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At O’Brien & Eggleston PLLC, our Albany criminal defense attorneys know being accused of a sex crime in New York can change our clients’ lives. Depending on the circumstances of the allegations and the people involved, the charges can escalate quickly, jeopardizing the accused’s freedom.

Albany County defense lawyers also know that the more our clients know about the charges against them, the better equipped they will be to make informed decisions about the direction of their cases. Here, we discuss the critical differences between rape and statutory rape in New York.

Difference Between Rape and Statutory Rape

Understanding the Differences in Rape and Statutory Rape Charges in New York

Rape in New York generally refers to non-consensual sexual intercourse that is achieved through force, threat, or when the victim is incapable of giving consent due to physical helplessness, mental incapacity, or intoxication.

The degrees of rape in New York are defined as follows:

  • Rape in the First Degree (Class B felony): Involves sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion, with someone who is physically helpless, or with someone who is less than 11 years old.
  • Rape in the Second Degree (Class D felony): Involves sexual intercourse with a person who is less than 15 years old by someone who is 18 years or older.
  • Rape in the Third Degree (Class E felony): Involves sexual intercourse with a person who is incapable of consent due to some reason other than being underage, such as mental disability or incapacity, or when the victim is less than 17 years old, and the perpetrator is 21 years or older.

Statutory rape in New York specifically refers to sexual activity with a person who is below the age of consent. The critical aspect of statutory rape is that it involves consensual sexual activity, but the law considers minors incapable of legally consenting to sex due to their age.

  • Age of Consent: The legal age of consent in New York is 17. Sexual intercourse with someone under this age is considered statutory rape, even if the minor agrees to the act.

Statutory rape is categorized based on the ages of the victim and the offender, with the severity of the charge increasing with larger age differences and younger victims.

Understanding these distinctions is crucial for legal proceedings and recognizing New York law’s different protections and penalties. We can help.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Contact our Albany sex crime defense attorneys at O’Brien & Eggleston PLLC today by calling (518)-391-2369 or online to ensure your rights are protected from the start, including as early as police questioning. We have a strong track record of producing real results for our clients. Allow us to pursue a positive outcome for your case, too.

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