A person who is charged with rape will typically have a sentence that is split between time spent in prison and the community on license. However, some rapists will be recalled to prison if they commit further offenses or if they do not comply with the terms of their license. Defendants are also likely to face substantial fines for rape crimes and may be ordered to undergo rehabilitation programs. If you are facing a rape charge, it is essential to speak with an attorney who has experience in this area of law. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can advise you of your options.
The Factors That Affect the Minimum Sentence
There are plenty of people who recoil when they hear about light sentences for rapists. They believe that these light sentences are letting a lousy person off the hook for what they consider to be an especially heinous crime. In reality, the court balances two key factors when determining a sentence: the harm caused to the victim and the defendant’s guilt. These are the starting points that will determine a minimum sentence for rape. Rape is a serious crime that is prosecuted in all states. While the exact legal definition of this crime varies slightly between states, most agree that it’s sexual penetration or sodomy without consent. Some states refer to it as “criminal sexual penetration,” while others use terms like “sexual assault,” “sexual battery,” or even “sexual violation.” Consent is not required for a felony charge of first-degree rape. Instead, the state must prove that the accused knowingly entered into sexual intercourse without the victim’s consent. The victim must also be physically helpless. This could include a woman who’s unconscious after drinking too much or someone with a physical condition that makes it impossible to signal an unwillingness to act. The court will calculate a starting point sentence after evaluating the harm, guilt, aggravating, and mitigating factors specific to each case. This will be the lowest end of the possible range of sentences for this offense. The judge may then proceed to consider any relevant previous convictions.
The Factors That Affect the Maximum Sentence
It’s important to note that many states have laws that differ from the Model Penal Code. Some are much stricter, and some are less severe. Regardless of how strict a state’s law is, a conviction for rape is usually punished, at least with a prison sentence. The underlying problem here is that rape is brutal to prove. It is difficult to show that a person had malice, one of the most significant mental states that must be present for the crime to be punished. Despite this, reported rapes have only 1/3 the conviction rate of robberies and 1/6 the rate of assaults. This is odd, considering that a victim knows their assailant in about 80% of cases.
Additionally, prosecutors and judges tend to have more leniency when dealing with victims who are intimate partners of the perpetrator. This is another indicator of the justice gap that exists in this area. This has to change.
The Factors That Affect the Life Sentence
The crime of rape is a serious offense that carries significant penalties. Even a conviction for a lesser charge can mean years of prison time. It will remain on your criminal record, which can affect you in many ways, including job applications and some visa applications. Several factors have been studied about sentencing for sex crimes and their impact on case outcomes. These can be grouped into victim-related and offense-related factors. Victim-related factors include the gender, age, and ethnicity of the victim, as well as factors describing the victim’s behavior, such as drug/alcohol intoxication at the time of the attack. Research has also looked at several offense-related factors, such as the nature and severity of the crime, the number of perpetrators involved, and whether or not the rape was penetrative.