Rape Lawyer in Oakville

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Rape

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A conviction for rape could lead to severe punishments such as the requirement to register as a sex offender and serving a prison sentence. Rape involves both sexual assault and in most cases, general assault due to the injuries inflicted on victims in self-defense. If you or your loved one is accused of rape, seeking the guidance and representation of an expert lawyer is the best choice.

You can contact our Criminal Lawyers to talk to us about your case. Our attorneys are experienced in rape laws and are ready to help you defend the charges against you.

Legal Defination of Rape

The crime of rape generally refers to non-consensual sexual intercourse that is committed by physical force, threat of injury, or other duress. Common law defined rape as unlawful intercourse by a man against a woman who is not his wife by force or threat and against her will. However, most provinces have refined and broadened the statutory definition of rape so that marriage, gender, and force are not relevant. The victim’s lack of consent is the crucial element. A lack of consent can include the victim’s inability, due to the effects of drugs or alcohol, to say “no”.

Legal definitions of rape vary from province to province and are subject to continual debate. Conflicting understandings of exactly what constitutes “rape” highlight the inevitable difficulties that arise in any attempt to legislate the sexual encounter. Rape generally refers to unwanted sexual intercourse that involves the use of force and the lack of consent. Yet there is widespread disagreement regarding the meanings of “penetration,” “force,” and “consent” the primary elements of this legal definition.

Defining the Crimes of Rape and Statutory Rape

Rape is nonconsensual sexual intercourse it’s often committed through force, threats, or fear. One variation of rape, called statutory rape, makes it unlawful to have sex with a minor under the “age of consent,” which is usually between 16 and 18, even if the minor consents to the sex. To be convicted of rape, the prosecution must prove that you engaged in sexual intercourse with the alleged victim and the victim did not consent to that sexual act. It could be that the victim said no to sexual intercourse and you used force or fear to make the victim perform the act, or you tricked or coerced the alleged victim to perform the act.

Statutory rape is a crime that involves sexual contact with a person who is under an age specified by law, commonly referred to as the “age of consent.” Most provinces no longer refer to this crime as statutory rape. The legal term for the crime varies from province to province and includes sexual intercourse with a minor, sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual penetration of a minor or a child under a certain age, and sexual abuse of a minor.

For example, if an adult has “consensual sex” with a person under the age of 12, that might be rape in the first degree, carrying a heavy sentence.  If an adult has “consensual sex” with a person who is 16 years old, then that might be rape in the third degree and carry a lighter sentence. Also, for a 16-year-old or 17-year-old victim, the adult may have to be more than 5 or 10 years older than the victim, depending on the province.

What is the Age of Consent in Canada?

Canada’s age of consent is 16 years old. The age of consent is consistent across Canada and does not vary between provinces. 16 years old is the minimum age that a person can legally consent to participate in sexual acts. This means that people who are 15 years of age or younger cannot legally consent to sexual activity. Engaging in sexual activity or sexual touching of a person under the age of consent can result in, among other charges, a charge of statutory rape.

Punishment for Rape and Statutory Rape

The sentencing of the accused, if convicted, depends on the severity of circumstances and the presence and details of the accused’s prior criminal history. The Crown Prosecutor decides whether to proceed summarily or by indictable. Summary conviction is a less serious route and will carry a lesser punishment than an indictable.

The Code specifies the possible sentences for sexual assault as follows:

271. (1) Every one who commits a sexual assault is guilty of

(a) An indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or

(b) An offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.

These are the maximums for both a summary and indictable prosecution. Keep in mind an assailant can receive much less of a sentence that the prescribed maximums. See our sentencing table for information on real sentences given to assailant’s based on particular prior records and circumstances.

The penalties for statutory rape vary quite a bit. When misdemeanor statutory rape is alleged, defendant may be ordered to informal or summary probation. The same defendant also faces a maximum of one year and / or a $1,000 fine. Defendants can also face civil penalties that range between $2,000 and $25,000, depending upon the age difference between the defendant and the victim.

Criminal sexual conduct in the first degree is sexual penetration of another person or sexual contact with a person who is less than thirteen years old, and some other circumstance exists, such as the under-thirteen-year-old and the offender are more than three years apart in age, the offender had a dangerous weapon and used or threatened to use it, or the two individuals had a significant relationship and the minor was less than sixteen years old. The sentence is up to 30 years in prison and/or up to a $40,000 fine.

Get Legal Help with Your Rape Case

If you’ve been charged with rape or any other crime, it can be risky to handle the matter on your own. Be sure to speak with an experienced attorney who knows the ropes. Contact a criminal defense lawyer near you today.

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