Queens Date Rape

Rape is the crime of having sexual intercourse with someone without that person's consent. An act of rape is called date rape in situations where the perpetrator and the victim are not strangers, but are social acquaintances. The two involved may even have a romantic or a potentially romantic connection, such as when the two are dating or have gone on a date. Statistics show that 57% of rapes occur on dates. If someone who you know and have had sexual intercourse with accuses you of rape, you may be surprised. You may not take the accusation seriously. You should. Prosecutors seek to aggressively prosecute those who are accused of rape regardless of whether those involved are strangers or acquaintances. There are three different rape charges. Each charge is a felony. This means that if you are convicted of date rape, you could end up in prison for several years. If you are charged with rape, even if the person accusing you is someone you dated, you should take the accusation seriously and contact an experienced Queens Date Rape Lawyer who will explain your legal rights and vigorously defend you against the charges.

Rape

There are several different sex crimes defined in New York criminal law that could also be date rape. However, each rape offense is similar in that they each have two essential elements: sexual intercourse and lack of consent. According to New York law sexual intercourse means penetration of the vagina with the penis. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.00(1). Lack of consent means that the other person did not agree to the sexual intercourse. While for some agreeing to a social date also means consent 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.

Types of Rape and Date Rape

Rape in the third degree is the least severe rape charge. You will face this charge if you have sexual intercourse with another person and that person did not consent. For example, if the other person tells you no or does anything else to indicate that he or she does not agree to have sexual intercourse with you, and nonetheless you proceed, you would have committed rape in the third degree. It is a Class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.25

Rape in the first degree is the most serious rape charge. Not only must there have been the absence of consent to the sexual intercourse, there must also have been force involved. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.35. It is a Class B felony. Furthermore, 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

In some instances date rape is committed after giving the victim a drug that mentally or physically incapacitates him or her. A common scenario involves the defendant being accused of putting a drug such as GHB or Rohypnol into the victim's drink without that person's knowledge. Later the defendant has sexual intercourse with the victim. If you give someone a drug and then have sexual intercourse with him or her 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 New York Penal Law 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 sex crimes where the defendant and the victim are acquainted socially such as criminal sexual act which involves oral or anal sex.

Being Arrested for Date Rape

If you are accused of date rape you will be arrested and will have to go through the New York criminal process. It can be long, complicated and unpleasant. You will first be processed at the local police precinct. You will then be transferred to Central Booking where you will await your arraignment. While you are at Central Booking the prosecutor will review the facts of your case, including the evidence and your criminal background. Based on what the prosecutor learns he or she may charge you with not just rape, but other crimes as well. For example, if you are charged with facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance you may also face a drug possession charge.

After your arraignment, because rape is a felony your case will go before the Grand Jury. There may be several additional hearings and meetings with the prosecutor before your case finally goes to trial. It is possible to resolve your case without having a trial. You may be able to negotiate an agreement with the prosecutor that would require you to plead guilty to a lesser crime and avoid a trial. If you agree you would avoid the possibility of being convicted of the original charges and being given a relatively harsh sentence. You would instead face a relatively light sentence. However, if you do agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge, you will definitely end up with a criminal record without the possibility of being acquitted of the charges.

Sentence for a Rape Conviction

The sentence you will face for a rape conviction varies depending on the rape charge. Of all the rape charges, rape in the third degree is the least serious. It is a Class E felony. If convicted the possible sentence is up to 4 years in prison. Facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance is a Class D felony. If you are convicted of this crime you could be sentenced to up to 7 years in prison. Facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance is also classified as a violent felony offense and as such has a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison.

Rape in the first degree is a Class B felony. If you are convicted the judge could sentence you to up to 25 years in prison. Rape in the first degree is also 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.

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. Being on probation is not easy. You will be required to follow very restrictive rules that may affect several aspects of your life. For instance, there may be restrictions on where you can go and the people with whom you can associate. If you have friends who also have felony convictions, you will not be permitted to hang out with them. 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. Most importantly, you cannot commit another crime. If you do not adhere to your probation conditions a judge may find you in violation and revoke your probation.

Another consequence of a date rape conviction or a conviction of most other sex crimes 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 or release from incarceration you will have to register with law enforcement. Registration includes providing your name, aliases, home address, school name and address, as well as other information to law enforcement who will add your information 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 and other personal information regularly. If you move you must let law enforcement know. Depending on how much of a risk you are determined to pose the public, your information may 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 of raping an acquaintance, you should take the 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. However, there are defenses to such charges that may result in the charges being dropped or lowered. Or there may be defenses that result in you being acquitted after trial. You should immediately consult an experienced Queens 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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