Rape is an extremely serious crime in California. As with other sex crimes, inmates accused or convicted of rape are oftentimes taunted, harassed, violently assaulted and even killed while in custody. Some inmates will seek to impart “vigilante justice” on persons accused of rape.
If convicted of rape, you may face up to eight years in a state penitentiary, up to five additional years if the rape involved great bodily injury and a fine of up to $10,000. A rape conviction also carries horrible post-incarceration consequences, including registration as a sex offender (under Cal. Pen. Code §290). Additionally, a rape conviction is a “strike” under the Three Strikes Law.
It has been our experience that many persons accused of this crime are the victims of false allegations. Many times, a rape accusation is preceded by a fallout in a relationship or other circumstance that breeds resentment in the accusing party, causing them to lie about the accused.
But there is hope.
We are experienced and aggressive Torrance criminal defense lawyers and will use any and all available defenses to protect you against a conviction. We have over 60 combined years of experience defending persons accused of rape and other sex crimes. Robert Ernenwein is a former Los Angeles County deputy district attorney and will utilize his specialized knowledge and experience to benefit our clients in their cases.
Mr. Ernenwein is certified as a criminal law specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. He has been selected for inclusion in California Super Lawyers for a number of years and has appeared as a legal analyst on multiple cable news programs, including Fox News.
We understand the anxiety and concern that a criminal charge or accusation can create. That’s why our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also, one of our Torrance criminal defense lawyers can meet with you on a Saturday or Sunday.
If you have been charged with rape, call us at 310-375-5858 or email s immediately for a free consultation. Our office is conveniently located minutes away from the Torrance Courthouse, and we represent clients there on a daily basis as well as in other courts throughout Southern California.
Under Penal Code section 261(a), a prosecutor must show that:
To meet the final element, the prosecutor can alternatively show that you threatened future reprisal against the woman or a third party when there was a reasonable possibility that you could carry out the threat. A third alternative to this element is that you used the authority of a public officer to arrest, deport or incarcerate the woman or a third party.
However, this is not the only “type” of rape. You can be found guilty of rape if the prosecutor can prove that you accomplished intercourse through fraud (known as artifice, pretense or concealment). Rape can also include spousal rape (under Penal Code 262) and statutory rape, that is, sex with a minor. Statutory rape does not require lack of consent from the victim. Even if the victim willingly had intercourse with the defendant, he or she can be found guilty of rape because the minor is said not to have the capacity to consent to sexual intercourse.
You should be aware that the element of resistance is not necessary to prove up rape charges. In other words, the prosecutor need not prove that the victim offered up a fight.
Also, you can be found guilty if the alleged victim was physically incapable of rendering consent, either because she was inebriated, mentally or physically challenged or otherwise unconscious (i.e., asleep, comatose).
As you can see, there is a vast range of issues that may need to be addressed in your case. We will sit down with you and go over your charges in detailed form so that you understand what you are up against and what our lawyers can do to help.
The team at Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, is skilled at thoroughly reviewing the evidence, such as police reports, witness statements, and any available forensic and other evidence. We often employ the use of an investigator, if needed, to interview witnesses who may have witnessed the alleged incident. Our team’s review of discovery and witness interviews may yield evidence that shows your innocence or which diminishes or weakens the prosecution’s case against you. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, we may use any of the following defenses on your behalf.
We may be able to argue that the victim gave her consent to have intercourse. If the alleged victim consented to intercourse but later retracted her consent, we can argue that she consented if she did not communicate her retraction to you.
Does the victim mistakenly believe that you raped her when, in fact, she was victimized by someone else? There may be issues of mistaken identity arising from a prejudicial or suggestive line-up that may have caused her to believe you were the rapist when, in reality, somebody else was the perpetrator.
Our investigators will verify whether intercourse ever even occurred. Did the victim have a motive to lie? Did she bear a grudge against you and file a false police report? If there is no forensic (i.e., clinical or scientific) evidence to verify that the rape occurred, and the allegation is based exclusively on verbal accusation, we can impeach the accusing party with evidence of bias or motive to lie. If the jury does not believe the accusing party and we can show that she fabricated the charges, we can secure your acquittal.
There is no greater miscarriage of justice than when an innocent man is accused and convicted of a crime he never committed. Unfortunately, such tragedies often arise out of rape charges. If necessary, our Torrance criminal defense lawyers will be ready to go to trial to defend you against a false accusation of rape.
Our team will delve through the available evidence to construct the best possible legal defense. Call us at 310-375-5858 for your free consultation.
The advantages are many.
By hiring Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, you are securing the help of a law firm with established, reputable and aggressive criminal defense lawyers. We are both former prosecutors with insight and knowledge of the criminal justice system that is second to none. Robert Ernenwein is certified by The State Bar of California as a Criminal Law Specialist and has been selected for inclusion in California Super Lawyers for several years. Few, if any, attorneys have this impressive combination of background, skill and distinction.
In addition to these tangible qualifications, we are extremely compassionate. We are highly communicative with our clients and treat every case as if it were our only one.
We understand the anxiety and concern that a criminal charge or accusation can create. That’s why our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also, we can meet with you on a Saturday or Sunday.
Have you or someone you know been arrested on a rape charge in Torrance, CA? Contact Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, Los Angeles and Orange County criminal defense lawyers today at 310-375-5858 for a free case review.