The first and most important step to take when charged with rape is to hire an experienced, ethical, and empathetic Columbus rape defense attorney. Even many lawyers jump to the conclusion that the person named as the defendant in a rape cases is guilty. Finding a legal advocate and representative who will focus only on your rights and interests must be your top priority.
Look for a lawyer who has helped rape case defendants in the past. He will know how to determine exactly which charges you face. Your lawyer must also know how to investigate the situation to find evidence that supports your innocence and be able to provide services may need beyond offering advice during questioning and representing you in court.
Alleged Actions That Can Draw Rape Charges
Section 2907.02 of the Ohio Revised Code defines rape as any of the following:
- Having sex with someone who is younger than 13 years of age
- Lying in order to convince someone to have sex
- Administering drugs or alcohol in order to make someone incapable of resisting sexual assault
- Using threats or physical force to coerce someone into engaging in sexual activity
- Having sex with someone who cannot consent due to mental or physical impairment
Note that a wife or husband can accuse a spouse of rape. Also, individuals who have sex with people who choose to drink or do drugs to excess can face rape charges.
Conducting an Independent Investigation
Physical evidence, witness testimony, and statements from both parties matter greatly. A prosecutor will work closely with police, health care providers, counselors, and the person who claims to have been raped to build a case for convicting the defendant. You need an attorney who will take the time and make the effort to find an equal amount of evidence to support your account of what occurred.
Questions your Columbus rape defense lawyer will strive to answer to your benefit include:
- Has the person claiming rape correctly identified you as the person involved?
- If intoxication occurred, how drunk or high was the other person?
- Did the other person give consent only to later claim otherwise?
- Does available physical evidence support the alleged victim’s version of events?
- Does the person making the accusation of rape have a reason to harm the defendant’s reputation or status?
You Need More Than Courtroom Representation
Rape cases tend to draw a great deal of news coverage, so your defense attorney will need to be able to control media access to you and to restrict disclosure of evidence that prosecutors should not make public. A dedicated Columbus rape defense attorney will handle requests from reporters and work to ensure that information that can jeopardize your ability to get a fair trial is not published or broadcast.
Do not wait to contact a criminal defense lawyer who can help you fight a rape charge.