If you’ve been accused of rape in Georgia, then one thing is for certain … you should be terrified. Rape in Georgia carries a minimum sentence of twenty-five years in prison with no possibility of parole. While rape is a serious crime and one that society should not treat lightly, most of the cases we defend involve allegations from a person with whom our client has had consensual sex.
Date or Spousal Rape Accusations
The date rape accusation typically comes in one of several ways. The “victim” claims she said “no,” and you believed she meant “yes.” The “victim” woke up the next day with regret or “buyer’s remorse” about her decision to have sex with you. Perhaps her boyfriend found out, and now she accuses you of rape to explain her conduct. You’re out drinking with someone. One or both of you gets drunk, and then the two of you have sex. The next day she says you raped her. She is now sober and claims she was too drunk to consent, that you knew she was too drunk, and that you took advantage of her.
As you’re probably painfully aware, most of these cases center on buyer’s remorse, relationship problems, or a bad decision after a night of drinking. Some of these allegations are out-and-out blatant lies, either to be vindictive, cover up an affair, or because of embarrassment. However, some of these accusers truly believe they were raped, either because they felt they were too intoxicated or did not believe they consented to sexual intercourse.
These are difficult cases. There’s usually sufficient evidence that sexual intercourse occurred. Most of the time, the client has admitted that sex happened, and the only issue is consent, which means the case is now a “he said, she said” situation. It’s important to know that under Georgia law, a person is not guilty of rape if they reasonably believed that the accuser consented to sexual intercourse. This provides clarity to our purpose: to gather and collect every possible piece of evidence that exists that will prove our client believed the sex was consensual. This includes phone logs, text messages, emails, social media, photographs, videos, and of course, witness statements. We want to find and interview any witnesses that saw or spoke with either or both parties before or after the sexual encounter to frame the context of the couple’s interactions properly.
Take These First Steps If You Are Accused of Date Rape
Once you’ve been accused of rape, you will quickly realize that you’re going to be treated as guilty until proven innocent. Law enforcement is not looking to exonerate you. The investigation is more like a witch hunt designed to develop only the evidence that supports the allegation of rape. The investigation is not designed to get to the truth. It’s not uncommon for law enforcement to ignore or fail to include in the police reports evidence that doesn’t fit their narrative that a rape occurred. The police investigation, simply put, is designed to substantiate the complaining witness’ account in order to move the investigation forward to formal charges being made and referred to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution. Period.
If you or a loved one has been charged with rape, it’s very important that you do the following:
- Do not destroy evidence. Do not delete any emails, voicemails, text messages, social media, phone logs, or any other records detailing your contact with the other party. You might be destroying the only evidence available to form and support your defense. You’re not going to know what will help and what will hurt. Don’t make a quick decision or one out of anxiety. Let your attorney make that decision after consulting with you. When you come in to meet with us, bring in all the evidence you have so we can review it together and decide what we need for your defense.
- Do not respond to the accuser's messages or calls. Do not write anything about the incident or allegations on social media. Do not talk, text, or email them if they contact you. Whatever your response is, you can be sure it’ll be turned over to the police. If you’re talking over the phone, you can be sure it’s being recorded and turned over to the police. It’s not uncommon for the “victim” to confront the defendant in some way trying to get some kind of admission. And it’s not uncommon that the defendant will agree or apologize, not because they did anything wrong, but to diffuse the situation. So now you have to deal with a false confession on top of everything else. Don’t do it. And don’t talk to law enforcement when they come to meet with you or call you. Under no circumstances. None. Don’t do it. MEET WITH US FIRST. It could save you a life sentence.
These cases require a sophisticated and deliberate defense that’s uniquely tailored to the client and the fact pattern. Our criminal defense team has successfully handled many of these cases. We’ve been doing this work and successfully defending these cases for a combined thirty years. Call or contact our criminal defense team to schedule your initial client strategy meeting, and let us get started putting an end to your nightmare.
In Georgia, statutory rape occurs when a person has sexual intercourse with any person under the age of 16. There’s no requirement of force or lack of consent. In a cruel twist, a person can be convicted of statutory rape even if they actually or reasonably believed the person was over the age of 16. Statutory rape is a strict liability crime, and what that means practically is that knowledge of the victim’s age is not required by the statute. Sometimes these cases arise from false allegations
When these cases arise from false allegations, our approach is to immediately take the offensive and focus on the investigation. Focusing on gathering any and all evidence that we can use to either attack the credibility of the accuser or explain possible motivations for making false allegations.
Our investigation will focus on obtaining DFACS records, school records, medical records, computer records, cell phone records, mental health records, and information from social networking sites. We’ll talk to witnesses, including those who may not know anything about the present allegations but can also shed light on possible motivations to make false allegations or are helpful in attacking the credibility of the accuser. These witnesses can be neighbors, co-workers, relatives, acquaintances, or classmates of the accuser.
Every client and every case is different, each presenting their own challenging sets of facts and circumstances, but our criminal defense team’s proven approach and commitment to protecting our clients remains the same.
If you or a loved one has been charged with statutory rape, you need to contact an experienced and dedicated Atlanta Sex Crime Lawyer today.
Get the Information You Need to Start Fighting Back
Statutory rape charges can be life-altering and inflict permanent damage to a persons’ life, liberty, career, and reputation. Call us today so we can begin to develop your defense and start working to help you get your life back as soon as possible. Criminal charges are SERIOUS, a potentially life-altering event in a person’s life. Right now, the DA’s office is working on your case, and in their version, you end up a convicted sex offender.
Don’t let them write the ending to your story…