under PC 261, then contact an experienced Orange County sex crimes attorney at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers. Call us today to schedule a free confidential consultation concerning your rights and defenses. Early retention of our office can help legally deflect the government’s case and avoid being charged altogether.

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Footnotes:

[1] Penal Code 261(a) “Rape is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished with a person not the spouse of the perpetrator.”

[2] See Penal Code 264(c)(2) “Any person who commits rape in violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 261 upon a minor who is 14 years of age or older shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 7, 9, or 11 years.”

[3] See Penal Code 264(c)(1) “Any person who commits rape in violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 261 upon a child who is under 14 years of age shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 9, 11, or 13 years.”

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