New York Date Rape

Rape is the crime of having sexual intercourse with another person without that person's consent. "Date rape" is not a specific offense that is part of the New York Penal Code. It is a term that is commonly used to describe a rape where the perpetrator and the victim are not strangers, but are social acquaintances, or if the people involved had a romantic or a potentially romantic connection, such as when the two are dating. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 57% of rapes occur on dates. While many people believe that when sexual intercourse occurs between people who are dating, even if some force is used, it is not rape. Thus, many who are accused of date rape are often quite surprised. However, prosecutors seek to aggressively prosecute those who are accused of rape regardless of whether those involved are strangers or acquaintances. In addition, rape and other types of sexual assault also occur as a result of the use of a "date rape drug" such as GHB, Rohypnol, or ketamine. When the perpetrator uses drugs as the means to commit the sexual assault, the assault is also a drug crimes. 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 New York date rape lawyer who will review the facts of your case and vigorously defend you against the charges. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience representing clients who have been charged with drug crimes and other serious crimes such as assault, domestic violence and sex crimes. Find out what we can do for you by contacting us at to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

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.

Types of 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

Date rape drugs

Drugs can also play a role in date rape. In some instances date rape is committed by giving the other person a drug without that person's knowledge. Gamma hydroxybutyrate also known as GHB, Rohypnol, also known as rophies, and ketamine, also known as Special K, are all drugs that are referred to as date rape drugs. Each is easy to slip into the drink or food of another person. These drugs are fast-acting, causing the person to become dizzy, confused and in some case lose consciousness. When someone is incapacitated in this manner, it is easy to sexually assault that person. After the assault, the victim has little or no memory of what happened. If you do have sexual intercourse or any other sexual contact with someone after having given them a date rape drug, you would have done so without that person's consent, and could face a charge 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 conduct where the defendant and the victim are acquainted socially or where a date rape drug was used.

Furthermore, the unlawful possession of a date rape drug is a crime. Rohypnol is not legal in the United States for any purpose. Ketamine is legal for use as an anesthetic primarily on animals, and GHB is legal for the sole purpose of treating narcolepsy which is a sleep disorder. Thus, if you have a date rape drug it is likely that you have it unlawfully. For the unlawful possession of rohypnol, GHB or ketamine, you could be charged with one of several criminal possession of a controlled substance offenses.

Being arrested for date rape

If you are accused of date rape, you will be arrested and taken to a local police precinct for processing. You will then be transferred to Central Booking where you will remain until your case is ready for arraignment. At your arraignment hearing, the prosecutor will let you know the crimes with which you are charged. You may be charged with several other crimes in addition to a rape charge. The judge will also make a decision about bail: the judge may set a bail amount, release you without requiring you to post bail, or require that you be held without bail.

Because all rape charges are felonies, after your arraignment your case will go to the Grand Jury. If you are indicted, you will again be arraigned and there may be several hearings and meetings with the prosecutor before your case goes to trial. In order to avoid a trial and close the case, the prosecutor may offer you a deal that would allow you to plead guilty to a lesser offense. 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 less harsh 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.

Rape in the third degree. This is a class E felony. If convicted the possible sentence is up to 4 years in prison.

Rape in the first degree. This is a class B felony. If convicted the possible sentence is up to 25 years in prison. Rape in the first degree is a violent felony offense that has a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison.

Predatory sexual assault. This 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. This 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.

In addition to a prison sentence, you may also be sentenced to probation. For a felony sex crime conviction a 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.

Another consequence of a date rape conviction is that you will be required to register as a sex offender. Under the Sex Offender Registration Act upon conviction or release from incarceration 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.

The Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help

If you have been accused of 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 New York date rape lawyer. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates 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 drug crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens , Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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