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DC Rape Penalties

Because there are so many different situations that can result in a person being charged with sexual abuse, there is a wide variety of DC rape penalties that a person could be facing if convicted in one of these scenarios. If you are facing any of the consequences associated with sex crimes, an experienced rape lawyer can help build a strong defense on your behalf.

Misdemeanor Offenses

DC rape penalties range from lower level misdemeanor penalties that go up to 180 days of jail and fines up to $1,000. So long as the people involved in the offense are both adults over the age of 18, misdemeanors do not require registration as a sex offender. However, in the four different degrees of felony sexual abuse, the penalties can be much more severe.

Classifying Penalties in the District

For all four of the felony sexual abuse laws, a person convicted of First, Second, Third or Fourth Degree sexual abuse would face mandatory sex offender registration either for a period of a certain number of years or potentially for a lifetime in a First and Second-degree sexual abuse situation.

First Degree Sex Offenses

Someone convicted of First Degree sexual abuse whereby they are found guilty of engaging in a sexual act by using force or threatening force against a person would face up to a life sentence. They could face fines up to $125,000.

Second Degree Sex Offenses

A person who is convicted of Second Degree sexual abuse whereby they are found guilty of engaging in a sexual act against an incapacitated person to face up to 20 years of prison time and a fine up to $50,000.

Third Degree Sex Offenses

A person who has been convicted of Third Degree sexual abuse whereby they are found guilty of engaging in sexual contact with another person by using force or threatening force against that person, could face up to 10 years of prison time and fines up to $25,000.

Fourth Degree Sex Offenses

If a person is convicted of Fourth Degree sexual abuse where they are found guilty of sexual contact on a person who is incapacitated, that person could face up to five years of prison time and a fine of up to $12,500.

Possible Aggravating Factors

All aggravating factors can be taken into account by a prosecutor when deciding what level of sexual abuse charge to file against the defendant. Sexual contact or a sexual act which may be aggravated subjects the defendant to higher DC rape penalties based on the circumstances of the offense. If the accuser is allegedly incapacitated at the time that the sexual act or sexual contact took place then that would be an aggravating factor.

If the sexual act or sexual contact was committed by using or threatening force against another person that would be an even more severe aggravating factor. Such an act can introduce DC rape penalties that include a possible life sentence.

Another aggravating factor could be a situation in which a weapon or other dangerous object is used during the commission of a sexual act or sexual contact. These situations are referred to as sexual abuse while armed and can result in a more severe charge being filed. Use of weapons can negatively impact a defendant’s case if prosecutors are able to prove that a weapon or dangerous object was used in the commission of any degree of sexual abuse.

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