What You Might Not Know about Date Rape (And, Should)

Posted February 5th, 2019 by .

Categories: Criminal Defense.

What You Might Not Know about Date RapeThe truth is you’re losing sleep. You’ve always respected women and understand that “No” means no. So how is it possible that you’re facing date rape charges?  There’s no way you did anything wrong.

You think back to the evening in question. You and your buddies were out at a local bar when you met up with a group of women. One of the gals was an especially pretty blonde, and the two of you laughed together as you both downed a few shots. She moved closer to be next to you and positioned herself between your legs at the bar.

As far as you were concerned, your new acquaintance shared your attraction. It, therefore, seemed natural to leave with her when everyone else drifted off into pairs.

As you walked her out to the car, you expressed concern. From all appearances, the young woman seemed a little tipsy. You, therefore, did the gentlemanly thing and offered her a ride back to her place.

What happened next was surely unplanned. As you reached over to position a quick peck on the cheek, you were taken by surprise. She’s the one who made the kiss more passionate and invited you into her apartment.

The night took on an unexpected turn as the kiss continued into much more. As you picked up your clothes at the end of the night, you politely waved goodbye.

A couple of days later, one of your friends called to warn you. Apparently, your one-night stand asked around for you. Even worse, she’s told others you raped her.

You are shocked. Not only was the sex consensual, but the woman also initiated it. Ultimately, you find yourself facing charges for date rape.

Date Rape and Consent

Although this particular story denotes a totally fictional event, it could be your reality. One of the critical issues boils down to a matter of consent.  The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) recognizes that not everyone really understands consent and offers advice.

For starters, it’s widely accepted that an intoxicated person cannot offer consent. Essentially, if the victim was too tipsy to drive, she was undoubtedly too drunk to consent to any type of sexual activity. Many claims of date rape arise from situations involving victims under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

In the meantime, consent can also be withdrawn at any time. Even as things proceed to hot and heavy, the victim may call for an end. NO means no at any time during the encounter.

The victim could also claim that you slipped something into her drink. Date rape drugs such as Rohypnol or Roofies are illegal, as are GHB and Ketamine.  Once again, victims can’t give consent if they are either too confused – too weak – or simply passed out.

For the accused, consent becomes a matter of debate. More than likely, only two people were present during the alleged date rape. Therefore, an experienced criminal defense attorney knows how critical witness preparation is to the jury trial. After all, credibility may make or break a case.

Date Rape and the Law

If you’re facing charges for date rape, it’s something you may already know. It doesn’t matter if you knew your victim. Your criminal indictment under NJSA 2C:14-2 mirrors the one handed down to a defendant who rapes a stranger.

What does this mean? The bottom line is that date rape and rape are treated the same under the law. It could be that you and the victim work or go to school together. If you’re accused of date rape, there’s an assumption that you and the victim were at least acquaintances.

In New Jersey, rape falls under the umbrella term of sexual assault. While you might not think of your one-night stand as a sex crime, you should be concerned. The penalties for sexual assault convictions have long-lasting consequences.

Penalties for Date Rape

If you’re convicted of a sexual assault offense, you face serious penalties. At the very least, you could wind up in jail for eighteen months. Meanwhile, sentencing for first-degree rape can mean up to twenty years in prison.

All the talk you’ve heard of early release? If you’re convicted of a sex crime in New Jersey, you may face mandatory service of 85 percent of your sentence.  Additionally, your name becomes part of a sex offenders’ list as required by Megan’s Law.

You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing charges for date rape, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney. With over thirty years of experience, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone will aggressively represent you. Contact our office to set up a meeting.

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