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Date Rape Charges: Everything You Need to Know

Blank Law, PC Team

Date Rape Charges: Everything You Need to Know

Sexual assault is a prevalent sex crime globally. Sexual assault is an unlawful sexual contact with another person without their consent.

According to Rainn Statistics, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. Rape is the most recurring type of sexual assault (learn what is statutory rape here). It includes cases of what is sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth. Although 90% of rape victims are women, men and children are also victims, and the perpetrators could be male or female.

According to the World Population Review, 70% of rape cases are committed by someone familiar with the victim. This type of rape is known as acquaintance rape. It is a form of sexual assault that includes forced or manipulated sexual contact (learn what is offensive touching here). Acquaintance rape can occur at any time or place. The perpetrator may be a neighbor, classmate, colleague, or even a delivery person.

Date Rape Charges

Rape may also be committed by someone with an established romantic or social relationship with the victim. This relationship could range from spending time on a date or at the nightclub, to a long-term friendship or an engagement. When rape occurs in these circumstances, such a crime may be referred to as date rape. In many states, date rape may happen when the parties have previously engaged in sexual intercourse. Thus, it could even occur between spouses.

pouring liquid

In addition, date rape covers cases where the victim is drugged by a person they may or may not know before committing the crime. Such cases usually involve date rape drugs, such as rohypnol (roofies), ketamine, and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (also known as GHB, fantasy, or liquid ecstasy), which the perpetrator could sneak into the victim’s drink. Upon consuming the drink, the victim is temporarily rendered groggy, unconscious, and incapable of resisting the other party’s advances. Such date rape cases may be described as drug-facilitated sexual assault.

date rape sounds casual

Although date rape sounds casual, it is treated the same as rape. The relationship between the perpetrator and victim, no matter how intimate, does not prevent date rape cases from being treated as a serious crime. Like any other form of sexual assault, date rape is punishable by law.

Must Date Rape Involve the Use of Force or Threat of Force?

Date rape may arise in situations involving force, the threat of force, or violence (see what does force or coercion mean). However, it can also occur without the use of force. Sexual assault may also include cases involving nonconsensual sexual intercourse. Both parties must give consent without manipulation, pressure, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs; otherwise, it would amount to sexual assault.

A man is beating his wife on a bed

Thus, where the victim is below the legal age of consent (see what is the age of consent in Michigan), they cannot legally give consent to any form of sexual activity. This legal consent age varies between states, but it is 16 years old in Michigan. In situations involving an authority figure as the perpetrator, the legal consent age is raised to 18 years old, i.e. teacher sexual misconduct.

Blonde woman is the victim of aggressive man

Date rape can occur in cases where the victim refuses to have sexual intercourse with the perpetrator. It could also arise where the victim cannot give consent because of mental or physical infirmity or an impaired sense of judgment due to intoxication. Furthermore, in cases where the victim has previously given consent to a sexual act, it does not mean that the consent applies in every future circumstance. With that said, it may be challenging to determine when such consent no longer applies.

What Happens if I Face Date Rape Charges?

When a person faces criminal sexual assault charges, the defendant will be subject to prosecution in order to determine guilt. The alleged victim may be invited as a witness in the case, and the defendant will be allowed to provide their sexual assault defense strategies. Where the person is found guilty of the alleged crime, they will be convicted and punished for the criminal offense.

If you have been charged with date rape, you risk spending many years in prison. In addition, you may be convicted of a felony, pay a hefty fine, and have to register as a sex offender, i.e. the Michigan Sex Offender Registry, depending on the provisions of the date rape law. These consequences may follow you for the rest of your life by negatively impacting your freedom, family, social relationships, and ability to get paid for employment. You may be stigmatized as a convicted sex offender for the rest of your life.

