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Date-Rape-Classification-and-Punishment

Date Rape Classification and Punishment

Date rape refers to a situation where one person compels another person to have sex or execute a sexual act while they are on a date together. It happens when someone forces their date, friend, or someone they have a romantic relationship with to engage in sexual activity against their will. This can occur in relationships where the two individuals already know each other.

In some cases, the perpetrator might use certain drugs to make the victim feel helpless or unconscious before sexually assaulting them. These drugs are commonly referred to as “date rape drugs.”

Date Rape Is Sexual Assault

The law does not clearly define date rape in the United States. Instead, Criminal Justice treats date rape cases similarly to any other sexual abuse cases. The charges and prosecution process for date rape follow the same procedures as other sexual assault cases in the state.

Technically, date rape falls under the category of sexual assault. According to Penal Code 22.011, means having sex or oral sex with someone without their agreement. Indecent assault refers to various acts and situations that might be relevant in a “date rape” situation:

  • Unconscious or unable to resist: The person didn’t agree, and the other person couldn’t fight back because they loss consciousness or were physically unable to.
  • Threats of violence: Forcing someone into sex by using threats of physical harm against them or someone else.
  • Mental disability: The accused knew that the person had a mental disability and couldn’t understand the situation or say no.
  • Administering a substance without knowledge: The defendant intentionally made the person unaware or unable to control their actions by giving them a drug substance without their knowledge.
  • Unaware of the assault: The person didn’t agree, and the defendant knew they were unaware that the sexual assault was happening.

Date Rape Drugs

Someone can secretly put drugs into a person’s drink because they lack odor and color. When individuals consume this liquid ecstasy, it typically takes approximately 30 minutes for it to take effect. The effects of this substance can endure for an extended period of time. Often, victims who have taken these drugs wake up feeling confused and dizzy, not remembering what happened to them while the drugs influenced them.

If the victim is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they cannot give their agreement to any sexual activity, including when date rape drugs or club drugs like:

  • Roofies or Rohypnol
  • GHB or Gamma hydroxybutyric acid
  • K or Ketamine

If any of these drugs, other drugs, or alcohol are found in the victim’s body, the law considers them unable to give consent. When substances impair judgment, it makes things confusing and complicated when it comes to determining if rape occurred.

While the presence of drugs or alcohol before sex doesn’t automatically indicate rape, it does complicate the issue of consent.

Punishments for Date Rape Cases

Second Degree Felony – They could face imprisonment for 2-10 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, they may be required to register as a sex offender for a specific period, which could be for life depending on the judge’s decision and the circumstances of the case.

First Degree Felony – The offender could be sentenced to 5 years to life in prison and fined up to $10,000. Aggravated rape includes cases where date rape drugs are used, and the victim is unable to give consent. In such instances, the period for sex offender registration may also be extended to life.

Combining these actions with the sexual assault could lead to heightened penalties for the accused individual:

  • Used a dangerous weapon during the assault.
  • Tried to cause serious harm or even death.
  • The perpetrator made threats of causing harm or taking actions against the victim or someone the victim holds dear.
  • Committed sexual assault against an elderly person or a child under 14 years old.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

Sexual assault is a very serious crime that can have severe and life-changing consequences. If you are being investigated or charged with sexual assault, it is crucial to talk to an experienced date rape crimes lawyer immediately.

Accusations of rape can evoke emotional distress and fear, particularly if you thought the interactions were consensual. Denying knowledge of using coercion, force, drugs, or alcohol to impact your partner’s consent doesn’t mitigate or dismiss charges.

Our Team of Criminal Defense lawyers can help build a strong defense and prevent you from unintentionally giving more evidence to the prosecuting attorney.

If you or someone you care about is facing sex crime charges, reach out today to learn about potential legal defenses and protect your rights.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation