No matter the circumstance, a Nassau County rape charge is a serious offense. The most basic rape charge in New York is called sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct occurs when a person engages in sexual conduct with another person without the person’s consent. Sexual misconduct is a class A misdemeanor. When there are other conditions present, the person might face a rape charge.
Rape in the third degree
Sexual misconduct becomes rape in the third degree when any one of a few circumstances are present. First, if a defendant is over twenty-one years of age and a victim is under seventeen, the offense is rape in the third degree. This is also true when the victim is incapable of consenting to the sexual act for a reason other than their age. Rape in the third degree is a class E felony.
Rape in the second degree
Rape in the second degree occurs when a victim is under fifteen years old and the defendant is over eighteen years old. It also occurs when a victim is unable to consent because they’re under a mental disability or incapacitated. This offense is a class D felony.
Rape in the first degree
First degree rape occurs when a defendant uses force to commit a sexual act. It also occurs when the victim is under eleven years old or when the victim is under thirteen and the defendant is over eighteen. Finally, it occurs when a victim is unable to consent because of physical helplessness. This is a class B felony.
There are a number of defenses that might be available in a rape case. In some cases, you may have a dispute as to whether the sexual act was consensual. Consent is a difficult question because in some cases, a victim may not have the ability to consent. However, it’s the job of the state’s attorney to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Inability to consent
There are several circumstances where an individual doesn’t have the capacity to consent to sexual conduct under New York law. Examples are when the person is under a certain age, when the person has mental challenges or when the person is in a jail. A person also can’t consent to sexual contact with a supervisor such as a probation officer when they’re under any kind of state oversight or care.
In many rape cases, there must be other evidence to corroborate the victim’s testimony. This applies in cases based on a victim’s inability to consent. In these cases, New York Penal Law 130.16 says that a person can’t be convicted without evidence that the defendant attempted to have sexual contact with the victim. There must also be corroborating evidence to connect the defendant and the offense.
When you work with our team of Nassau County rape lawyers, we examine each piece of evidence carefully. If the state fails to prove even one of the elements, the result can be a verdict in your favor. For example, the victim may not be too young to consent like the state claims. They made not have had an incapacity to consent. There may not have been sexual contact.
It’s also important to examine the definitions of each element. For example, rape in the first degree can occur when a victim is physically helpless. However, it may not be clear what that means.
Sex offender registry
One important reason to work with a Nassau County rape lawyer is because a rape conviction can require you to register with New York’s sex offender registry. There are several categories of registration, and not all registrations are public. However, being a part of the registry can make it difficult to find employment, and law enforcement can release information about even level one offenders at their discretion. Registration requirements are often burdensome, and you can face further criminal charges if you fail to comply with registration requirements.
Other possible penalties
In addition to the sex offender registry, a person convicted of rape or sexual misconduct can expect to serve time in jail. The public views rape as a very serious crime, and judges take rape cases very seriously when it’s time to determine a sentence. In addition to jail time, a person facing a Nassau County rape conviction can expect to attend counseling or other rehabilitative programs to help them explore ways to avoid recidivism.
All criminal convictions come with fines to pay to the courts. You may also have to perform community service. If the victim needs health care, mental health treatment or if they have other losses, you may need to pay restitutionfor their losses.
Why work with us
A rape charge can change your life overnight. However, as experienced Nassau County rape lawyers, we know that there are often viable defenses to these types of cases. There are often disagreements and credibility disputes when it comes to the validity of a rape charge. As Nassau County rape attorneys, we’re here to help you defend yourself to the fullest extent of the law. If you’re facing any criminal charge in Nassau County or anywhere in New York, we invite you to contact us.