Furthermore, in criminal sexual cases involving force or violence, you may be charged with aggravated sexual assault. Aggravated sexual assault occurs when the alleged victim suffers serious bodily injury at the time of being sexually assaulted. It also arises when date rape victims are rendered incapable of appraising or resisting the rape because the perpetrators have administered or provided any substance that impairs their judgment.

What are the Penalties for Date Rape in Michigan?

According to Michigan rape laws, rape, date rape, and other forms of sexual assault are referred to as criminal sexual conduct (CSC). There are four CSC degrees of criminal sexual conduct, covering a broad range of sex crimes and levels of intimidation or force. In many instances, rape is regarded as a criminal sexual conduct 1st degree or criminal sexual conduct 3rd degree, both involving sexual penetration. The penalties for date rape are severe and have lasting consequences on sex offenders (see CSC 1st degree Michigan penalty and CSC 3rd degree Michigan penalty, respectively).

Following a date rape conviction, the sex offender may face a maximum prison sentence of 15 years if found guilty of sexual assault in the third degree. If the defendant is convicted of date rape in the first degree, the penalty may be a lifetime sentence. You may also be sentenced to long-term probationary supervision.

You are stronger than you think

In addition to spending years in prison, you may pay a hefty fine and be registered on the sex offender registry. The penalties may be even more severe for a date rape conviction involving a minor/person under 13 years old.

Also, in situations involving a date rape drug, the criminal prosecution may file additional charges against the defendant for providing a controlled substance to the victim without their consent to commit sexual assault.

What are the Defenses of Date Rape Allegations?

If you have been accused of date rape, it does not automatically mean that you will go to jail. Many criminal sexual conduct defense strategies exist to exonerate you in a date rape case.

As with many cases of sexual assault, the law requires a lack of consent on the victim’s part to hold the defendant guilty of the crime. You can use it as a defense in such situations where consent has been given and is easily discernible. If you were not even present at the crime scene, you could provide an alibi in your defense.

DNA evidence is another way to prove your innocence in a date rape case. It can also help to determine the actual perpetrator of the crime. Forensic scientists can analyze DNA samples to create a profile for comparison with a database containing several profiles created by the FBI.

Providing a solid defense is the only way to avoid being convicted of date rape, and the best defense tactic is to get an experienced criminal sexual conduct attorney on your side. A lawyer is bound by the rule of confidentiality of the attorney-client relationship to protect you. By furnishing your attorney with all the case facts, they can help you develop the best defense strategy for your case.

Is There a Time Limit on Date Rape in Michigan?

There is no statute of limitations for the rape of minors or sexual assault involving violence. However, charges of other cases of sexual assault must be filed within 10 years of the commission of the crime or the victim’s 21st birthday. Also, date rape that involves DNA evidence must be filed before the victim’s 21st birthday or within 10 years of identifying the suspect.

How can a Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?

Facing date rape charges can be overwhelming because you are at risk of severe penalties, including incarceration. The penalties depend on the circumstances and severity of the crime committed.

The state of Michigan takes date rape charges seriously and ensures that those that find themselves a victim of date rape get justice by imposing harsh punishments on the perpetrators of this crime.

If you face a date rape charge, then the law affords you the opportunity to put up a defense. The penalties of sexual assault are so severe that you need to put up a solid defense to avoid imprisonment, paying a hefty fine, and having your reputation permanently tarnished. Therefore, you need to hire an attorney who focuses solely on sex crime cases. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer represent you can make a remarkable difference in the outcome of your case.

Michigan Sex Crime Attorney Nicole Blank Becker

Attorney Nicole Blank Becker of Blank Law, PC is an excellent criminal defense lawyer whose focus is on representing people facing criminal sexual assault charges under Michigan law. If you have been accused of date rape in Michigan, you need to act fast. Attorney Nicole Blank Becker of Blank Law, PC specializes in sexual criminal activities, and with her over two decades of experience, she can help you formulate a solid defense in any sexual assault case.

Contact Blank Law, PC now for a free consultation. Nicole will be there to assist you when you need her most.

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