Salt Lake City Rape Defense Attorney
Rape is one of the most serious criminal accusations that an individual can have to face in Salt Lake City. The state of Utah classifies rape as a first degree felony, alongside crimes like murder, child kidnapping, and arson. Even beyond the immediate consequences of a sentencing, which are severe as it is, there are lifelong repercussions to a felony conviction. An individual with a felony on their criminal record is likely to have difficulties in obtaining employment and housing, in addition to the permanent damage that can be done to their reputation and social relationships.
If you live in Salt Lake City, Utah, and you are facing allegations of committing rape, it is not in your best interests to attempt to defend yourself in front of a trained and aggressive prosecutor. It is critical that you immediately retain a highly experienced Salt Lake City rape attorney. Don’t wait until you’re facing a hostile jury and it’s too late. Call the law offices of Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 895-3143, or contact us online. Our attorneys are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are able to make jail or holding center visits in the event of an emergency. Call us today.
Rape Penalties and Sentencing in Utah
In the state of Utah, the crime of rape is dealt with by Section 76-5-402. Under Section 402, rape is defined as “sexual intercourse with another person without the victim’s consent.” Rape is classified as a first degree felony — one of the most serious charges that exist. In accordance with Section 76-3-203, which discusses punishments for felony convictions, a first degree felony conviction must result in a sentencing of:
- a fine of up to $10,000.
- a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison.
- a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.
Five years to life is an extremely broad range, so the details of the alleged crime are critical to sentence determination. In general, there are a number of “aggravating factors” which can worsen the punishment handed down by the courts, including but not limited to the following:
- The actor caused significant physical injury to the victim.
- The crime was particularly “cruel or depraved.”
- The actor had an authority position over the victim (e.g. teacher and student).
- The victim was unusually vulnerable (e.g. the victim was elderly, intoxicated, or disabled).
- The crime was committed in the presence of a child.
- The crime was classified as a hate crime.
Section 76-5-402 also provides a number of additional aggravating factors which can lead to harsher sentencing. The mandatory minimum prison term can increase from five years to 15 years if the actor was under 18 years old at the time of the crime, and had previous convictions of grievous sex offenses (e.g. sexual assault). Additionally, the prison term can increase to life without possibility of parole if the actor was 18 years old or older at the time of the crime, and had previous convictions of grievous sex offenses.
Let Our Salt Lake City Sex Crimes Lawyers Fight For You
Even in the very best case scenario, the legal penalties for a rape conviction in Utah are extremely severe. Without a seasoned attorney defending your case, you risk having to pay thousands of dollars, spending years, decades, or even life in prison, and effectively losing your ability to find gainful employment or housing in the long term. If you have been accused of committing rape in Salt Lake City, you need to contact our law offices immediately, either online or by phone at (801) 895-3143. Our attorneys have defended thousands of clients in Salt Lake City and across Utah — we can defend you, too. Call today.