Rape

Birmingham Rape Attorneys

Defending Clients Who Are Facing Rape Charges in Shelby County, AL

Facing a rape accusation is an incredibly serious matter, with potentially life-altering consequences. Such allegations can impact an individual's personal life, reputation, career, and freedom. At Jaffe, Hanle, Whisonant & Knight, P.C., we understand the gravity of these situations, and we are dedicated to providing comprehensive defense for those confronted with such charges. We firmly believe in the principles of justice – that every individual deserves a fair trial and is innocent until proven guilty.

Our Birmingham rape lawyers are well-versed in navigating the complexities and sensitivities of sex crime cases, and we approach each case with a deep commitment to achieving the best possible outcome. Confidentiality and compassion form the foundation of our client relationships, and we will be there to support you every step of the way. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, we are known for our successful casework as well as our pre-trial litigation strategies. We will leverage the full extent of our skills and resources as we fight to protect your freedom and future.

If you have been accused of rape, it is in your best interest to get legal advice. Call (205) 900-7714 or contact us online to discuss your case with our team.

What Is Considered Rape in Alabama?

In Alabama, rape is considered a serious criminal offense under the state's sexual assault laws. It is important to understand the definitions and implications of these charges. Under Alabama law, rape can be charged in the first or second degree, each carrying specific definitions and penalties.

Rape in the first degree typically involves sexual intercourse with a person who is incapable of consent because of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated. This classification also typically applies when the offender (who is at least 16 years old) has sexual intercourse with a person who is less than 12 years old. It can also include instances where the accused uses forcible compulsion. Rape in the first degree is a Class A felony, which carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of 99 years. 

Rape in the second degree primarily involves a person who is at least 16 years old (and at least 2 years older than the victim) having sexual intercourse with someone who is at least 12 years old but not yet 16 years old. This is considered a Class B felony, and the minimum prison sentence is two years. The maximum prison sentence is 20 years. 

Additionally, factors such as the alleged victim's age, the accused's use of a weapon or physical injury to the victim, and incidences where the accused is a repeat offender can significantly impact the severity of the penalties. It is imperative to note that these laws and their interpretations can be complex and nuanced, and this brief overview does not cover every possible scenario that may constitute rape under Alabama law. If you find yourself accused of such a crime, immediate legal counsel from seasoned Birmingham rape attorneys like those at Jaffe, Hanle, Whisonant & Knight, P.C.

Potential Defenses for Rape Allegations

Every case is unique, and the defense strategy should be tailored to the specific circumstances surrounding the allegation. Our team will carefully evaluate the details of your case to determine the strongest possible approach.

Possible defense strategies we may explore may involve: 

  • Consent. If there is evidence to suggest that the alleged victim had willingly engaged in the sexual activity, it may serve as a viable defense. However, consent can be a complex and sensitive area and demands careful handling.
  • Mistaken Identity. In some cases, the accused may simply be the victim of mistaken identity. Eyewitness testimonies, for instance, can sometimes be unreliable, and technological evidence such as DNA or video footage could prove instrumental in these situations.
  • False Accusation. Unfortunately, false accusations can and do occur, often as a result of misunderstandings, spite, or attempts to gain an upper hand in situations such as child custody disputes. Disproving the accusation often involves undermining the credibility of the accuser or providing a strong alibi.
  • Insufficient Evidence. The burden of proof in a criminal case lies with the prosecution. If they cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that the crime was committed by the accused, this may result in a dismissal of the charges.

Do not wait to speak to our Birmingham rape lawyers if you are facing these allegations. Contact us online or call (205) 900-7714 today.

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