If you have been charged with statutory rape in New York State, you may be worried about whether you can get a fair trial. There is a stigma attached to statutory rape cases and many defendants worry that no one will understand the unique situation that got them into this legal mess. Although the laws regarding statutory rape may seem cut and dry, they are not. This is why it is important to have an attorney such as Robert S. Gershon by your side throughout the process to ensure that the charges brought against you do not end up ruining your life.
In the state of New York it is illegal for any adult to engage in sexual intercourse with a minor. A minor is considered to be anyone under the age of 17. Those under 17 years old are deemed to be unable to legally provide consent to any sexual intercourse with an adult. This means that even if the minor agrees to participate and engage in the sexual act, the adult can be charged with the criminal offense of statutory rape.
In New York State there are several factors that determine the severity of charges against someone accused of statutory rape as well as the punishment that may be faced if he or she is found guilty of that charge.
Statutory Rape in the 3rd Degree
If the defendant, at the age of twenty-one or older, knowingly engaged in sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of seventeen, he or she would likely be charged with statutory rape in the 3rd degree, a Class E felony which could result in a four year prison term and a fine of up to $5,000.
Statutory Rape in the 2rd Degree
If the defendant, at the age of eighteen or older, engaged in sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of fifteen, unless the offender was less than four years older than the victim, he or she could be charged with statutory rape in the 2nd degree, a Class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Statutory Rape in the 1st Degree
A defendant may be charged with statutory rape in the first degree when they engage in sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of eleven. This charge also applies to an individual over the age of eighteen who engages in sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of thirteen. These are Class B felonies punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.
In addition, a person who is convicted of any rape offense will be required to register as a sex offender in New York State.
Regardless of the degree of your charges, there is the possibility of facing a mandatory prison sentence if convicted, which is why hiring a New York criminal defense attorney such as Robert S. Gershon is imperative if you have been charged with statutory rape.