Marital rape is a tricky charge because it is often times asserted in contemplation of divorce. It can be exceedingly difficult to prove a marital rape case. State law varies as to how marital rape cases are prosecuted, but under some jurisdictions marital rape is a felony charge and punished as seriously as any other rape case.
Penalties for a Marital Rape Conviction
Having sex with your spouse against her will constitutes marital rape. Your spouse does not have to have sex with you just because you are married. You should discuss the sentencing probability in your case should conviction result with your attorney.
While the penalties for a conviction will depend on a number of factors, penalties for a marital rape conviction can include:
- Mandatory probation;
- Fines of up to $10,0000 (more in some states;
- Lifetime duty to register as a sexual offender;
- Imprisonment; and
- Other penalties within the law under your jurisdiction.
An prior convictions can greatly increase the punishment scheme for marital rape. If your spouse suffered bodily injury, additional sentencing enhancements may apply to increase the sentencing structure.
Defenses to Marital Rape Charges
In many rape and marital rape cases, the court case is largely a he said she said battle. That is because sexual acts are generally kept private and between two people. If there are few or no witnesses in your marital rape case, you will need to try to show that your wife has some motivation to accuse you of such a horrible action.
Sometimes when marriages are failing, accusations start flying because of all the hurt and anger people feel when things do not work out the way they wanted them to work out. Establishing the reason why your spouse may have made false accusations and uncovering motivations for her testimony can strengthen your case.
One potential defense or strategy in your case is pointing to lack of evidence if there is not strong evidence to show that you raped your spouse.
Getting Legal Help
If you are dealing with a marital rape case, getting the help of a criminal defense attorney is extremely important. Because it is a difficult case to prove in many circumstances, you have a good chance of beating the charges with the right legal help. An attorney can help you build a case, gather evidence, prepare for trial and negotiate with the prosecution regarding the charges.