Crime Overview Rape

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There were approximately 89,110 rapes in America in 2006. Rape is the crime of forcing someone to have sex. It can also happen when the victim is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. An attacker can use fear as well as physical harm to commit the crime. Rape is a felony crime that is punishable by three to 10 years in prison in some states, and depending on the age of the victim, rape can also result in life in prison.

Another type of rape is statutory rape. Statutory rape is the act of having sex with someone who has not yet reached the age of legal consent.

Consent is an agreement between two able-minded, adult individuals, which must be made before they engage in sexual activity.

When people think of rape, the most common image is that of a stranger who approaches someone in a dark alley and sexually assaults them. While some rapes are committed by strangers, that is not always the case, and in fact, more rapes are committed by someone with whom the victim is familiar.

Another misconception about rape is that it is a crime that is specific to women. The reason for this is because many rapes with male victims go unreported. When the rape is committed by another male, the victim can be left questioning his sexual orientation and may be embarrassed to come forward because of what others may perceive.

A common form of rape is called date rape. Date rape is defined as a non-consensual sexual encounter between people who are friends, acquaintances, or those in an existing romantic relationship. If there was no consent given in these situations, or consent was given under extreme pressure or threatening conditions, there is no distinction between a rape committed by a stranger or by someone with whom the victim is familiar.

Date rapes often happen in conjunction with the presence of date rape drugs such as GHB or Rohypnol, that distort or impairs a victim's ability to grant sexual consent or prevent an attack.

Sexual assault is a term that is used in conjunction with rape. Sexual assault also includes behaviors beyond forced intercourse. It can be any sexual contact that is unwelcome such as touching, fondling, or groping of sexual areas of the body.

There are different degrees of sexual assault, as well as different penalties.
1st degree sexual assault is defined as sexual penetration of any cavity of the victim's body, by a body part or an object, that is gained through force or threat of force.
2nd degree sexual assault is defined as sexual physical contact without the consent of the other party.
3rd degree sexual assault is defined as any sexual activity that has taken place between someone who is 18 years or older and someone who is under the legal adult age.

If you have been accused of rape, whether you are guilty or not, you should hire a criminal lawyer or attorney to help you with your case. Criminal lawyers and attorneys represent individuals who have been charged with crimes by arguing their cases in courts of law.

Being accused of rape can have severe repercussions on your life, and once you have been accused of rape it is very difficult to lose that stigma. You want to make sure you take the necessary steps to make sure you are choosing the right lawyer for your case. There are many things to look for when hiring a criminal lawyer or attorney, including experience, extensive knowledge of rape laws, statutes and precedents, and a proven track record of gaining acquittals for their clients.

Criminal lawyers and attorneys will also be familiar with local court customs and procedures, as well as with the political and legal climate in your jurisdiction. Before your case goes to trial, your attorney will attempt to acquire a plea deal, if at all possible, and negotiate with the court to get your bail amount reduced. Should your case go to trial, your attorney will mount the best defense possible in order to try and win your case. The burden of proof in criminal trials lies with the prosecution, who must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense attorney will do everything in his or her power to prevent this from happening.

If you are suing a convicted rapist for damages resulting from the crime, you will need to hire a civil lawyer or attorney. Rape not only affects the primary victim, it also affects their partners, family members and friends. The psychological damage caused by this crime can a substantial impact. Even if the person was not convicted and you feel they should have been, and you want to sue them for damages, you should hire a civil lawyer or attorney.

Visit the American Bar Association to locate a suitable criminal lawyer. There, you will find a lawyer locater to search for criminal lawyers or attorneys with rape-trial experience in your area.