Washington DC Statutory Rape Attorney

Allegations of statutory rape are very serious charges, often causing irreparable damage to a person’s reputation. While statutory rape laws differ across the nation, a common variable is that the role of consent is obsolete. Under the law, a minor does not have the legal ability to consent to any sexual act or contact.

If you or a loved one is accused of statutory rape, an experienced attorney can guide you through the investigation process. The skilled Washington DC statutory rape lawyers of Boyle and Jasari, have extensive experience handling complex cases. Contact Attorney Dennis Boyle for a consultation of your case via the online contact form or by calling (202) 860-3007.

Why Choose Us?

The ramifications of being charged with a serious sex crime are severe. Attorney Dennis Boyle is an accomplished criminal defense lawyer whose experience extends throughout the United States and internationally. When your reputation, career, and freedom are on the line, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney in Washington DC.

Attorney Dennis Boyle has tried over 200 jury trials to verdict in both state and federal courts. After spending over ten years as a prosecutor, he understands that most cases are won or lost before trial. A thorough investigation with critical evidence may persuade a state or federal prosecutor to dismiss a case. However, in the event of a trial, having an experienced defense litigator may mean the difference between time in prison and walking away with your reputation intact.

How a Statutory Rape Attorney in Washington DC Can Help Your Case

A person may face years in prison if convicted of statutory rape. Add to that, there is a significant social stigma attached to the accused even if they are acquitted. An experienced and skilled defense attorney is crucial to protecting your rights and curbing damaging consequences from the case.

Every case has a unique set of circumstances. Attorney Dennis Boyle has the resources and expertise necessary to mount an aggressive defense. Call our Washington DC statutory rape attorneys today to assess your case and start moving forward.

How Statutory Rape Is Defined in Washington DC

While statutory rape is a common term, the Code of the District of Columbia uses various terminology for the particular set of circumstances. You may be charged with;

  • First-degree child sexual abuse:
    • A sexual act between a child and a person at least four years older
  • Second-degree child sexual abuse:
    • Sexual contact between a child and a person at least four years older
  • First-degree sexual abuse of a minor:
    • If someone 18 years or older and having a significant relationship with a minor engages in a sexual act
  • Second-degree sexual abuse of a minor:
    • If someone 18 years or older and having a significant relationship with a minor engages in a sexual contact

Navigating statutory rape laws and allowable defenses are complex. Under the Code of the District of Columbia, consent or not knowing the child’s age is not a permissible defense. The lawyers of Boyle and Jasari, are here for you and can discuss potential legal solutions and strategies.

What Are Romeo and Juliet Laws?

The Romeo and Juliet law, or a Close in Age Exemption Law, allows teenagers who are close in age to give their mutual consent to engage in sexual activity. Some states in the United States have implemented this law to help protect teenagers from facing serious criminal charges who choose to engage in consensual sex, but just happen to be below the legal age of consent. Romeo and Juliet laws provide an affirmative defense against these charges. Their intent is to prevent these individuals from facing unfair repercussions such as having to register as sex offenders. 

How Do Romeo and Juliet Laws Apply and Not Apply to Statutory Rape Cases?

Romeo and Juliet laws can apply to statutory rape cases when both individuals who engaged in consensual sexual activity are between the ages of 13 and 19. Romeo and Juliet laws typically mandate an age gap between the older alleged offender and the younger alleged victim. The specific age gap varies by state. 

If Romeo and Juliet laws apply to your case, they may have the ability to get your case completely dropped, significantly reduce the charges (from a felony to a misdemeanor), prevent you from having to register as a sex offender, and potentially give you the chance to have your record expunged after you have served time.

In Washington DC, Romeo and Juliet laws can apply to the statutory rape case as long as the sexual relationship is consensual and the age gap between the alleged offender and alleged victim is under four years. Under Washington DC law, a person has committed sexual abuse to a child, if the offender is more than four years older than the alleged victim. This would mean a high school junior who engages in sexual activity with a high school sophomore could avoid facing criminal prosecution if the sexual relationship was consensual. However, if one person in the relationship is 15 and the other is 20, the 20-year-old may still face criminal prosecution due to the larger age gap between the two.

There is one important exception in Washington DC. Romeo and Juliet laws do not apply during an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. A minor, under Washington DC law, is defined as a person under the age of 18. If a person over the age of 18 years old engages in sexual activity with a person under 18 years old, the adult can face criminal charges. For example, in the case of a consensual sexual relationship between a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old, Romeo and Juliet laws will not apply and the 19-year-old can be convicted of a crime.

Contact Boyle and Jasari

If you or a loved one has been accused of statutory rape, the Washington DC statutory rape attorneys at Boyle and Jasari have the experience and expertise needed to advocate on your behalf. Contact our offices for an evaluation of your case today or call (202) 860-3007