When one individual compels another individual to have sexual intercourse against his or her will, or uses the threat of bodily injury or harm to force another individual to engage in unnatural sexual intercourse, the law considers it to be rape. Any individual charged with rape can expect no leniency from law enforcement or the prosecution. Massachusetts state laws are extremely strict when it comes to rape and other sex crimes.
An individual charged with a single count of rape will be facing up to 20 years in state prison upon conviction. A second or subsequent conviction can lead to a life sentence. If the rape is committed using a gun, rifle or any other type of firearm, the individual will be required to serve a mandatory sentence of no less than 10-15 years in state prison. Any individual convicted of rape will also be required to register as a sex offender with the state's Sex Offender Registry Board. The timeframe in which an individual will be required to maintain their registration as a sex offender will depend on the type of sex crime, how many convictions he or she has had, whether the sex crime was deemed sexually violent, and if there is clear and solid evidence that the individual has committed no further sexual offenses.
If you have been charged with rape, you are probably well aware of the damage such charges can cause to your reputation, your career, your current and future relationships, and more. A rape conviction will go on your permanent criminal record and having to register as a sex offender is a label that will follow you around for years to come. Not all charges of rape can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In some instances an individual may state that he or she has been raped when in fact the act was consensual.
Your actions following an arrest or during a police investigation can have a dramatic impact on your case. The most effective way to protect your interests and defend yourself against charges of rape is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Rape cases are often instances of he said, she said. To avoid self-incrimination it is important that you politely inform the officer that you will need to speak with your lawyer prior to answering any questions and before agreeing to any searches of your person or property. Guilt or innocence does not matter at this point. What matters is that you do not put your case unnecessarily at risk by agreeing to anything prior to consulting with your lawyer.
Dave Flanagan is known for helping clients aggressively fight the charges they face so that they can retain their freedom and go on living their lives. When you contact our firm, a Quincy criminal defense lawyer will be able to review the charges against you, advise you of your legal rights, help you build a solid defense strategy and provide you with the representation you need to help obtain a positive outcome on your case. Having a skilled lawyer advocating on your behalf can make all the difference in getting your charges reduced or dismissed, or achieve an acquittal at trial.
To find out how we may be able to help you, call our Quincy office now.