If convicted of rape in Ohio, you could spend many years of your life in prison or on supervised probation.
Even after being released from incarceration, you will have to register as a sex offender for the remainder of your life.
Because of the enormous seriousness of your situation, it’s important to hire an Ohio criminal defense attorney with experience with these types of cases. At Hiltner Trial Lawyers, our firm has years of experience helping clients obtain justice, even when facing life-changing charges.
Ohio Rape Laws
Under Ohio law, rape is unwanted sexual conduct in any of the the following instances:
- The perpetrator used force, the threat of force, or intimidation.
- The other person is less than thirteen years old.
- The victim had impaired judgment because they were given a controlled substance.
- The perpetrator believed that the victim had a physical or mental impairment that compromised their ability to resist.
Rape is a first-degree felony. In some cases there is even a possibility of life imprisonment.
What is the Sexual Battery Law in Ohio?
There is a related charge called sexual battery that involves similar circumstances, but also often involves a social dynamic in which the victim is unable to resist the perpetrator. This may include a teacher, mental health professional, or prison guard.
One or more of the following may be a component of sexual battery:
- Coercion by any means that prevented resistance
- The perpetrator knew that the victim’s ability to resist was substantially impaired
- The victim was unaware of the sexual act being committed
- The perpetrator was a parent or guardian
- The perpetrator had some supervisory authority over the victim
Sexual battery is generally a third degree felony punishable with a prison sentence from 1 to 5 years or a fine up to $10,000. However, if the victim is less than 13, sexual battery is a felony of the second degree and faces a prison term of up to 8 years.
What Do I Do If I Am Charged With Rape?
If you are charged with rape in Ohio, there are some good first steps to consider:
- Hire a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience handling rape cases.
- Collect and preserve any physical evidence including clothing, videos or photos.
- Collect and preserve any documents or records relating to the charges including emails, letters, phone messages, or receipts that might provide an alibi at the time of the incident.
- List all potential witnesses that may have information about the incident.
There are also some things that you should avoid doing at all costs:
- Do not attempt to talk or communicate in any way with the victim.
- Do not talk to police or investigators without your lawyer present.
- Do not agree to take any tests like DNA tests or provide any evidence to police prior to discussing it with your attorney.
How Can Hiltner Trial Lawyers Help?
A competent criminal defense attorney can provide a number of essential services for you during this difficult time. Here are some things your Ohio criminal defense attorney can help with:
- Investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape
- Determine if the victim is lying, either intentionally or unintentionally
- Determine if the victim has mistakenly identified the wrong person
- Verify the defendant’s alibi
- Collect evidence that proves the alleged incident did not happen or that the defendant is not the guilty party
- Inform you about your legal rights
- Assist in mounting a legal defense
- Negotiate a plea for lesser charges
Contact Hiltner Trial Lawyers Today
If you are facing a rape or sexual battery charge in Ohio, then you need the help of one the state’s most respected criminal defense law firms. With Hiltner Trial Lawyers, you’ll get a team of dedicated criminal defense attorneys who will be dedicated to helping you get justice and restore your good name.
Contact Hiltner Trial Lawyers today for a free and confidential consultation.