Under California Penal Code section 261, a person who uses force, threats of force, or fraud to have non-consensual sexual intercourse with another person may be charged with rape.
However, alleged victims of rape sometimes make false accusations regarding the alleged offender.
Alleged victims make false rape accusations for many reasons, including:
- Feelings of shame for voluntarily engaging in consensual sexual intercourse;
- Getting revenge for something wrong you may have done to them in the past; and
- Falsely identifying you as the offender.
However, a sex crimes defense lawyer can help you fight false rape accusations in California by taking a number of measures, including:
- Providing an alibi,
- Using witness testimony,
- Attacking DNA evidence,
- Establishing your relationship with the alleged victim, and
- Determining a motive.
Providing an Alibi
If you were not present at the time and place the alleged rape took place, you may be able to successfully provide an alibi defense.
A criminal defense lawyer can use documentary evidence, if it exists, to prove your alibi.
If possible, an attorney can have witnesses testify on your behalf to prove that you were somewhere else at the time of the alleged rape in California.
Your cell phone tower information can even help with this at times.
Using Character Witness Testimony
In addition to helping establish an alibi, witnesses can testify as to your good character.
Attorneys use character witnesses, such as friends or family members, to testify as to your good character to help persuade a jury that you are innocent.
Additionally, a forensic psychologist can have you undergo testing that will help determine whether you have any mental health issues that most rapists suffer from.
If you “pass,” the psychologist can testify at trial that you do not have the mental makeup of a rapist.
This will help immensely with the jury.
Establishing Your Relationship with the Alleged Victim
The relationship you had with the victim can also provide a defense to false rape accusations.
If you and your accuser had a romantic relationship before or at the time of the alleged rape, a sex crimes defense attorney may be able to use evidence of the relationship to show that sex with the alleged victim was consensual.
Attacking DNA Evidence
Prosecutors often use DNA evidence to establish guilt in rape cases.
Depending on the facts of your case, a criminal defense lawyer might be able to argue that the court should exclude DNA evidence if the police improperly obtained or mishandled it.
Additionally, DNA evidence can also help show that you were not the perpetrator and that the police arrested the wrong person.
And even if DNA is found on the alleged victim’s clothing or skin, your attorney can potentially argue that it is merely “transfer DNA” and does not prove that you committed a rape.
Determining a Motive
Additionally, a criminal defense attorney will look into the background of the accuser to determine his or her motive.
For example, an attorney can find out whether the accuser has made false rape accusations in the past.
A lawyer can also try to uncover evidence showing shame, revenge, or false identification.
How Can a California Sex Crimes Attorney Help Me?
If you have been falsely accused of rape in California, the experienced sex crimes defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, will work hard to prove your innocence and help you avoid the negative consequences of a rape conviction.