Washington DC Date Rape Lawyer

People who are facing allegations of date rape in a Washington DC criminal court are likely to be scared and confused. They may not understand why the charges are as harsh as they are when what they can do to protect themselves. The plain truth is that a date rape allegation is one of the most serious offenses that a court can hear.

Date rape is classified under the DC Code as sexual abuse in the first degree. This is the same as any rape that is committed through the use of force. Because of this, a conviction can result in a prison term of any number of years up to a life sentence. The stakes could not be higher.

A Washington DC date rape lawyer may be able to help. Skilled sex crimes attorneys work to protect the rights and freedoms of others from day one. Their ultimate goal is to discover weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case and to use those weaknesses at trial to create reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors.

Date Rape as a Criminal Offense

The classic concept behind a date rape allegation is when a defendant is accused of using a drug to incapacitate another person. While this alleged victim is incapacitated, the defendant takes sexual advantage of them.

This concept is specifically defined in DC Code §22-3002. This statute is labeled sexual abuse in the first degree and as a result, a date rape accusation is, in reality, an accusation of rape on par with any sexual activity achieved through the use of force.

Subsection four describes a date rape as administering a drug to another through force or without their knowledge. This drug can be any intoxicant or foreign substance that impairs the ability of the alleged victim to appraise their situation or control their conduct.

As a result, this drug could include:

  • Heroin
  • Rohypnol, the classic date rape drug
  • Cocaine
  • Alcohol

A conviction of this offense is just as serious as any other type of rape. This means that a convicted defendant can be sentenced to any number of years, including life. A Washington DC date rape lawyer could help people understand the law and how it applies to their case.

Common Ways to Defend Against Date Rape Allegations

The simplest way to refute allegations of any rape charge, including those of date rape, is that the alleged victim consented to the conduct. As applied to a date rape case, this can include providing evidence that the alleged victim agreed to take the drug. A defense attorney may be able to acquire text messages that speak to the alleged victim’s willingness to use drugs or drink heavily.

However, this defense may be successful only in reducing the severity of the charges. A person who has sex with another who they know cannot consent due to a drug incapacitation is guilty of sexual abuse in the second degree. Therefore, even if the alleged victim agrees to take the drugs, they are still protected by law.

A key concept in all sexual abuse defenses is the concept of knowledge. In many date rape scenarios, the defendant is just as incapacitated by drugs as the alleged victim.

When this is the case, the defendant’s attorney may be able to argue that mutual incapacitation prevented the defendant from having the necessary frame of mind to commit a rape. Every case is unique, and a Washington DC date rape lawyer could help to choose the defense that best fits your case.

Talking to a Washington DC Date Rape Attorney

Date rape allegations in Washington DC are just as serious as those that involve the threat of violence or the use of force. As a result, a conviction under this statute can result in a severe prison sentence and the requirement to register as a sex offender. Individuals facing these allegations must provide themselves with every possible advantage.

Hiring a Washington DC date rape lawyer could provide essential protection. Their goal is to protect both the freedom and reputation of all individuals. They work from the moment of the arrest to dispute the police’s findings, to argue against the admissibility of certain evidence, and to create reasonable doubt in the minds of juries. Contact a Washington DC date rape lawyer today to schedule a consultation.