Statutory Rape Attorney

Wais Azami is an Orange County criminal lawyer with extensive experience in heavy cases such as statutory rape.  Our Garden Grove office serves all of OC and LA.  Call now for a confidential and discreet consultation.

What are Romeo and Juliet Laws?

Laws that could be considered statutory rape because one party is a minor can be mitigated to a lesser charge of “unlawful intercourse” under Penal Code 261.5. This is the charge of having sex with a minor when the age difference is usually less than three years. It is like when two high school sweethearts have sex but one of them becomes an adult (18) before the other and they have an age gap of fewer than 3 years. Such charges are usually misdemeanors and do not have the hefty penalties of a statutory rape charge which could be filed as a felony. Romeo and Juliet Laws

What is statutory rape?

Statutory rape is the unlawful act of having sex with a minor. A minor is whatever age that a jurisdiction deems the victim to be unable to have the capacity to consent. This means even if the person acts like an adult and looks like an adult, their mind is still not developed enough to knowingly consent to a sexual act. California sees anyone under the age of 18 to be a minor. Romeo and Juliet Laws

Statutory rape is a serious charge with serious penalties. It’s more severe than simply an unlawful intercourse charge, or “Romeo & Juliet” crime.

What are the defenses for statutory rape under Penal Code 261.5? 

There are several defenses to statutory rape charge under PC 261.5:

      • You honestly and reasonably believed that the alleged victim was over 18.
      • You were falsely accused.
      • You did not have sex with the alleged victim.

Is consent a defense to the crime of statutory rape?

No, consent is not a defense to the crime of statutory rape, because penal code 261.5 is considered a strict liability law. Minors cannot consent, because the law says they do not have the mental capacity to knowingly consent. Romeo and Juliet Laws

What are the penalties for statutory rape under Penal Code 261.5?

Misdemeanor Penalties:
      • Up to one year in jail, and/or…
      • Up to $1,000 in fine, and…
      • Probation (usually informal).
Felony Penalties:
      • 16 months or years, or three years.
      • If the accused was 21 or older and the victim was under 16; two years, three years, or four years.
      • Up to $10,000 in fines.
      • Probation or formal felony probation.

Civil Penalties (only if the defendant is 18 or over):

If the defendant is an adult, they may be forced to pay additional civil penalties, depending on the age difference:

      • $2,000 if the victim is less than two years younger than the defendant.
      • $5,000 if the victim is at least two years younger than the defendant.
      • $10,000 if the victim is at least three years younger than the defendant, and…
      • $25,000 if the victim was under 16, and the defendant was over 21.
Other Penalties:
      • AIDS test.
      • A crime of moral turpitude–potential immigration consequences.
      • Possible Aggravated Felony, if a felony charge–potential immigration consequence.
      • If a felony: jury service, public office, voting, firearm restrictions.
      • If a felony: DNA sample.

Have you been accused of statutory rape?

Call the Law Offices of Wais Azami at (714) 321-9999. Or schedule a free consultation with our statutory rape lawyer in Orange County here. We will generate a defense plan which aims to get the charges dismissed, reduced, and/or the consequences mitigated.

The information within this website is NOT LEGAL ADVICE but merely meant to be general information. Nothing in this website, nor filling out any forms on this website, shall constitute an attorney-client relationship.

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