Los Angeles Statutory Rape Defense Attorney

Beverly Hills Sex Crimes Lawyer

If you are under investigation or are facing statutory rape charges, your future, reputation and freedom are on the line. Consult with Los Angeles sex crime defense attorney Robert M. Bernstein to find out how to protect your rights in the face of these serious criminal charges.

Statutory rape is one of the most misunderstood and confusing criminal charges in the area of sex crimes. Under California law it is called Unlawful Sexual Intercourse. It is illegal for any person to have consensual sex with any person who is under the age of 18. The applicable statute in California is penal code section 261.5. It is important to understand that as the disparity in age between the alleged victim and the defendant increases, so does the potential punishment the defendant faces in court. If the age difference is not more than three years, the crime is a misdemeanor. If the age difference is more than three years, the crime is a wobbler, which means that it could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Arrested for Statutory Rape in Los Angeles?

California is one of the few states in the country that does recognize that an actual and reasonable belief by the defendant that the alleged victim was 18 or older is an affirmative defense to the crime of unlawful sex with a minor. Many states don't recognize this defense and that is why this crime has become commonly known as "statutory rape". However, because California does recognize this affirmative defense to this crime, it is essential that you contact a qualified defense attorney immediately to prepare the most effective defense strategy.

If the victim is under 16 years of age, or under 14, than other more serious criminal charges such as child molestation may by applicable. In those circumstances, a reasonable belief in the mistake of the age of the victim is not an available defense and the penalties are much greater.

Statutory Rape Charges in Los Angeles County and California

As an experienced criminal defense lawyer with a background as a former prosecutor, Robert M. Bernstein understands how to approach a statutory rape case and offer his client the best legal defense possible. In these situations, an independent investigation by a skilled lawyer may reveal information, witness testimony or evidence which will work in the defendant's favor.

Without aggressive defense by a skilled lawyer, a defendant may face the following penalties for a statutory rape charge in California:

  • Fines of $2,000 to $25,000
  • County jail sentence of up to one year, or
  • State prison sentence of 2, 3 or 4 years
  • (Note: specific penalties will vary depending upon the age of the adult and the victim)

Los Angeles Statutory Rape Defense Attorney

Los Angeles statutory rape lawyer Robert Bernstein has the skills, resources and experience to conduct a thorough investigation into the charges that his clients face, in order to provide a tailor-made defense plan which may result in the dismissal of all charges.

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Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

Office Location:

Law Offices of Robert M. Bernstein
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
9595 Wilshire Blvd.,
Suite 900,

Beverly Hills, CA 90212
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Local Phone: (310) 477-1480

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