In order for a defendant to be proven guilty of committing a crime, a prosecutor must successfully demonstrate that the individual met all of the required elements of the claim brought against him or her. In Louisiana, there are three different degrees of rape charges and each sets forth different elements required to prove guilt. This blog post will touch briefly on the elements of each degree of rape and possible criminal defense options available to those accused of such a crime.
Rape is a specific crime that is considered a sexual assault. First degree rape includes intercourse with an individual sixty-five years of age or older against that person’s will or intercourse against the victim’s will where force, threat, intimidation, the use of a weapon, multiple parties or the infirmity of the victim prevents him or her from resisting. First degree rape charges can be penalized with death or life imprisonment.
Second degree rape involves unwanted intercourse where the victim does not resist because resistance would be futile or unwanted intercourse where the victim does not resist because he or she has been drugged by the alleged attacker. Second degree rape charges can result in five to forty years of imprisonment.
Finally, third degree rape involves unwanted intercourse with a person that the alleged attacker should have known could not consent. Date rape charges often fall into this category, and individuals convicted of third degree rape may be penalized with prison sentences of up to twenty-five years.
There are a variety of defenses that individuals can employ when they are charged with rape. Attorneys who work in the criminal defense field can help their clients build solid, honest cases against rape charges that sufficiently counter the evidence presented by the prosecutors in support of their case. Taking such a legal action could help defendant reduce or even dismiss the charges against them.