Nassau County Date Rape

Rape is the crime of having sexual intercourse with another person without that person's consent. In some cases the person who is raped does not know the person who committed the rape. However, there are just as many and perhaps more instances of rape where there those involved are acquainted. This type of rape is often referred to as date rape or acquaintance rape. "Date rape" is not a specific offense that described in New York's criminal statute. It is a term that is commonly used to describe a rape where the accused and the victim are not strangers, but are social acquaintances. A rape is termed as a date rape if the people involved had a romantic or a potentially romantic connection, such as when the two are dating or have gone on a date. Some believe that when a person agrees to go out socially, that person also tacitly agrees to have sex, or that that person should understand that part of the "date" will be sex. As a result, many who are accused of date rape are often quite surprised, believing that what occurred was consensual. Prosecutors seek to aggressively prosecute those who are accused of rape regardless of whether those involved are strangers or acquaintances. Depending on the circumstances of the rape, there are three different degrees of seriousness of rape, each of which is a felony. This means that if you are convicted of rape, you could end up in prison for several years. If you are accused of rape, even if the person accusing you is someone you dated, you should take the accusation seriously and contact an experienced Nassau County Date Rape Lawyer who will review the facts of your case and vigorously defend you against the charges.

What is the legal definition of rape?

There are several different sex crimes that could also be date rape. However, each rape charge is similar in that they each have two essential elements: sexual intercourse and lack of consent. According to the New York Penal Code sexual intercourse means penetration of the vagina with the penis. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.00(1). Lack of consent means that the sexual intercourse was not consensual. While for some agreeing to a social date means agreeing to sexual intercourse, under New York law that is not the case. If the other person does not consent to sexual intercourse, then you would have committed rape.

Rape in the third degree is the least severe rape charge. You will be charged with rape in the third degree if you have sexual intercourse with another person without that person's consent. For example, if the other person tells you no or does anything else to indicate the lack of consent to sexual intercourse, and nonetheless you proceed with the sexual intercourse, you would have committed date rape. It is a Class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.25

Rape in the first degree is the most serious rape charge. It involves using force to have sexual intercourse with another person. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.35. It is a Class B felony. If you use force to have sexual intercourse with another person and cause a serious physical injury to that person, you would have committed predatory sexual assault, a Class A-II felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.95

Facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance. In some instances date rape is committed by giving the other person a drug. You might slip a drug into the other person's food or drink without that person knowing it. If you do so, or in some other way give that person a drug without his or her knowledge, and then have sexual intercourse, then you would have committed the crime of facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance. This is a Class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.90.

Under the New York Penal Code the term "rape" refers to nonconsensual sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse means penetration by the vagina with the penis. However, the term "date rape" may also be used to describe other types of nonconsensual sexual activity. For example, if sexual intercourse did not occur, but anal sex or oral sex did occur, such acts could also be termed as "rape." However, under the New York criminal code, such offenses would not be rape, but criminal sexual act. There are still other sex crimes that involve other nonconsensual sex acts such as performing a sex act using a foreign object.

What will happen if I am arrested for date rape?

If you are suspected of committing a date rape offense you will be arrested and initially taken into custody at the local police precinct. There you will be fingerprinted and photographed. The next step is that you will be taken to a place called Central Booking where you will remain until your arraignment. The location of the Central Booking facility where you will be taken depends on where you were arrested. In Nassau County, Central Booking is located at 99 Main Street in Hempstead. While you are in Central Booking, someone from the Criminal Justice Agency (CJA) will interview you. The CJA will use the information elicited during the interview to make a recommendation to the judge regarding bail. The CJA will ask questions related to where you live, whether you work, whether you support your family, and your level of education. The goal of the interview is to determine whether or not you have strong ties to the community.

During your arraignment the prosecutor will present the criminal complaint against you which will detail the charges against you. The exact charged that are brought against you will depend on a number of factors. Furthermore, if you are accused of date rape, you should be prepared for the possibility that the prosecutor will bring multiple charges against you, and not just a single charge of rape in the third degree, for example.

