New Orleans Rape Defense Attorney
Rape is a very serious crime for which Louisiana judges must impose harsh penalties. In the most serious cases, a conviction for rape in Louisiana can result in a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Making matters more difficult, after being released from prison, the perpetrator will be required to register as a sex offender which can bring problems in relationships, trouble finding or keeping employment, 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 relative is convicted of rape.
Rape in Louisiana
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.
Three Categories of 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.
Defending Rape Cases
An accusation of rape can be difficult for the district attorney’s office 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 the prosecution of a rape case. If you or a loved one is facing an accusation of rape, it is imperative to enlist the services of a rape defense attorney because building a strong defense strategy is complex and requires great skill. Furthermore, an exhaustive amount of defense investigative work is obligatory when preparing for a rape trial. The location of the alleged incident, criminal history (or lack thereof), character witnesses, possible ulterior motives of the accuser, psychological profiles, and past relationships may all play a part in getting an acquittal at trial or a favorable plea bargain.
Contact: New Orleans Criminal Defense
A rape conviction can have serious and long-lasting consequences, even after your time has been served. Attorney Elizabeth B. Carpenter is passionate about defending people accused of sex crimes in Louisiana. She is ready to assist you with your legal needs in this area. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation by calling (504)599-5955.