Being accused of rape or charged with rape or other crimes associated with sexual assault doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a fair trial. As stressful and embarrassing as initial charges and proceedings can be, it’s essential to have an experienced and proven criminal defense attorney on your side after an arrest or rape charge. A crime of rape usually consists of non-consensual sex. That being said, there are many different laws associated with rape, sexual assault, battery and statutory rape that makes these cases quite complex. Forcible rape is the type of crime we typically think of when somebody mentions rape, but each case is different, and there can be many different variables involved.Felony Rape Charges
Rape, and many other charges associated with sexual assault in the State of Mississippi, are felony charges. This means if you are convicted, you could spend more than one year in a correctional facility and face hefty fines. Unlike a misdemeanor, this is a charge that can put you behind bars for years, or even indefinitely, if convicted. Any kind of felony charges, but especially those associated with sex crimes, need to be taken very seriously from the initial arrest and booking. The sooner you speak with a criminal defense attorney about your case, the better chance you have at a favorable outcome.Penalties Associated With Rape Convictions
No two cases are exactly the same, but where sex crimes are involved, you can expect for penalties to be harsh. Since sex crimes are considered especially egregious, the penalties associated with them can be very severe. In the State of Mississippi, crimes involving rape or sexual battery can involve prison sentences between five years and life. The circumstances and types of charges associated with your case will determine what kind of penalties you’re facing, if convicted. Rape and sexual assault can be punishable by life in prison. For those that do serve their time and get out, they also have to live with the lifelong stigma of registering on the sex offender list.What About Statutory Rape?
Statutory rapes laws in Mississippi involve the age of both alleged perpetrator and victim. Sex with a child who is at least 14 years old but under 16 years old, or with a child that is not a spouse and is three years younger than the alleged perpetrator who is 17 years old or older would be considered statutory rape in Mississippi. Additionally, if the defendant is accused of having sex with a child under 14 years of age or with a child who is not a spouse and who is two years younger, that is also considered statutory rape. In cases of statutory rape, whether or not a person was a willing participant is basically irrelevant, due to the age issue.Long-Term Impact of Rape Conviction
One of the most damaging long-term impacts of a rape conviction or a conviction of any type of sex crime is the stigma associated with the charge. A rape conviction means a lifetime of stigma and having to register on the sex offender list. This type of crime follows you everywhere you go. It can make getting a job next to impossible, and good luck finding a place to live too. Since the long-term impact of a rape conviction is so damaging, it’s absolutely essential to get in touch with a skilled and proven criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your defense.Your Right to Remain Silent
If you’ve been arrested and charged with rape or some other type of crime associated with sexual assault, you have one job to do. Exercise your right to remain silent. Don’t fall into the common misconception of wanting to look innocent by speaking with interrogators. It is perfectly acceptable and highly recommended to politely ask to speak with your lawyer and decline to answer any questions until he or she is present. It could make the difference between incarceration and freedom or from being on the sex offender list for life or not. After any arrest, calmly ask to speak with your lawyer and refrain from answering questions or talking to investigators until you’ve had a chance to speak with your lawyer.Jackson Criminal Defense Lawyer
After any type of arrest, it’s important to exercise your right to remain silent and request to speak with your lawyer. A rape conviction can follow you for life. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with rape or any type of sexual assault crime in or around the Jackson Metro Area, contact the experienced criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (877) 231-1600 for a free case consultation today.