Statutory rape is not as serious as other rape crimes in Virginia. However, you still face stiff penalties and long-term consequences if you are convicted of this offense. If you have been charged with statutory rape, you should contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer immediately to mount a strong defense for you that could help you avoid the harsh outcomes you face.
Statutory Rape Crimes and Offenses
Statutory rape is committed when an adult who is 18 years old or older has sex with a minor under 18 years old. This crime can be committed even if both parties are engaged in consensual sex. The law assumes that a child under 18 years old does not have the maturity to give informed consent to sexual intercourse.
There are a number of criminal charges that can be brought against someone charged with statutory rape. They include:
- Rape. A person can be charged with rape under Virginia Code §18.2-61 if the victim is under 13 years old, no matter what the age of the accused is. This is a serious felony that can result in five years to life in prison and a fine.
- Carnal knowledge. Under Virginia Code §18.2-63, it is a crime to have sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, oral sex, or penetration of an object with a victim who is 13 or 14 years old. If the defendant is 18 years old or older, the charge would be a Class 4 felony with a punishment of 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. If the accused is under 18 years old and at least three years older than the minor, the offense would be a Class 6 felony, and the penalty could include one to five years in prison.
- Causing juvenile delinquency. If the defendant is 18 years old or older and the minor is 15, 16, or 17 years old, the defendant could be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor for engaging in sexual intercourse, oral sex, or anal sex with them. The punishment can include a jail sentence of up to one year, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
Registering as a Sex Offender
If an individual is convicted of statutory rape, they would be required to register as a sex offender on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry. This is a public record that employers and others could search, which can make it harder to find employment, housing, and more. In addition, sex offenders cannot be near schools, playgrounds, and other places where children are present and must undergo police supervision.
Have you been arrested for statutory rape in Virginia? Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can develop a strong defense strategy that could result in the charges against you being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. To schedule your free consultation, call our Manassas office or start a live chat today.