What are Defenses to Assault with Intent to Commit Rape Under Penal Code 220?
People get charged with this assault with the intent to commit rape or assault with intent to commit some sort of a sex crime, and basically what's happening is, the government, the police, the prosecutors are claiming that you or your loved one is basically trying to attack another person with the hopes of having some sort of sexual encounter with them.
A lot of times there is no sex that is had — maybe some sort of sexual act is performed, but they don't actually rape the person, otherwise they'd be charged with rape.
Consent or Intoxication Argument
But this California Penal Code 220 is a registrable offense. The person would have to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life. So, it's obviously serious business when you're being accused of this, so you want to know what the defenses are.
I'd say the first defense is that you didn't do anything like what the person is claiming.
Maybe the person was drunk, they were using alcohol, drugs, whatever the case may be and you tried to make a move on them because you were in a dating situation and then they turn you down and then you stop and you didn't have sex with them. That's not a crime.
The issue becomes the circumstances — what you did. Whether a reasonable person would have acted in that regard as you're being accused of.
Also, obviously, you get to say your side of the story, and ultimately, what ends up happening is, if you get arrested and charged with assault with intent to commit rape for any sex offense, you get your attorney. I've been doing this for 26 years.
Review of Evidence and Witnesses
I help people with these types of matters all the tie, exactly this particular charge and what we do is, we go through all the evidence they have. I speak to the prosecutors and see what their position is. Obviously, we talk to you. We see what the alleged victim is claiming.
We see if there's any witnesses, and also see if there's any evidence that supports what they're saying. Then first thing we're going to want to do once we review everything is decide whether this is the type of case you're going to fight all the way.
If not, then we need to decide the type of case that we need to discuss with the prosecutor some sort of resolution or negotiation with some plea bargaining because you don't want to risk going to prison for a long period of time and that's exactly what can happen if you're convicted of assault with intent to commit rape.
That's a very serious crime. It's also a strike pursuant to the three strikes law in California. So, you want to make sure that you make the right decision, the right moves from the beginning.
The best way to do that is to discuss it with your attorney and make sure that you both come up with a good game plan that makes sense for you. Also, for your circumstances, your job, your future, your freedom and I have those discussions with clients all the time because I want to make sure that we make the right decision.
Negotiating a Resolution with Prosecutor
And really kind of how I break the tie on whether or not the person goes to trial or whether or not the person works out a resolution. We have to ask is that person going to have to ask themselves whether or not, under the circumstances of their case, they believe they did anything criminal.
If they believe they did and somebody's claiming they did and there's evidence of it, then obviously, the best solution is to likely have me try to work out some sort of a resolution.
This could save some of your valuable rights and minimize the potential punishment that can be inflicted on you if you're convicted in a jury trial.
If on the other hand, you make the decision that you haven't done anything wrong — you're innocent — and you shouldn't have been charged with this crime.
Maybe because you didn't do anything, then we will put together a defense plan, do an investigation, prepare you to be able to testify on your own behalf so you can make the right moves and the right decision moving forward as it relates to defending yourself in a sex crime.
Be prepared to testify. Be prepared to assist me as your attorney with presenting evidence that makes sense.
So, if you need help, you're being charged with assault with the intent to commit rape or any sex offense, pick up the phone now, make the call to the Hedding Law Firm at (213) 542-0979. I stand at the ready to help you.