Free Consultations & We're Available 24/7

Call for a free consultation



✓Nationwide Service. A+ Results.
✓Over 50 Years of Experience
✓Available 24/7
✓We Get Cases Dismissed

Talk To An Attorney

Service Oriented Law Firm


Over 50 Years Experience


Multiple Offices



  • We offer payment plans, unlike other law firms, in order to make it so you can afford our services.
  • Many of thethe criminal defense cases we handle end up with a better outcome.
  • We have over 40 years of experience handling criminal defense cases successfully.

99% Of Cases We Handle
End With a Better Outcome

View more case results

Los Angeles Statutory Rape

Understanding California’s Statutory Rape Laws: Penalties, Defenses, and Legal Options

Statutory rape is a serious crime that can have significant legal consequences for the accused. It applies to any sexual encounter between an individual and someone who is younger than the legally defined age of consent, regardless of whether or not the underage individual gave their consent. In the state of California, Penal Code 261.5 PC defines the age of consent as 18 years of age.

The age of consent varies from state to state. It’s important to understand that California does not differentiate between statutory rape and consensual intercourse between minors. However, penalties for statutory rape may vary depending on the accused perpetrator’s age.

Misdemeanor or Felony?

If the accused perpetrator is within three years of the age of the minor, the charge can be filed as a misdemeanor. However, the crime can be charged as a felony if the perpetrator is more than three years older than the minor and the minor is over 16 years of age. Additionally, an alleged perpetrator who is 21 years of age or older and has sex with a minor younger than 16 years can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

Statutory Rape Penalties

Statutory rape carries severe penalties in California. You could be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life if convicted. The court will consider various factors before making this decision, including a psychological evaluation, prior criminal history, and the specific circumstances of the case.

If convicted of misdemeanor statutory rape, the penalty could include up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If charged with felony statutory rape, and the perpetrator is more than three years older than the minor, who is 16 or older, the accused could be looking at two to three years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. If the accused is more than 21 years of age and convicted of felony statutory rape and the minor is younger than 16, there could be a penalty of up to $25,000 and four years in jail.

Legal Defenses

California Penal Code 261.5 PC only stipulates sexual intercourse between the accused and the minor. Other sexual acts such as oral sex or sexual contact with a minor under the age of consent are illegal, but other laws address them. Additionally, spouses of individuals younger than 18 years of age cannot be charged for statutory rape.

In some cases, defendants have successfully avoided statutory rape convictions by claiming they were not aware of their partner’s true age. However, the burden of proof lies with the accused and must provide evidence to show that there was a good reason to believe the victim was 18 years of age or older.

Consult an Attorney

If you are facing statutory rape charges, you must consult with an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases. A sex crimes lawyer will evaluate your case and provide legal counsel on your defense strategy to protect your legal rights. In Los Angeles, the stakes are high, and you need to ensure that you have an experienced attorney at your side to help you navigate the complex and serious charges against you.

The legal consequences of a statutory rape conviction are severe, from a criminal record to potential imprisonment, fines, and restrictions on your personal and professional life. It’s imperative to understand these consequences and the defenses available to you. Reach out to an experienced attorney today for help.

Penalties for Statutory Rape
Misdemeanor Statutory RapeJail sentence up to 364 days; fine up to $1,000
Felony Statutory Rape (Perpetrator Within Three Years from Age of the Minor)Jail sentence for two to three years; fine up to $10,000
Felony Statutory Rape (Perpetrator More Than Three Years Older Than the Minor)Jail sentence for two to three years; fine up to $10,000
Convicted Felo Statutory Rape (Perpetrator 21 or Older and Minor Younger Than Age of Consent)Jail sentence for up to four years; fine up to $25,000

Defense of Statutory Rape Charges

There are several available defenses for statutory rape charges in California.

The most common defense for statutory rape is when the accused can provide evidence that they were not aware of the victim’s true age. The accused must provide a valid defense for having a genuine and reasonable belief that the minor was at or above the age of consent. The burden of proof is on the accused to show that they took reasonable steps to determine the victim’s age before engaging in sexual intercourse or acts.

Consent of the minor is not a viable defense for statutory rape. It still constitutes a crime since the minor is not legally able to consent to sexual intercourse.


Marriage to the minor is a viable defense to a charge of statutory rape as long as the accused was aware that the minor was under 18 years of age at the time of the marriage.

False Accusation of Rape

A common statutory rape defense is the false accusation of rape. Although a false accusation of statutory rape is rare, there are instances when someone has falsely accused another of committing the crime. If proven, the case against the accused may be dismissed.

When facing statutory rape charges, it is crucial to consult an experienced lawyer to present a viable defense strategy for protecting your rights. You don’t have to navigate this complex legal process on your own, and your attorney will explain your legal options while guiding you every step of the way.

Contact an Experienced Statutory Rape Defense Attorney Today

Even if you are not sure if you will be charged with statutory rape, it is critical to speak with an experienced defense attorney immediately. Don’t wait until charges have been filed against you to seek legal representation. Your freedom is at stake, and an experienced statutory rape defense attorney will provide you with the necessary guidance and protect your rights. Contact a sex crimes defense attorney today to schedule an initial consultation.

The Consequences of Statutory Rape
Criminal RecordA statutory rape conviction will remain on your criminal record, limiting you from obtaining employment, housing, and professional licenses.
Sex Offender RegistrationA statutory rape charge carries severe consequences, among them sex offender registration, which will affect your employment and can prohibit you from living near schools or other places where minors congregate.
Jail or Prison TimeA statutory rape conviction could result in jail or prison time, leading to loss of employment, personal hardship, and stigmatization.
FinesA statutory rape conviction may result in heavy fines and other court fees that can be both financially and emotionally draining.


Request Free Consultation


Newspaper articles


Very diligent, organized associates; got my case dismissed. Hard working attorneys who can put up with your anxiousness. I was accused of robbing a gemstone dealer. Definitely A law group that lays out all possible options and alternative routes. Recommended for sure.


Get Free Advice About Your Case

Spodek Law Group

85 Broad Street,

New York, NY 10004





Spodek Law Group

35-37 36th St,
Astoria, NY 11106





Spodek Law Group

195 Montague St.

Brooklyn, NY 11201





Follow us on
Call Now