Skilled Representation To Defend Against Sex Crime Charges
Sexual assault is a serious crime that can result in severe consequences, including imprisonment, mandatory sex offender registration and limitations on places where one can reside. In South Dakota, there are different degrees of rape and statutory rape, and it’s important to understand the charges and potential defenses if you’ve been accused of one of these sex crimes.
I am D. Sonny Walter, and I understand the importance of providing our clients with experienced and aggressive criminal defense representation for sex crimes. I have over 30 years of experience in criminal defense of sex crimes and am dedicated to fighting for my clients’ rights and freedoms. Below, let’s take a closer look at the different degrees of rape and statutory rape, the defenses of statutory rape in South Dakota, the penalties you may be facing and the ways that I can help you.
Degrees Of Rape
Rape is defined as engaging in sexual penetration with another person without their consent. In South Dakota, there are different degrees of rape, including first-degree, second-degree and third-degree rape.
First-degree rape involves sexual penetration accomplished by force or threat of bodily harm or when the victim is incapable of giving consent. Forcible rape is a Class 1 felony with a maximum sentence of up to 50 years in prison. Rape can be up to a Class C felony and can result in imprisonment for up to life in prison.
Second-degree rape involves sexual penetration accomplished by force or threat of bodily harm or when the victim is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless because of intoxication, for example. Second-degree rape can be a Class 2 felony and can result in imprisonment for up to 25 years. This offense could be charged if you had intercourse with a person who was either intoxicated, sleeping or passed out.
Third-degree rape involves sexual penetration with a person between 13 and 16 years old and is a Class 3 felony with up to 15 years in prison.
Statutory rape is a form of sexual assault that involves engaging in sexual activity with a person who is under the age of consent, even if the activity was consensual. In South Dakota, the age of consent is 16 years old.
If the victim is under the age of 13, the offender can be charged with first-degree rape, which is a Class C felony and can result in imprisonment for up to life in prison.
Defenses Against These Charges
There are a few defenses to statutory rape in South Dakota, not including mistaken age and lack of knowledge of the victim’s age. Defenses in other sex crimes charges include consent, innocence, false accusations or insanity, among others.
It is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine the best defense strategy for your case. I can take the time to review the facts of your case, look for opportunities to defend you in court and negotiate for reduced to dismissed sentencing while also helping you understand your case and defending your rights along the way.
The maximum penalties for rape in South Dakota can be severe, including life imprisonment and mandatory sex offender registration. If you’ve been accused of sexual assault, it’s crucial to seek experienced legal representation to protect your rights and freedom. Do not speak to the police until you have consulted an experienced criminal defense lawyer like me.
I Am Ready To Stand At Your Side
I have experience representing clients facing all types of sexual assault charges, and I offer judgment-free representation to all of my clients. I understand the intricacies of South Dakota law and will work tirelessly to build a strong defense strategy on your behalf. I will investigate the charges against you, gather evidence and fight for your rights in court.
If you are ready to rely on my over 30 years of criminal defense experience to defend your best interests, contact me today. Call my firm, D. Sonny Walter, Attorney At Law, at 605-450-6182 or email me here to schedule your initial consultation today.