What Is Second Degree Rape?
Second-degree rape occurs when a person uses forcible compulsion against a victim who is simply incapable of consent by reason of being either physically helpless or mentally incapacitated. It also occurs when a victim, who the defendant is not married to, has a developmental disability. This classification addresses abuses of authority, such as when the defendant is a healthcare provider, and the victim is their client or patient (and the intercourse occurs during a session consultation, examination, etc.). Same goes for when the victim is a resident of a facility for patients with mental disorders, or when the victim is a frail elder or vulnerable adult.
What Are the Sentences for 2nd Degree Rape?
In the State of Washington, rape in the second degree is a class A felony. Maximum sentencing is life imprisonment and/or a fine of $50,000.
What Happens When You’re Accused of Second-Degree Rape?
Facing allegations of rape in any degree is, without a doubt, life-altering. Since second-degree rape can incorporate power dynamics in specific workplaces, an accusation can compromise your job (at the very least). If charged, then the defendant is facing incarceration, lifetime community custody, lifetime sex offense registration, etc.
Seek Out an Attorney
Once accused, do not speak to law enforcement (or anyone, really) without an attorney present. Instead, seek the help of a trusted second degree rape criminal defense lawyer to build your defense. They can educate you in the nuances of the law, help construct a timeline, compile a witness list, or help arrange scientific testing, expert testimony to aid in your defense. It’s crucial to be completely transparent in the events that transpired (or didn’t transpire), since the more information your lawyer has, the better they can defend you.
If you face criminal charges in areas like child abuse, rape, or domestic violence, you may be subject to a litany of specialized psychological testing at your expense. Depending on the charge(s), the testing and evaluations vary. Other expenses you might expect are the costs involved with obtaining records or evidence, expert fees and their potential testimony at trial. Most experts charge for to appear and testify in court. It is best to try and prepare yourself for these expenses.
How Can I Defend Myself Against a 2nd Degree Rape Charge?
Seek trusted legal representation to help you build your second degree rape defense. That said, here are a few common sexual defenses that may or not apply on a case-by-case basis:
Innocence: A defendant asserts general denial over the alleged crime(s) with a basic defense claim of actual innocence. A defendant may present an alibi at the alleged time of the intercourse. In this situation, the defendant has to be able to support the alibi with credible evidence to establish they were not present when the crime took place.
Consent: A defendant admits to the behavior in question but argues the victim’s consent at the time negates the charges. One element of this charge is that the crime took place against the victim’s will. In most cases, however, consent by the victim is difficult to prove.
Insanity or Mental Incapacity: A defendant claims they had a mental disease or defect at the time of the intercourse, thereby arguing to remove or reduce the liability of their actions. Insanity refers to individuals who are found to be not competent through an evaluation. It does not necessarily mean that it removes all liability, as they may be ordered to go through restoration, civilly committed, etc. Mental incapacity could be the same if you’re referring to someone who is developmentally disabled to the point they could not participate in their own defense. However, in that instance, there would not be the option of restoration as there would with an insanity defense. Diminished capacity means that the person could not form the required mental state to commit the crime in question.
Duress: A defendant participated in the crime under compulsion by another and would not have acted if not under duress. In layman’s terms, the defendant had “a gun to their head.”
Get Your Life Back Now
The team of second degree rape attorneys at Vindicate Law has the expertise dealing with rape cases in the State of Washington to provide all of our clients with the advocacy and representation they deserve. We will work hard to protect your rights and help you get your life back now.
For more information or to speak with a member of our team of layers about your second degree rape offense, contact us today.