Willoughby Rape Lawyer

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Willoughby Rape Defense Attorney

Rape is the most serious sex offense a person can commit. A Rape conviction can single handedly destroy your life, putting your reputation, career, and freedom at high stake. Finding out that you’ve been accused of Rape is a devastating situation to find oneself in, but it is very important that you act immediately and hire an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney in order to protect yourself and maintain your innocence. If you are under investigation and the police want to question you, do not, by any means, undergo interrogation without an attorney present.

Rape Attorney in Willoughby

The state of Ohio takes Rape matters very seriously, and prosecutors will fight tooth and nail to prove this kind of case. As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County, Ohio, criminal defense attorney and owner of Fortress Law Group, Matthew C. Bangerter knows the strategies used by prosecutors to pursue Rape cases. This quality provides you with the advantage of developing a comprehensive criminal defense strategy with your best interests in mind.

Forensic evidence is an incredibly important factor in Rape cases. Bangerter’s scientific background gives him an edge when evaluating the forensic evidence involved in a criminal defense case. After earning his Law degree and his MBA and dabbling in Computer Science in graduate school, he is currently working towards his Master of Science degree in Biochemistry. He is one of very few criminal defense attorneys who has actually cloned his own DNA in a lab, so he is well-versed in the scientific evidence involved in various criminal cases.

How is Rape Defined in Ohio?

Ohio law defines Rape as non-consensual sexual conduct. Sexual conduct is defined as vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Non-consensual means that the victim is either:

  • Impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Forced or threatened
  • Less than 13 years of age
  • Mentally or physically disabled
  • Elderly

The victim’s and the defendant’s prior sexual history will not be considered as evidence unless it is to show the origin of disease, pregnancy, semen, or a past sexual relationship between the victim and the accused.

Rape Penalties in Ohio

Aside from prison time and hefty fines, a Rape conviction can lead to drastic consequences that can negatively affect your reputation, career, and family life. Rape is charged as a 1st degree felony in Ohio, which is the highest felony charge that exists. Offenders convicted of 1st degree felony Rape face 3-11 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines, however, there are multiple case factors that could alter a Rape sentence:

  • If the victim was proven to be forcefully or deceptively impaired by the offender, the penalty is 5-11 years in prison.
  • If the victim was under 13 years old, the penalty is life imprisonment.
    • If the offender was – under 16 years old, did not cause serious physical harm to the victim, the victim was over 10 years old, and the offender has not been priorly convicted of a sex crime – they face a minimum prison sentence of 25 years, as opposed to life imprisonment.
  • If the offender has been previously convicted of Rape involving a victim under 13, caused serious physical harm to the victim, or if the victim was under 10 years old, they face life imprisonment without parole.

Since Rape is a sexual motivated crime, defendants are also subject to be placed on the sex offender registry. A 1st degree felony Rape conviction constitutes a Tier III registration, which is the highest tier of the Ohio Sexual Offender Registry. Tier III sex offenders must register every 90 days for the rest of their life. Being classified as a sex offender can cause damage to many areas of a person’s life. For one, the registry is public information, so anyone can find that you are a sex offender. Additionally, there are restrictions on where a sex offender can work and live, based on school zones. Sex offender status could likely result in the loss of and inability to qualify for professional licenses and permits.