DC Rape Lawyer

The word rape as it is commonly understood is not defined under the criminal laws of the District of Columbia. Rape is a word that is commonly known and commonly understood but it is not referred to as “rape” under DC criminal rules.

The DC code criminalizes various degrees of sexual abuse. An experienced sex crimes lawyer can help you understand the offense and mitigate the charges against you. DC rape lawyers can help you protect your rights and reputation by preparing you for trial.

Defining Sexual Abuse

DC rape lawyers have seen sexual abuse defined in different ways depending on the charge the individual faces. There are four different degrees of felony sexual abuse and one degree of misdemeanor sexual abuse.

A misdemeanor sexual abuse is defined as a person engaging in a sexual act or sexual contact with another person where the person knows or should have known that the act is being committed without the other person’s permission.

Sexual contact and sexual act are defined under DC law where a sexual act requires some kind of penetration. Sexual contact does not require penetration. It can include any inappropriate touching of another, clothed or unclothed.

Difference from Other Sex Crime Cases

Not every sexual abuse case involves penetration but those are considered to be the most serious types of sexual abuse cases. Because the penalties that a person faces for first and second-degree sex abuse are so high, they must be approached with a high degree of attention and care. The effect that the sexual act has on an accuser is considered to be of the utmost severity. These allegations are extremely serious.

Role of Intent in a Rape Case

The intention of the contact has to be to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, arouse or gratify someone’s sexual desire. That contact cannot be incidental or accidental. The contact has to be with a specific intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, arouse or gratify sexual desire.

Sexual contact offenses are considered to be less severe felonies so Third Degree and Fourth Degree sexual abuse are criminalized as sexual contact. First Degree and Second Degree sexual abuse are criminalized as a sexual act. It is recommended that an accused individual reach out to a DC rape lawyer because sexual acts are considered to be serious offenses.

Common Defense Tools

Managing a thorough and effective investigation of possible witnesses and analyzing any DNA evidence that may have been collected, challenging the credibility or reliability of government witnesses and possibly presenting facts that can be used to challenge the government’s case.

It can also mean preparing a defendant to possibly testify in their own defense and preparing the client to be cross examined by a prosecutor who wants to obtain a conviction and potentially seek many years of prison time for the accused. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help challenge evidence and mitigate any penalties that a person might be facing.

DC Criminalization of Rape Charges

Third Degree sexual abuse criminalizes sexual contact against another person, if sexual contact is done by using force against that person or by threatening or kidnapping the other person by rendering the other person unconscious or by administering some kind of drug or intoxicant to the other person without that person knowing.

Third Degree sexual abuse is referred to as a forcible offense whereas Fourth Degree sexual abuse is considered to be an incapacitation sex offense. Fourth Degree sexual abuse criminalizes sexual contact with another person where the other person is incapable of declining participation in the contact. DC rape lawyers have also seen cases where an individual has been deemed incapable of communicating unwillingness to engage in sexual contact.

Difference of a Fourth Degree Offense

Fourth Degree sexual abuse is more often seen in a situation where the accuser is incapacitated due to intoxication and not capable of declining participation. First Degree and Second Degree sexual abuse carry the same distinction as Third Degree and Fourth Degree.

First Degree sexual abuse is considered to be a forcible sex offense, whereas Second Degree is one of incapacitation just like Fourth Degree. Despite the level of the offense, an accused person should contact DC rape lawyers regarding the charges against them.

The difference between the higher level of felony sex offenses and the lower level felony sex offenses is that First and Second Degree sexual abuse require penetration. This is why First and Second Degree sexual abuse criminalize sexual acts as opposed to Third and Fourth Degree sexual abuse which are criminalized as sexual contact.

Impact of a Rape Charge

Rape is something that is not charged as a crime in Washington DC. Washington DC criminal laws criminalize various degrees of sexual abuse as opposed to rape. Unlike rape offenses, DC legislators were able to codify different degrees of sexual abuse so that a person can be charged with these offenses without sexually penetrating another person or without the requirement that the other be intoxicated.

The different degrees of sexual abuse allow for criminal charges in a wide variety of situations that may not be traditionally understood as rape is typically understood. Therefore, it is extremely important an accused individual speak with a DC rape lawyer about their case before trial begins