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Spousal Rape Charges in California – Penal Code Section 262


This type of a crime, if it’s filed by the prosecutors, really fits under the umbrella of domestic violence.  Of course, it’s a sex crime.  Of course, a person could potentially be looking at registering as a sex offender or jail time, prison time and a host of other penalties.

But, when you’re talking about a situation if someone is being charged with spousal rape under California Penal Code Section 262, you’re talking about someone forcing another person to either have sex with them or doing some sort of physical violence against another person and doing all the elements of rape.  The only difference is that the person is the other person’s spouse.

Some people believe that it’s a defense that the individual was a spouse when they rape another person, but this is simply not true.  It’s just the same as if the person was not the spouse if you force them to have sex with you or you force yourself on another person, then you could be charged with spousal rape and be prosecuted and be facing potential prison time if the prosecutors can sustain a spousal rape case against you.

Legal Defenses

The potential defenses in a rape case are, of course, consent.  If the other party consents to the sexual activity, then it’s not a crime.  One issue that can also occur is that individuals can get intoxicated, not remember what happened and then believe somehow that they were raped by the other party.

Of course, they’re going to have to prove not only that the person forced themselves on the other party but also that there actually was some sort of intercourse that occurred that would amount to a rape charge.  This is obviously a very serious offense.

If you’re charged with spousal rape, you’re looking at jail or prison time, sex registration and a host of other penalties.  It is very difficult in a spousal rape case to get a probationary sentence — meaning a sentence where you’re not sent to prison for a significant period of time.  It’s also difficult to avoid sex registration when you’re originally charged with spousal rape or any rape offense in Los Angeles or otherwise.

Reviewing Your Case

What I have you do is come in.  The first step is to meet and talk about the case and get your side of the story if you’re charged with spousal rape because a lot of times there’s another side to the story.  There’s another version of events and it’s not always what the other party says.

Unfortunately, the police on many occasion when it comes to spousal rape allegations will do a one-sided investigation where they’re not looking at your side of it.  They’re not looking at the evidence.

They’re not looking at anything other than what they’re charging and this is a mistake because not only is it not fair to the person that’s being charged with spousal rape, but it also hurts the prosecutors because a lot of times they don’t have all the information and evidence and that can create a very good defense in these alleged spousal rape cases. Contact our Los Angeles sex crime defense attorneys to review your case.

The second step that I think in these spousal rape charges is, figuring out whether you’re going to fight the case or you’re going to try to resolve the case, and this is one of the first things we do right from the beginning of a spousal rape defense, because if we decide that you have a good defense then we’re going to investigate accordingly.

If we decide you have a poor defense, then obviously we will try and figure out what type of a plea bargain we can get from the prosecutors and handle the case differently than if we have a very good defense in a spousal rape case. So, pick up the phone.  Make the call.  We’ll start the process of getting you the best result in your spousal rape matter.

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Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

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