At the arraignment the judge will determine your bail status. The judge will consider the recommendation of the CJA as well as the seriousness of the charges against you. Particularly in the case of a sex crime, the prosecutor will likely argue that the judge set substantial bail, while your defense will argue against bail or for very low bail. Ultimately the judge will make the bail decision based on how much of a flight risk you present. Based on that assessment the judge may set a low or high bail, decide that no bail is necessary and release you on your own recognizance (ROR), or decide that you present a significant flight risk and require that you be held without bail. If bail is set, you will have to post it before you will be released. If someone is able to attend your arraignment and post bail for you immediately after, then you may be able to be released from custody soon after your arraignment.

After the arraignment there will be several other steps in the criminal process before a final resolution of your case, including several hearings and meetings with the prosecutor. At some point you and your defense team may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor that would require you to plead guilty to lesser charges in order to avoid a trial and possible conviction on the original, more serious charges. If you do agree to a plea, while your sentence may be less severe than if you were found guilty at trial, you will still have pleaded guilty to a crime and will have to face the consequences of that plea.

What is the sentence for date rape?

The sentence you will face for a rape conviction varies depending on the classification of the specific charge against you, as well as other factors such as your prior criminal history.

  • Rape in the third degree is a Class E felony. If convicted the possible prison sentence is up to 4 years.
  • Rape in the first degree is a Class B felony. If convicted the possible prison sentence is up to 25 years. Rape in the first degree is a violent felony offense that has a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison.
  • Predatory sexual assault is a Class A-II felony. If convicted the possible sentence is up to life in prison. The mandatory minimum sentence is 10-25 years in prison.
  • Facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance is a Class D felony. If convicted the possible sentence is up to 7 years in prison. It is also classified as a violent felony offense and as such has a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison.

Probation. In addition to a prison sentence, you may also be sentenced to probation. For a felony sex crime conviction the mandatory probation sentence is 10 years. This is the case regardless of whether you are sentenced to just probation, or to prison and probation. With probation comes detailed conditions that restrict many aspects of your life. For example, there may be restrictions on where you can go and the people with whom you can associate. You may have a curfew. You will also be required to have a job or prove that you are looking for one. You will have a probation officer to whom you must regularly report. If you do not adhere to your probation conditions, a judge may find you in violation and revoke your probation.

Fines, Fees and Restitution. There are several financial consequences to committing a date rape crime. The judge may order you to pay a fine of up to $5,000 for a felony conviction. You will also be required to pay certain fees including a "mandatory surcharge" of $300 as well as a victim assistance fee of $25. N.Y. Pen. Law § 60.35. Furthermore, there are fees associated with probation and sex offender registration. Another financial consequence is that you may be ordered to pay restitution to the victim. Generally, the maximum amount of restitution is generally $15,000. However, if the victim has substantial medical expenses as a result of your crime, you may be ordered to pay restitution in excess of $15,000. If you do not pay a fine, fee or restitution, you may be charged with an additional crime. However, the court may lower the amount of restitution or modify payment terms if you show the court an inability to pay.

Sex offender registration. Another consequence of a date rape conviction is that you will be required to register as a sex offender. N.Y. Cor. Law § 168. Under the Sex Offender Registration Act upon conviction you will have to register with a designated law enforcement agency. Registration includes providing your name, home address, school name and address, as well as other information to law enforcement who will add it to a database of registered sex offenders. You will also have to provide your email addresses and all internet screen names. You will have to regularly provide an updated photo. You must verify your address regularly, and if you move you must let law enforcement know. Your information may even be added to the public sex offender registration directory that is accessible online by the public. You will be required to register for at least 20 years, and maybe for the rest of your life.

If you have been accused for date rape, you should take such an accusation seriously. It could lead to a conviction for serious criminal offenses such as rape in the third degree, rape in the first degree, predatory sexual assault, or facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance. You should immediately consult an experienced Nassau County Date Rape Lawyer. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who are accused of date rape as well as other sex crimes. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of sex crimes in the following locations:

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