Have you been accused of rape?
Rape is a very serious crime, for which Louisiana judges impose harsh penalties. For the most severe cases, a conviction can result in a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Even after being released from prison, the stigma of being a registered sex offender can bring problems in relationships, trouble finding or keeping a job, lasting public knowledge of the offense, inability to take part in parental duties, and harassment or attacks by others.
Family members and loved ones often experience depression, hopelessness, and isolation after a close relative’s conviction.
If you or someone you know is facing a potential rape charge, it’s important to enlist the services of a licensed criminal defense attorney with experience applying their knowledge of the law to rape cases.
Building a strong strategy is complex and requires great skill like that of New Orleans criminal defense attorney Elizabeth B. Carpenter. Ms. Carpenter practices throughout the communities in Southern Louisiana and will help you understand your rights and options under the law and develop the best strategy for your defense.
Some of the most common categories of rape for which we defend.
In basic terms, rape occurs upon sexual penetration (oral, anal or vaginal) without consent. Active resistance to intercourse is not necessary for rape to occur; if the victim was incapable of consent due to inebriation, incapacitation, age, or lack of mental capacity, the law deems this rape.
• First-degree rape (formerly termed “aggravated rape” in Louisiana) refers to rape committed with a weapon, when there are multiple perpetrators or when the victim is under 13, over 65, or disabled.
• Second-degree rape (formerly termed “forcible rape”) refers to rape committed when the victim physically resists, is restrained, or is unknowingly drugged.
• Third-degree rape (formerly termed “simple rape”) refers to oral, anal or vaginal intercourse when the victim is incapable of resisting or consent. For example, if the victim is heavily intoxicated, on drugs, or otherwise incapacitated.
• Statutory rape (also called “carnal knowledge of a juvenile”) refers to sexual activity with a youth under the age of 17 in Louisiana. If the defendant is two to four years older than the victim, the crime is a misdemeanor. If the age difference is over four years, or the defendant is a repeat offender, the crime is a felony. Lack of knowledge of the victim’s age or initiation/consent by the victim is not a viable defense.
The basis of our criminal rape defense
An accusation of rape can be difficult to prove in court. There are often no witnesses or physical evidence, which leaves the case depending mostly on the testimony of the accuser. A prior relationship between the accuser and accused also may hamper a prosecution case.
There is an exhaustive amount of investigative work when preparing our defense. Circumstance, criminal history (or lack thereof), character witnesses, possible ulterior motives of the accuser, psychological profiles, and past relationships may all play a part in preventing a case going to trial.
Contact a New Orleans Criminal Defense attorney today
A rape conviction can have serious and lasting consequences, even after your time has been served. The law office of Elizabeth B. Carpenter can assist with your legal needs in this area. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation by calling (504) 373-4624 or emailing email@example.com.