DC Statutory Rape Penalties

Sex crimes of any nature are considered significant legal violations. As a result, a person who is charged with statutory rape may strongly benefit from learning about DC statutory rape penalties. Additionally, a person who is charged with such an offense may want to seek legal counsel from an aggressive statutory rape lawyer. They could examine the factors surrounding the case and work to refute the allegation. Call and schedule an appointment to begin discussing your potential legal options immediately.

Understanding the Severity of a Statutory Rape Offense

Allegations of statutory rape are viewed as serious offenses in DC, and they are often referred to as child sexual abuse offenses. Cases involving children are typically investigated in a vigorous manner and prosecuted aggressively. It is important not to underestimate the necessity of having a substantial defense argument. Many individuals who are charged with statutory rape may have a difficult time confronting the severity of the allegation. Consequently, they may not immediately feel the need to form an aggressive defense.

In some instances, a person may think that the charges will be dropped after explaining the situation to the police or speaking with a prosecutor. However, it is generally in the best interest of a person who is accused of such an offense to abstain from speaking to law enforcement or a prosecutor without legal counsel present. Anything a person says could be used against them in court by a prosecutor to bring down the full extent of DC statutory rape penalties. An attorney who is well-versed in statutory rape cases could help an accused person by advocating on their behalf and fight tirelessly to beat the charge.

Potential Penalties for a Statutory Rape Conviction

If a person is convicted of first-degree child sex abuse, they could face up to 30 years in prison. Furthermore and in cases where there is an aggravating factor, a person may be imprisoned for life.  An individual who is accused and convicted of the sexual abuse of a minor may face up to 15 years in prison. However, if a person is accused of a misdemeanor sexual abuse of a minor offense, they may receive a penalty of up to 180 days in jail upon conviction. Regardless of the charge, any type of sex offense involving a minor can lead to significant legal consequences.

Differences in Statutory Rape Charges

Penalties for child sex abuse are not necessarily the same as penalties for adult sexual abuse, which is commonly referred to as rape. A person convicted of fourth-degree sexual abuse may face up to five years in prison. That is the lowest level of felony sexual abuse.

By contrast, child sexual abuse only has first-degree child sexual abuse for unlawful sexual acts with a child, and second-degree child sexual abuse for unlawful sexual contact with a child. A person facing second-degree child sexual abuse could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Parties That May be Prosecuted

A person who has been accused of child sex abuse typically must be more than four years older than the other party. For example, if a 10-year-old is accused of engaging in some kind of sexual activity with a 15-year-old, the older person of the pair is generally the one who is going to be prosecuted. However and under DC law, in a situation where a 15-year-old is engaging in sexual activity or sexual contact with a 17-year-old, then neither a person can be prosecuted because DC law requires that the person being charged is more than four years older than the alleged victim.

Impact of Sex Offender Registration

All child sex abuse offenses require mandatory sex offender registration. The duration of sex offender registration depends on the level of the child sex abuse offense. Any felony-level child sex abuse conviction requires a lifetime of sex offender registration.

Misdemeanor child sex abuse still requires sex offender registration, but it often only requires a person to remain in the registry for 10 years. Sex offender registration can be very serious and extremely complicated. In other words, the rules governing sex offender registration in DC requires lifetime registration for individuals who have been convicted of felony child sex abuse and 10 years of a person convicted of misdemeanor child sex abuse.

Contact a Lawyer About Statutory Rape Penalties in DC

If you were accused of any type of statutory rape offense, consult an attorney immediately. They could explain the potential DC statutory rape penalties and how such legal consequences may influence your case. Call and set up an appointment to begin discussing potential legal solutions and strategies.