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What should I know about a rape charge?

Violent crimes are one type of crime that can haunt you for years to come after you are accused of them. In some cases, being convicted of a violent crime can mean that you have trouble finding a place to rent or finding a job. One violent crime that some defendants might face is rape. This is a sex-related crime that is very serious.

What is rape?

Rape is a felony crime that involves forcing a person to have sexual intercourse without consent. In the case of rape, each act of penetration, regardless of how slight, can be considered a different count of rape. According to common law, rape is unlawful forced intercourse by a male with a female who isn't his wife.

What is non-consensual?

Non-consensual means that the alleged rapist didn't get the alleged victim's permission to have sexual intercourse. This can mean that physical force or threat of injury were used to force the intercourse to happen. It can also mean that the alleged victim was unable to give consent because of an inability to say no to intercourse, such as if the person was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

A rape conviction can lead to a variety of punishments. A person might be sentenced to prison, fined or ordered to participate in certain programs. Even when the punishments are completed, the person convicted of rape might still feel the effects of the conviction. It is vital that anyone who is facing rape charges understands the possible punishments and the options for presenting a defense.

Source: FindLaw, "Rape," accessed June 09, 2015

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