Criminal Defense

Tampa Rape Defense Attorney

If you’re under investigation for rape in the Tampa area or have already been charged, you need a lawyer’s help immediately. A rape defense attorney will protect your rights, tell your side of the story, and help you avoid the harsh penalties of a conviction, which include up to 15 years in prison and sex offender registration.

Tampa rape accusations are far too serious to handle yourself. Do not make statements alone. Instead, call Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A. With his background and success rate in sex crime cases, he’ll provide an effective defense plan tailored to your charges and situation.

If you or a loved one face rape or sexual battery charges in Tampa, Florida, reach out to attorney Brett Metcalf at (813) 258-4800 for a free and confidential consultation.

Tampa Rape Charges

Rape is considered sexual battery under Florida statute. It’s defined as “…oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object. However, sexual battery does not include an act done for a bona fide medical purpose.”

What’s the Punishment for Rape?

The penalty for a rape or sexual battery conviction depends on the victim’s age, whether a weapon was used, or if the crime resulted in injuries. Generally, rape is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison with 15 years of probation, sex offender registration, and a $10,000 fine.

When a weapon was used, the charge can be elevated to a first-degree felony for aggravated sexual battery. If the victim of the alleged rape is between 12 and 18, you potentially face a life sentence if convicted. When victims are under 12, a conviction can still result in a life sentence, but without the possibility of parole.

Rape & Sex Offender Registration

The penalties for a rape conviction do not end with a prison sentence. Aside from a felony conviction being attached to your permanent criminal record, you will likely have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. This can make moving on, getting a job, and finding a decent place to live extremely difficult.

Registered sex offenders in Florida must check in with local law enforcement several times a year and inform them if they plan to move or travel out of state. In addition to these restrictive measures, failure to comply with sex offender registration can lead to separate third-degree felony charges.

The Elements of a Rape Case

According to the law, various scenarios may lead to Tampa rape charges. The main element of supporting a rape crime is the issue of consent, but other factors will be considered

  • Was the Sexual Activity Consensual? Consent means knowingly and voluntarily agree to the act in question, not coerced submission.
  • Was the Victim Mentally Incapacitated? This is being temporarily unable to understand or control a person’s acts because a narcotic, anesthetic, or intoxicating substance is given without his or her consent or caused by another act the person didn’t consent to.
  • Was the Victim Physically Incapacitated? This refers to having their mobility and body impaired or handicapped and substantially limited in their ability to resist or escape

Defending Against Rape Charges

An effective defense depends on your situation and how Florida laws are applied. After your rape defense attorney is retained, we’ll thoroughly investigate and go over the evidence the police have developed.

When you work with attorney Brett Metcalf, we’ll build the strongest possible defense to the accusations. Some potential rape defenses include:

  • Consent: The other person agreed to the sexual contact. He or she was not mentally incapacitated and was able to consent. If you’re charged with sexual battery of a minor, consent isn’t an issue because, legally, minors aren’t mature enough to consent to sexual contact
  • Insanity: This is difficult to establish, but it may apply in your case. To shield you from a conviction, we would need to show that because of a mental defect or disease, you didn’t understand the consequences of your actions
  • Involuntary Intoxication: If you voluntarily drank alcohol or used drugs, intoxication is not a defense. If your intoxication was involuntary – you were drugged without your consent or drinking alcohol without knowing it – and you caused harm to another, this may be an effective defense because you lacked the necessary intent to commit the crime
  • False Accusations: The alleged victim may have invented his or her story and lied to law enforcement. There may be personal reasons you’re being put through this, the victim may try to get money from you, or the other parent of your child made up the story to make it difficult or impossible for you to get custody.
  • Mistaken Identity: The police and victims sometimes made mistakes and accuse the wrong person. The victim might have picked you out of a lineup by mistake, and the police may have made serious errors during the investigation. If you have an alibi and can show you were in a different place at the time, your case may be dismissed
  • Constitutional Protections: Law enforcement may have improperly obtained evidence or failed to give you promptly Miranda warnings about your rights to an attorney and remain silent. These types of mistakes can result in charges being dismissed or prevent evidence from being used at trial

Contact Brett Metcalf, Criminal Defense Attorney, P.A.

Attorney Metcalf formerly worked as a prosecutor at the State Attorney’s Office in Tampa, where he prosecuted more than 5,000 cases, including sexual battery claims. He also tried more than a hundred cases to a verdict as a prosecutor. This perspective allows Brett to anticipate how a rape case is being built against you and the best way to challenge faulty evidence.

His insight and experience could be the difference in clearing up a misunderstanding before formal charges are filed, avoiding the harshest possible penalties, getting the case dismissed, and proving your innocence in court.

Do not try to explain away a rape allegation without a lawyer’s help. Contact Brett Metcalf at (813) 258-4800 right away. We’re available 24/7 and offer free initial consultations. We will review the situation, explain your option, and how we can help.

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