Date rape is a very serious felony crime in Virginia—also called “acquaintance” rape. If you have been charged with this crime, you need to understand the offense, the penalties you face, and how to fight the charges. charged with date rape

Understanding the Crime of Date Rape

The crime of date rape falls within the criminal statute making rape a criminal offense in Virginia. Under Virginia Code § 18.2-61, rape is defined as sexual intercourse that occurs against an individual’s will through the use of threats, intimidation, or force, or by taking advantage of the victim’s physical helplessness or mental incapacity. Date rape is different than other rape crimes in these key ways:

  • It doesn’t occur between strangers. Date rape is not a crime committed by a stranger. Unlike other rape crimes, the victim and the accused know each other. They may be married or in a long-term relationship, dating, or be friends or new acquaintances.
  • It doesn’t involve violence. Although date rape can involve the use of force or threats, this is not always the case. In many alleged cases, the victim is physically helpless or mentally incapacitated because of alcohol consumption or the use of drugs.
  • It does involve questions of consent. Whether a victim consented to the sex can be a bigger issue in a date rape case. This can be a complicated issue when both parties know each other, and words may have been misinterpreted. In addition, there could be questions of whether the victim was capable of giving consent if they were incapacitated due to drug or alcohol consumption or because a drug was slipped into their drink.

Penalties You Face If Convicted of Date Rape

If you are found guilty of date rape, you face very harsh penalties. You would be sentenced to a minimum prison sentence of five years to life in prison. In addition, you would have a permanent criminal record and have to register on the Sex Offender Registry.

How Can You Defend Yourself Against Date Rape Charges?

If you have been arrested for date rape in Chesterfield County, you should not take the charges lightly. You need to retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Midlothian as soon as possible. They can help you mount a strong defense strategy to defeat the charges you face. Even if you are guilty, you may have solid defenses that can result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a much less serious offense. To learn how I can help you, call my office, or fill out my online form to schedule a free consultation today.

 

Stephen Bloomquest
Richmond Family & Criminal Defense Lawyer