Date rape refers to sexual assault where the victim and rapist know each other. The victim in these cases may refuse to give consent or may be unable to give consent due to disability or the influence of drugs or alcohol. In spite of the fact that the term “date rape” implies that an individual has a romantic connection with a partner, the offender could be a friend, acquaintance, family member, or co-worker too.
If you are charged with date rape, you need legal counsel. Sexual assault is a serious crime, and you could be facing time in prison if you are found guilty. Read on to learn more about date-rape charges in Illinois
The Laws Surrounding Date Rape
In a legal sense, date rape is not very different from the standard rape perpetrated by a stranger. Date rape is charged the same way a standard rape is. The law defines rape as a sexual assault involving penetration.
Rape may involve threats or use of force, but it doesn’t have to in order to qualify as rape. In fact, if the perpetrator knows that the victim cannot give consent, their actions will be considered rape. Additionally, Illinois allows either participant to withdraw consent from sexual activity at any time.
Aggravated rape involves the use of dangerous weapons and the intention of causing bodily harm to the victim. Additionally, aggravated sexual assault includes the use of a disabling drug.
The Use of Disabling Drugs in Date Rape
Disabling drugs are a common tactic used to impair victims of sexual assault, including date rape. Common drugs include ketamine and rohypnol. The perpetrator may put the drugs inside the individual’s drink, prompting them to become weak, grow confused, lose their memory, or even pass out.
If you are charged with using disabling drugs, penalties are more serious than if you were charged with rape without this factor.
The Consequences of Date-Rape Convictions
Illinois law indicates that a rape conviction can lead to time in prison, large fines, and a criminal record. Date rape is a felony, so the punishments are harsh. Criminal sexual assault comes with a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, or as many as 30 years if the charge is aggravated due to the use of a weapon. If you have a prior conviction for sexual assault, you may face a lengthier prison sentence.
You may also have to register as a sex offender if you are convicted of date rape. Your name and address will be visible to the general public, and your housing options become more limited. You could also face challenges seeking a job.
The Defense for Date Rape
The most common type of defense used in date-rape cases is that the victim consented to sexual intercourse. This makes the case a matter of “he said” versus “she said.” The jury must have reasonable doubt in order to convict you, so placing this doubt is critical.
Your attorney may also argue that this was a case of mistaken identity. Perhaps the victim was assaulted, but you are not the person who did it. Again, your attorney will plant seeds of doubt for the juries.
A criminal defense attorney also looks for evidence to assist your defense. For instance, your attorney will examine the results of blood alcohol tests and seek out witnesses. They will help you establish your case in court based on evidence.
The only way to ensure that you are protecting yourself with fair representation in court is to hire a criminal defense attorney. Call Daniels, Long & Pinsel, LLC, today to discuss your legal options for defense.