Date Rape Defense

Grey And Red Concrete StructureDate rape is a growing problem across the country, especially on college campuses, that can impact anyone. Victims of date rape often suffer physical, psychological and financial problems, and they can deal with shame, depression and anxiety for years after. However, another troubling aspect of date rape cases is false accusations that can impact an individual’s current life and future.

As soon as you get accused of date rape in Pennsylvania, you need to take immediate action to preserve your reputation, career and future. MPL Law Firm in York, PA is dedicated to helping individuals accused of date rape. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys can handle serious sex crimes and fight for your innocence so you can get your life back.

What Is Date Rape?

The definition of date rape is a rape — defined in the FBI Uniform Crime Reports as “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim” — where the victim has a casual or pre-existing relationship with the alleged offender.

Date rape can happen anywhere, but it often occurs on college campuses. Approximately 37% of the women who experience date rape are college-aged, between 18 and 24. A college setting can foster an environment for date rape due to the proximity of the students, the heavy consumption of drugs and alcohol and the preponderance of casual relationships. Acquaintance rape is a version of date rape that takes place frequently on campuses. In acquaintance rape situations, the individuals know each other casually but have never dated.

Alcohol is frequently the catalyst for date rape, as heavy consumption lowers the inhibitions of the two parties and can make the victim more vulnerable to the advances of the perpetrator. Date rape can also be premeditated. Offenders can use several types of date rape drugs — such as Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHP), Rohypnol and benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Klonopin to confuse their victims and make them less able to defend themselves. Typically, the perpetrator will discreetly place these substances into the victim’s beverage to get them to take it.

Criminal Charges for Date Rape in PA

In Pennsylvania, there is no specific crime referred to as date rape. Instead, prosecutors may charge an alleged perpetrator with one or more of the following offenses:

  • Indecent assault: In Pennsylvania, actions such as having indecent contact with an individual without their consent through the use of force or intoxicants can constitute an indecent assault. Depending on the circumstances, prosecutors can levy second-degree misdemeanor, first-degree misdemeanor or third-degree felony charges against the victim.
  • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse: Deviate sexual intercourse entails the penetration of specific body parts with a foreign object. When performed involuntary, it involves the use of force or intoxicating substances to impair the victim’s power and control. Violating this law can result in a first-degree felony charge in Pennsylvania.
  • Rape: Under PA law, a rape occurs when the offender uses force or threats to engage in sexual intercourse with the victim. Rape can also happen when the perpetrator uses alcohol or other substances to impair the victim, or when the individual is unconscious or mentally disabled. Rape is a first-degree felony in Pennsylvania.

What Are the Potential Legal Penalties for Date Rape in Pennsylvania?

The penalty for date rape in PA will depend on the nature of the crime. A first-degree felony conviction can result in a prison term of up to 20 years, a fine of up to $25,000 and having to register as a sex offender. A second-degree felony will carry a maximum 10-year jail term and the same financial penalties. The use of drugs to impair the victim can lead to 10 more years in prison and an additional fine of up to $100,000. A third-degree felony or misdemeanor conviction will have less severe implications, but could still result in jail time and fines.

Getting Legal Help for Date Rape Cases in York, PA

The legal and reputational consequences of a date rape accusation or conviction can be severe. It is crucial to seek capable legal guidance to help you meet the challenge directly. If you’re accused of date rape in York, PA, contact the MPL Law Firm as soon as possible. We’ll take the time to listen so we can fully assess the nature and severity of your situation. Then, we’ll assist you in developing and implementing a sound legal strategy that will yield the most optimistic outcome for your circumstances.

Contact us to schedule a consultation so we can further discuss your date rape case and determine the appropriate course of action.

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