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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Bucks County Statutory Rape Lawyer

The level of consent is what defines the difference between statutory rape and other rape charges in Bucks County. Statutory rape is not defined as one person forcing themselves upon another as is the case with other types of rape charges. Instead, statutory rape occurs due to the age of one of the two individuals, which the court does not recognize as proper relations between the parties.

Cases of statutory rape usually include a four or more year difference between the two individuals. Statutory rape is society’s way of trying to limit relations in a sexual manner between individuals, even if they consent when there is too much of an age difference and one of the individuals is 16 years or younger.

Should a person be charged with statutory sexual assault or statutory rape, having a Bucks County statutory rape lawyer that can help build a defense may be critical to their future. Anyone facing charges or allegations should speak with an experienced sex crimes lawyer before going to trial. 

Unique Aspects of Statutory Rape Charges

Even if a person consents to the sexual activity, if there is too great of an age difference as defined by statute in Pennsylvania, the act is considered a crime regardless of consent. Under these circumstances, it can be clear that force was not used and that the victim is not a minor.

By age of mental incapacity, the victim may be a minor by age only. This means the person has the mental capacity to consent but legally cannot. When this is alleged to have occured, a Bucks County statutory rape attorney must be contacted in order to advocate on the behalf of the accused.

Romeo and Juliet Laws in Bucks County

By common law, Romeo and Juliet laws are the same type of laws that come into play when statutory sex and/or statutory rape charges are reviewed. However, in Pennsylvania, there are no specific Romeo and Juliet laws. 

A statutory rape can be a sexual act involving someone the age of 16 with another individual four or more years older. By definition, these are the type of crimes that are charged in a serious fashion and as such warrant the attention of a statutory rape lawyer in Bucks County

Enforcement 

Bucks County treats statutory rape cases as serious as regular rape cases from the outset. Once evidence is obtained that more specifically supports a statutory sex case as opposed to a rape case on its own, then prosecutors are more willing to look at other mitigating circumstances involving the relationship and/or accused.

Statutory rape typically involves both parties that have been in a relationship. However, in most cases, rape is charged initially and after a Bucks County statutory rape attorney’s research, investigation and/or meetings and compromise with the government, statutory rape comes into play and could reduce what would otherwise be a very damaging charge to a much more reasonable one.

Convictions and Consequences

Statutory rape convictions can often lead to sentences also involving incarceration depending on an individual’s background. Although, in more severe rape cases where consent is not an issue and force comes into play. Courts will treat those types of rape charges in a more severe fashion. Courts routinely sentence individuals starting at 5 to 10 years in prison for a rape felony in the first-degree conviction.

Some factors that are considered in statutory rape cases include, consent was had and one of the parties is four or more years younger than the other party. However, the age is not completely inappropriate although the law limits it. Often, those parties are involved in actual relationships or were at the time.

Under those circumstances, a sentencing could go either way for either party. Having a Bucks County statutory rape lawyer, preparing for a proper sentencing, allowing all mitigation and mitigating factors to come into play and introducing evidence of a person’s good moral character obviously limits any potential sentence that a person could serve even for statutory rape.