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What Are the Best Legal Defenses to a Rape Charge?

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Oct 16, 2023

For those charged with California Penal Code 261 PC rape, several different defenses can be utilized to help you.  I have you come into my office, and we talk about everything.

We see whether or not a defense squarely fits your circumstances and whether you could be successful if you took the case to trial or if I give your side of the story to the prosecutor so they can assess whether or not to either dismiss the case or lower the charges.


One defense is that the alleged victim consented.  In other words, they agreed to the sex, and now, somehow, they've got sour grapes and are claiming that you did something wrong when you did not. Of course, there are a bunch of different circumstances that I've seen.  One is that both parties get intoxicated.  They meet each other. 

They end up having sex, and then the alleged victim wakes up the following day, somehow claiming that they were raped when they were consensual the whole way through, and it's just their intoxication that is clouding what exactly happened in their mind. 

So, consent is a defense to a rape charge.  We can argue that the other person agreed to have sex with you.  Then, you've got a good argument. 

Maybe there was a condom used, and for some reason, the person is now trying to come back and claim that they did something wrong.  That won't work if we prove the original sexual contact was consensual.

False Allegation

Another defense is one where we can show that the alleged victim has made up a story and has a motive to make us a rape story, and that's why you're being accused. For example, I've seen situations where husband and wife or girlfriend and boyfriend will break up.

The other party concocts a rape allegation to somehow get an advantage over their significant other, especially in a divorce situation – spousal battery, rape – would all be good advantages in a divorce to get as much money as possible from the other person.  This is a defense that can be utilized in a rape case.

Insufficient Evidence

Another defense, depending on the circumstances, is that you're not the person who raped the individual that is the alleged victim in the case.  Consider the following:

  • Do they have DNA?
  • Do they have witnesses showing that you raped the person?
  • Do they have any witnesses with you even having contact with the person?

So, a who-done-it case where they can't prove that you're the one that allegedly raped the other person is undoubtedly a potential defense to a rape case.

Review of Case Details

The last thing that I would say is we've got to look at the facts and circumstances of your case.  Sometimes, a defense can be developed just by what happened and the other available evidence that the police did not collect because they're in such a hurry to believe the alleged victim.

Defenses against rape allegations
Call our law firm to review the case details.

Still, they don't do anything regarding verifying their story and checking to see if there may well be another story that makes more sense and that the person is innocent.

If you need the best, pick up the phone now.  I've been doing this for over 30 years.  I started out working for the district attorney's office.

A superior court judge, then the State Bar of California, I started defending people like you in the early 1990s.  Pick up the phone now.  Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.

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About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.