Rape is generally defined as having sexual intercourse without the individual’s consent. But California has a more specific law regarding rape.

How is Rape Outlined in California?

In California, rape is defined as any type of nonconsensual sexual intercourse that happens due to fraud, force, or threat of force.

Does It Matter if I Had Consent of the Person or Not?

Yes. Although California law doesn’t explicitly include consent, lack of consent is a vital aspect of the crime. In California, consent is defined as cooperation given by attitude or action of the person of their own free will. The person giving consent must do so with the knowledge of the nature of the sexual act.

Is Consent the Same as Age of Consent in a Rape Charge?

No. Age of consent refers to the separate charge of statutory rape. The age of consent is the age of majority set by the individual states. While age of consent is tied to the ability to give consent, in California, and most states, it can result in a separate charge.

How Is Sexual Intercourse Defined in California?

Sexual intercourse is considered any penetrative act, no matter how slight the penetration.

Is Rape a Felony or Misdemeanor? 

In California, rape is charged as a felony

What is the Punishment for Rape in California?

If the rape conviction did not involve force or violence, the defendant may receive probation and up to 1 year in jail. Otherwise, the defendant can face 3 to 8 years in prison. 

But the defendant can face an additional 3 to 5 years in prison if the victim sustained great bodily injury, as well as a fine of up to $10,000, and a strike on the defendant’s record.

If the victim under the age of 18, the defendant can face 7 to 11 years in prison. But if the victim is under the age of 14, the defendant can face 9 to 13 years in prison.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me with My Rape Case? 

Yes, it’s in your best interest to talk with a California criminal lawyer to determine the best defense to use.