Required

New York City Third Degree Rape Lawyer

In New York, rape is characterized as engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without that person’s consent. The varying degrees of punishment for this behavior is determined by the unique facts and circumstances of the sexual encounter. Generally speaking, people have a conception that the phrase “without that person’s consent” entails the use of force or some sort of coercion, but this is not always the case. Under the law, a person can be raped even if they initiate the sexual contact and, in their own mind, are fully compliant with the encounter. This is possible because some people are legally incapable of giving consent due to reasons other than their unwillingness to engage in sexual activity.

A person commits Rape in the Third Degree (NYPL § 130.25) when they engage in sexual intercourse with someone who is incapable of consent. It should be noted that this statute does not apply to people who affirmatively indicate that consent is not being given, but rather to people who lack the capacity to consent. There are two main ways that the law deems someone incapable of giving consent to engage in sexual intercourse, the first is a person’s age, the second is their level of intoxication. A New York City third-degree rape lawyer could help someone prepare a case in their defense if they have been accused of this crime. Our skilled sex crimes attorneys have plenty of experience handling these cases and understand the sensitivity of these situations.

What Constitutes Rape in the Third Degree?

If an individual is at least 21 years old and has sex with a person younger than 17, that person has committed Rape in the Third Degree. This is what is known as a “strict liability” crime. It does not matter if both parties are willing, engaged in a monogamous relationship, in love, etc. If one person is 21, and the other is under 17, and they have sex, the older party has committed statutory rape. Ignorance of the other person’s age is also not a viable defense. It does not matter if they appeared older, or more mature, the law views children under the age of 17 incapable of consenting to contact with a person over 21.

Additionally, if two people have sex, but one person is extremely intoxicated, that person can later claim that due to their inebriated state, they did not have the mental faculties required to consent to sexual contact. This charge assumes that no force or coercion was used to compel sex, but rather that the person was not in the state of mind to provide consent, and that the other person knew, or should have known, and took advantage of the drunken state. A lawyer in New York City could assess an individual’s charges and verify that they constitute rape in the third-degree.

Penalties for this Offense

Rape in the Third Degree is a non-violent E felony, punishable by up to 14 months to four years in prison. While serving prison time for what is frequently a consensual sexual encounter is difficult enough to understand or accept, a conviction for Rape in the Third Degree also requires registering as a sex offender, which will make just about every aspect of a person’s life extremely difficult. Finding a place to live, obtaining a mortgage, car loans, school loans, getting or keeping a decent job, and many other activities that most people take for granted become extremely difficult once a person is branded a sex offender. The societal stigma is the same for someone who was convicted of Rape in the Third Degree as if they had been convicted of Rape in the First Degree.

How Does Law Enforcement Investigate Third-Degree Rape Allegations?

In recent years, legislators and law enforcement authorities have begun to take sexual assault and rape allegations much more seriously, often undertaking more thorough investigations and pursuing harsher penalties upon conviction. Despite these changes in public attitude regarding this type of offense, the actual investigative process can still be somewhat subjective.

Once the sex crimes unit of a police department takes on a third-degree rape investigation, they may collect DNA evidence from the alleged victim, the alleged perpetrator, and the location of the assault, as well as testimony from witnesses who either directly witnessed the encounter or saw the two parties together. They may also subpoena phone and chat logs, security camera footage, and other documentary evidence if available. More notably, both allegedly involved parties may usually go through multiple rounds of interviews with law enforcement personnel, who will be looking for consistencies and inconsistencies in their stories. A New York City attorney could help someone through the investigation process for their third-degree rape case.

What Is the Applicable Statute of Limitations for Third-Degree Rape?

In terms of the statutory filing deadline for criminal charges, rape in the third degree is not treated any differently than other felony charges. In other words, a prosecutor generally cannot file charges for this offense if more than five years have passed since the date on which it allegedly occurred unless the alleged perpetrator was consistently outside the state of New York or in an unknown location during the statutory period.

It should be noted, though, that second-degree and first-degree rape each have much longer statutory filing periods. Charges for rape in the second degree must be filed no later than 10 years after it is first reported to law enforcement or 20 years after it allegedly occurred, whichever comes first, and there is no statutory filing deadline whatsoever for first-degree rape allegations.

Talk to a New York City Third Degree Rape Attorney Today

If you have been charged with Rape in the Third Degree, or any other sexually-based criminal offense, you need the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman. Sometimes even complete exoneration cannot fully repair the damage done to one’s reputation due to these allegations. Being represented by a top attorney who understands how sex crimes prosecutors build cases and determine witness credibility could be the difference between getting your life back on track or having to move so that your new home is not within 200 feet of a school.

At our firm, our experienced New York City third-degree rape lawyers have successfully handled countless cases where consensual sex ended up leading to these charges. We know how to discredit witnesses and communicate with prosecutors to make sure you get the best outcome available. Call us today for a free case evaluation.

Call Us Today
Experience. Tenacity. Results.
CALL US AT (212) 581-1001 For a Case Evaluation
Call Us Now