Rape

Rape is one of the most serious and damaging crimes to be accused of. Many people who are charged may be confused as to why, especially in cases involving drugs or alcohol or when they genuinely believed that the sexual intercourse was consensual. This is why it's important for people who have been accused of rape to immediately consult with an attorney who can vigorously defend them in court and work towards salvaging their reputation.

For the purposes of this article, we will address (1) what actions constitute as rape in Pennsylvania, (2) and the penalties that may be imposed if a person is convicted of this crime.

What constitutes rape in Pennsylvania?

A person will be convicted of rape if it is proven that they forcibly engaged in sexual intercourse with another person without their consent. The following actions constitute rape in the state of Pennsylvania:

  • An alleged victim is prevented from resisting the act due to a defendant's threats of force or actual force
  • An alleged victim is unconscious or unaware that the sexual intercourse is ensuing
  • An alleged victim has consumed impairing substances like drugs or alcohol to the extent of incapacitation, making them unable to consent to sexual intercourse
  • An alleged victim has a mental disability, making them incapable of consenting to sexual intercourse

In these cases, the most effective defense is proving that a plaintiff consented to the sexual intercourse. So it's important that defendants understand the concept of consent. It is not to be assumed by silence, an established relationship, body language, appearance, marriage or any actions outside of an affirmative gesture or verbal affirmation. Consent can also be revoked. An example of revoked consent is when an alleged victim changes their mind halfway into a sexual act.

Penalties

According to Pennsylvania law, rape is classified as a first degree felony - the most serious felony that a person in the state can be charged with. Upon conviction, a person will face penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

In rape cases involving children under the age of 13, a defendant may be facing a prison term of up to 40 years.

Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney

When you are charged with rape, you will be up against an eager prosecutor who will be determined to make an example out of you, and a society that believes that you did it before you are proven guilty. You need the help of an attorney who will be dedicated to protecting your rights, and fighting aggressively in court. Skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience successfully representing clients who have been in your shoes, so he understands all that is at stake. Contact him today for help.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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