A rape charge refers to individuals who have had sex when one of the parties had not consented. These charges and accusations are a very serious matter and can land you with up to 25 years in prison within Australia. If you have sexually penetrated an individual without their consent then you are guilty of these charges. Sexual penetration includes all forms including vaginal, anal and oral. These charges and accusations can be committed by and against both women and men.
Due to how serious these charges are it is important that you are familiar with rape lawyers in Melbourne and all of the facts surrounding these situations. Before you enlist the services of a rape lawyer in Melbourne you should read into the law and what classifies as rape due to changes that happen within the law. Below we are going to look at what information you should be aware of beforehand.
Changes in the law need to be monitored
The laws around sexual penetration without consent are constantly changing so it is important that you are up to date when you are looking for rape lawyers in Melbourne. A common example used to show the changing of this field is the Crimes Act of 1991 for Victoria stated that a woman could not be guilty of the sexual penetration of another person. Since then this is no longer the case due to how our understandings of these situations has grown.
Familiarise yourself with the statutory provisions
According to the Crimes Act of 1958 for Victoria, a person has committed rape if they have:
- Sexually penetrated another person intentionally; and
- Done so without the other party’s consent; and
- They do not believe that the other party had not reasonably consented to the penetration.
Many people are confused and only think you are guilty if a man inserts his penis in a woman’s vagina. However that is not the case as any expert rape lawyer in Melbourne will tell you that it can include the insertion of any body part or object into another party’s body without their consent.
Possible defences used by rape lawyers in Melbourne
The stipulations for these types of case and charges are very serious but innocent people do get often get wrongly charged. These types of lawyers have seen situations where people who have been wrongly committed are relieved of all charges. Some common defence scenarios include the following:
The potential victim is lying
False charges are usually led by anger and jealousy to get back at someone. It happens more frequently than you may think with two studies done by the United States of America and the United Kingdom found that approximately 10 percent of all allegations were false. Due to this nature it is common for your attorney to take this strategy.
Confused with someone else
In situations where the victim and the accused didn’t know each other, this strategy is normally used. Innocent people may be falsely accused in scenarios where there is poor lighting or photo line-ups being present in a prejudicial manner. All these little factors can add up to a scenario of mistaken identity. Additionally if the allegations are coming out years after the act took place, the complainant could just be blatantly wrong.
As previously mentioned, these charges are only deemed the act if penetration was to occur. If both parties admit that there was some sexual contact but the act of penetration didn’t occur, the accused could be acquitted of all charges.