Charges of rape carry both penalties that can steal years of your life and registration consequences that can follow you for life if you’re convicted. An experienced Indiana rape defense lawyer can help protect your rights throughout the case and understands how to develop a strong defense strategy for your facts.
While some cases are easier to defend than others, having an attorney on your side can make a difference in the outcome. Here, a criminal defense attorney at Camden & Meridew, P.C. explains how these cases develop from charges through discovery and trial. A criminal defense attorney will also explain how to use Indianapolis rape defense strategies and Indiana rape laws to protect your best interests.
How an Indiana Rape Defense Lawyer Can Help
Whether or not a rape allegation is your first charge, having an experienced attorney represent you is critical. The legal system for major felonies is complex, and you cannot replicate an attorney’s experience. Indeed, your constitutional right to an attorney attaches immediately upon arrest.
What does your defense attorney do? An Indiana rape defense lawyer can protect your rights from the beginning, representing you during hearings, filing motions to protect your rights, and, most importantly, developing and implementing defense strategies designed to protect you from a conviction under Indiana rape laws.
An ideal defense attorney has experience in court and routinely communicates with you as the client. And your attorney’s relationships and knowledge of local courts can be invaluable in ensuring a fair process, whether that involves a trial or negotiation of a fair plea deal. To help your attorney along the way, you should understand a little about Indiana rape laws and the criminal process in the state.
Charges an Indiana Rape Defense Lawyer Can Defend
Indiana Code § 35-42-4-1 defines rape as a defendant knowingly or intentionally having sexual intercourse with another person through force, threat of force, when the other person is unaware sexual intercourse is occurring, or when the victim is too mentally disabled to consent. However, similar conduct under other facts may subject you to a charge of one of the following sex crimes as well:
- Child molestation;
- Child exploitation;
- Vicarious sexual gratification; and
- Sexual battery.
Rape may be charged as either a Level 3 or a Level 1 felony, which carries a potential sentence of 40 years in jail. Regardless of the nature of the crime or accusations, a strong Indiana rape defense is essential to protect your rights.
Understanding Statutory Rape Charges in Indiana
Indiana Code § 35-42-4-9 defines statutory rape, formally named sexual misconduct with a minor, as a person at least 18 years old engaging in sexual acts with a child under the age of 16. Consent is not an issue in statutory rape cases, making it is difficult to build a defense. But for these charges, an experienced attorney will identify any possible defenses for trial and assist in a mitigation phase for persons who elect that a trial is not for them.
For example, Indiana also has the Romeo and Juliet defense when the defendant can show all of the following:
- The defendant is not more than four years older than the victim.
- The defendant and the other party were in an ongoing relationship.
- The defendant has not committed another sex offense.
- The defendant is not promoting prostitution.
- The defendant is not 21 years or older.
- The defendant did not use deadly force, threats of deadly force, or a deadly weapon and did not cause bodily injury.
- The defendant did not give the victim drugs or controlled substances without their knowledge.
- The defendant does not have substantial influence or a position of authority over the victim.
The threshold for a successful defense of statutory rape is high. To avoid risking a conviction, find an experienced Indiana rape defense attorney to help prove your innocence.
Sex Offender Registration in Indiana
Indiana Code § 11-8-8-7 requires those with a rape or sexual battery conviction to register as sex offenders. Indiana Code § 11-8-8-19 requires defendants to sign up upon their release from jail and stay on the registry for at least ten years. Mistakes and misunderstandings about the Indiana sex offender registration, like failure to update your information on the registry, is also a chargeable offense that may result in incarceration.
Contact an Indianapolis Rape Defense Attorney at Camden & Meridew
When facing rape or any other sex crime charge, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney. An Indiana rape defense lawyer at Camden & Meridew, P.C. can help you build a strong defense and protect you throughout your case. Contact us at 317-770-0000 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation.