In Washington state, the sexual assault law defines rape as non-consensual sexual intercourse with another person. Clearly, nobody wants to be found guilty of a sexual assault charge or violating a statutory rape law. Apart from the very real results of a sexual assault conviction – fines, prison, and lifetime sexual offender status – you’ll also lose the trust of your family, friends, and colleagues, and you may even have trouble finding housing or employment. If you happen to be accused of sexual assault around the Seattle area, contact the sex crimes lawyers of Law Offices of Kevin Trombold promptly.
LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF RAPE
There are three different degrees of rape in the state of Washington. Rape in the first degree is classed as a class A felony and punishable by up to life in prison and a $50,000 fine. You may be charged with sexual assault in the first degree if you engage in forcible sexual intercourse without the victim’s consent and also:
Use or threaten to use a weapon
Kidnap the victim
Cause serious physical injury to the victim
Illegally enter into the building or car where the victim is located
Rape in the second degree is classed as a class A felony and is punishable by a $50,000 fine and up to life in prison. You could be charged with sexual assault in the second degree if you engage in forcible sexual intercourse without the victim’s consent and also:
Use forcible compulsion
The victim is not able to properly give consent because they are mentally incapacitated, disabled, or physically helpless.
Rape in the third degree is classed as a class C felony and is punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to five years in prison. You could be charged with sexual assault in the third degree if you engage in forcible sexual intercourse without the victim’s consent and also:
Ignore the victim’s lack of consent, which was expressed by words or conduct
Threaten great harm to the victim’s personal property
Even though there are different degrees depending on the severity of the crime, no charge of sexual assault should be taken lightly. Each charge carries serious consequences that can affect you and your loved ones for the remainder of your life. Call an experienced Seattle rape attorney at The Law Offices of Kevin Trombold promptly if you have received a charge of rape.
AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE REPRESENTATION
Experienced Seattle sexual assault lawyer Kevin Trombold knows that sometimes, although it may be hard to prove, the accusations of purported sexual assault victims can be fabrications. The accounts of rape victims are perhaps the most difficult criminal accusations to challenge. Jurors tend to have trouble understanding why a purported assault victim would file a bogus sexual assault charge. If you are accused of rape or any sexual assault in the Seattle area, experienced Seattle rape lawyer Kevin Trombold will ensure that the court hears your side of the story – as well as the alleged victim of an assault – and understands what really happened. For more than twenty years, those charged with serious crimes in the Seattle area have relied on Kevin Trombold to represent them diligently and aggressively. His record of success speaks for itself. If you face a rape charge, your future is already at risk. Do not risk it further. Protect yourself and call the Law Offices of Kevin Trombold promptly.
RAPE SHIELD LAW
One of the things that lawyers have to think about, especially criminal defense attorneys, are what are known as rape shield laws. All states have them, including Washington, and so do the Federal courts, as well, thanks to the Violence Against Women Act.
A rape shield law prevents evidence from getting heard in court, at trial. Specifically, it limits the circumstances where evidence of prior sexual conduct can be heard in court. In many cases, this is a non-issue, but it often crops up in sexual assault, rape, or domestic violence situations. In these cases, the rape shield law can be a huge factor in a conviction, or an acquittal.
The idea behind a rape shield law is that allowing evidence of past sexual behavior would make a jury look down on someone unfairly, without really shedding light on what happened that caused the trial. A phrase that’s often used is, “a rape victim’s sexual past is not what is on trial.” Before sexual assault shield laws became the norm, this would happen a lot in a trial – all of a sudden, the trial was about who’s slept with whom, and no one was talking about the crime anymore.
However, rape shield laws still have a delicate balance to strike. While they exclude evidence that can turn a serious trial into an exhausting one that focuses on everyone’s sexual history, rape shield laws also run the risk of taking crucially important evidence, and making sure it never gets seen by the jury. This is dangerous, because this is how innocent people get convicted for serious crimes that they did not do. It’s especially dangerous in the context of sexual crimes, like rape, or sexual assault, or domestic violence because, oftentimes, there is very little evidence to go on, and it’s just one person’s word, against another person’s word.
THE RIGHT DEFENSE ATTORNEY
A rape charge can ruin your life. Most rape victims know that help for sexual assault victims and assault victims is available, but if you are the one accused of sexual assault, you must get the proper legal help quickly from the right criminal defense attorney. Kevin Trombold, an experienced criminal defense attorney works with his legal staff to ensure each of their clients are completely taken care of. Their firm is respected by the judges, peers, and prosecutors in the Seattle area. Give us a call to discuss your case, free of charge at 206-382-9200.