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Defendants accused of statutory rape often claim that they had no reason to know that their partner was underage.
They may argue that the victim herself represented that she was older than she was, and that a reasonable person would have believed her.
A lawyer can evaluate the strength of the prosecution’s case against you and help develop any defenses that might apply to your case.
A lawyer can often negotiate with the prosecutor for a lesser charge or a reduction in penalties (such as, for example, probation instead of prison time); and will know how prosecutors and judges typically handle cases like yours.
It is a fourth degree felony if the defendant is four or more (but fewer than ten) years older than the victim.
Their incapacity is written into the statute—hence the term, “statutory” rape.
It means a defendant won’t be adjudicated as guilty, as long as he or she complies with the court’s conditions.