Date Rape

EXPERIENCED. AGGRESSIVE. HOUSTON CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW FIRM: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp

Date Rape Defense

Houston Date Rape Lawyers :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp

Date rape is defined as forced, non-consensual sexual intercourse with a date, a friend or other acquaintance. Date rape is a specific type of sexual assault in which the victim knows the alleged perpetrator because they have a continuous relationship. Certain “date rape drugs” are often used to sedate victims before they are sexually assaulted.

Several situations can often lead to false or unfounded date rape accusations, including:

  • Anger or retaliation: An alleged victim may claim to have been raped if he or she is angry, jealous or seeking retaliation after a sexual encounter.
  • Impaired judgment: If the victim was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the alleged incident and had consensual sexual intercourse, he or she could later forget or repress the events and accuse an innocent person of rape.

Since date rape accusations often result in public scorn and media scrutiny, it is very important for a suspect to contact a qualified date rape lawyer who has prior knowledge and experience in sex crimes cases.

Call The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp at 713-868-6100.

Potential Penalties for Date Rape

Date rape is not specifically addressed in the Texas Penal Code. Therefore, a date rape defendant will face potential penalties that resemble those for sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault. If the accused person sexually violated the alleged victim through unwanted contact or penetration, the accused individual may face penalties that are similar to sexual assault penalties. However, if the alleged perpetrator performed any of the following acts in addition to sexual assault, he may be punished with harsher sanctions:

  • Used a deadly weapon during the alleged assault
  • Caused or attempted to cause serious bodily injury or death
  • Threatened to harm or kidnap the victim or a person who’s close to the victim
  • Sexually assaulted an elderly person or a child under 14 years of age
  • “Knocked out” the alleged victim by using alcohol or a controlled substance

A person convicted of sexual assault faces penalties for a second-degree felony. Possible punishments include two to 20 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines. If the crime was especially gruesome, the convicted person may be penalized with worse sanctions such as five to 99 years in prison and/or a possible $10,000 fine. Additionally, a date rape conviction may result in the following civil punishments:

  • Requirement to register as a sex offender
  • Creation of a criminal record
  • Loss of gun ownership rights
  • Ineligibility to vote or hold public office
  • Inability to serve as a jury member
  • Public scorn and loss of personal relationships

Oftentimes, a judge will consider the details of the relationship, taking into account its age and nature, as well as the amount of interaction between the alleged rapist and his victim prior to the incident. These factors can help the judge decide on an appropriate sentence.

Possible Defense Strategies

Houston date rape attorney Matthew Sharp strives to defend his clients against date rape charges. He will help you formulate a legal strategy. The most common defenses against date rape accusations are:

  • Alibi
  • Duress
  • Temporary insanity
  • Mental illness
  • Mistaken identity
Call The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp at 713-868-6100.

Talk to a Houston Date Rape Lawyer

For expert legal help in Houston, schedule an appointment with The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp.

Call The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp at 713-868-6100.

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