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Defenses to Assault with Intent to Commit Rape

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Aug 12, 2020

Defenses to Assault with Intent to Commit Rape Under Penal Code 220? This is a widespread crime that I see a lot prosecuted in Los Angeles county — whether it be in downtown Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, or any of the 38 courts in LA county.

People get charged with this assault with the intent to commit rape or assault with intent to commit some sex crime, and basically what's happening is, the government, the police, the prosecutors are claiming that you or your loved one is trying to attack another person with the hopes of having some sexual encounter with them.

Often, no sex is had — maybe some sexual act is performed, but they don't 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 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, 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.  We'll talk to you.  We know what the alleged victim is claiming.

We see if there are any witnesses and see if there's any evidence that supports what they're saying. Then the first thing we're going to do once we review everything is decided 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 resolution or negotiation with some plea bargaining because you don't want to risk going to prison for an extended period, and that's precisely what can happen if you're convicted of assault with intent to commit rape.

That's a grave crime.  It's also a strike under 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 develop a good game plan that makes sense for you. Also, for your circumstances, job, future, and freedom, I have discussions with clients all the time because I want to make sure that we make the right decision.

Negotiating a Resolution with Prosecutor

And 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 whether that person will have to ask themselves whether or not they believe they did anything criminal under the circumstances of their case.

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 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.

On the other hand, if you decide 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, and prepare you to testify on your 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 ready 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.

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About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.

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