When you are charged with a serious criminal offense, you need a skilled defense lawyer who believes in your rights and aggressively fights for your freedom. Richmond criminal defense attorney Cody Villon takes a personal interest in each client and will be there for you through the entire legal process, doing whatever it takes to get the best results possible. Call him today for a free and confidential consultation.
Our Rape Defense Lawyer in Richmond Fights for You
In Virginia, rape is considered one of the most serious crimes that can be committed, and the consequences are severe. In addition to prison, a conviction carries a terrible stigma and leads to mandated registration as a sex offender and a criminal record that may negatively impact education, career, housing possibilities, benefits, and family and social relationships for a lifetime.
If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with rape, your life and your future are at stake, so you should not attempt to fight these charges without legal assistance. While prosecutors will seek the maximum penalties, a skilled law firm who knows how to navigate the justice system and may be able to avoid conviction and its multiple consequences.
Rape defense attorney Cody Villalon has been successfully helping people who have been accused of serious crimes for over 12 years. He knows the local courts, the Richmond prosecutors, and how the system works. He will explore all defense options to fight for your rights and your freedom.
Why Choose Cody Villalon?
There are many criminal attorneys in Virginia, and it is in your best interest to choose someone you not only feel comfortable with, but who has the experience and resources to get the best outcome possible for your case. Here are some reasons why we believe Cody Villalon is your best choice:
- We are experienced. Cody has dedicated his practice to criminal defense. He possesses more than 12 years of legal experience, has defended more than 1,000 cases, and has spent more than 5,000 hours in court.
- We care about our clients. Cody is a hard-working solo practitioner who takes a personal interest in every case and genuinely cares about his clients’ well-being.
- You will be working directly with Cody. He believes that everyone charged with a crime is guaranteed rights under the law and deserves to be treated with basic human dignity. He never hands off his cases to another lawyer.
- We are available 24/7 for client emergencies.
- We offer a free consultation to analyze your case and determine the best way to move forward.
Delaying can only make your situation worse, so take the first step in protecting your rights by calling Cody today.
How Our Rape Defense Attorney Can Help You
Cody Villalon knows how important it is to start your defense immediately, before evidence can be destroyed. When you have our firm on your side, we will start working for you right away. We will:
- Meet with you to discuss your charges, listen to your version of what happened, and determine the approach to your defense
- Investigate your case and gather evidence such as from surveillance photos and videos, police reports and records, and interviews with witnesses and first responders
- Examine the facts of your arrest and available evidence to look for mistakes made by the police or prosecution in the handling of your case and the chain of evidence, and for violations of your rights
- Prepare you for all hearings and court appearances so you know what to expect and how to act and prevent you from saying or doing anything that would hurt your case
- Make sure all forms are filed correctly and court appearances are made in a timely manner and that you meet all requirements
- Take depositions from witnesses and arresting officers
- Negotiate and plea bargain with prosecutors for a lesser charge or to have your case dismissed
- Take your case to court and litigate aggressively on your behalf
- File any appeals if necessary.
Being arrested and charged with rape does not have to mean you’ll be found guilty. With the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows Virginia criminal and constitutional law, you may have a basis for a rape defense that can allow you to obtain favorable results.
Rape Defense Lawyer Explains Rape under Virginia Law
According to Virginia Code Section 18.2-61, it is generally considered rape when someone has sexual intercourse or causes the person to engage in sexual intercourse against the person’s will by force, threat, or intimidation, or through the mental or physical incapacitation of the person. The person may or not be a spouse.
There may be aggravating or mitigating factors in rape cases. These factors are critically examined by a Richmond felony lawyer and depend on the amount of violence that is used, the age of the individual, if any weapons were involved, or if the act was committed during the commission of another type of felony. They also consider if it was against the complaining witness and another person through the use of incapacity, or against a person under age 13.
Rape charges generally fit into one of the following categories:
- Standard rape: through a sexual act involving threat, force, or intimidation of the individual or another party, such as through a threat to harm someone’s child.
- Statutory rape: sexual intercourse with someone who is under the age of 15, even if both parties claim to be in a consenting relationship. Rape cases that involve children who are less than 13 years old typically result in a simultaneous civil investigation by child protection services.
- Date rape: unwanted sexual intercourse with someone who cannot give consent, such as while the person is unconscious or incapacitated.
- Marital rape: forcible, non-consensual intercourse between two married individuals.
- Gang rape: when a group, usually three people or more, rapes a single victim.
In addition to rape, there are other sex crimes that can be charged in Virginia. The difference is that rape cases typically involve violence as well as a sexual act, and other sex crimes, such as child pornography cases, may involve no physical act at all.
Rape Penalties And Aggravating Factors
Conviction for one of the rape offenses in Virginia can bring a sentence of a minimum of 5 years to life in prison. If a child under 13 is involved and the accused is more than three years older, the mandatory minimum sentence is 25 years. It can also be an aggravating factor if the rape involved the use or threat of a weapon.
Richmond Rape Defense Lawyer Knows Defenses
To win a conviction for rape, the Commonwealth would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the sexual act took place against the complaining party’s will by force, threat, or intimidation, or through the mental or physical incapacitation of the person. Prosecutors will attempt to use DNA or forensic evidence such as fingerprints, hair samples, sweat samples, or blood samples, to prove that the rape did take place, as well as testimony from the party claiming they were raped, eyewitness testimony from other witnesses, and admissions from the accused.
Rape cases are complicated because the issue may come down to whether the person was forced to have sex or whether there was consent. In order to defend against these charges, your knowledgeable attorney would have to question the credibility of the complaining party, build up your character and credibility, and examine the credibility of anyone taking the stand in support of either version of the situation. In addition, possible defenses to rape include:
- The sex was consensual: Rape cases often involve “he said – she said” where one party claims there was consent and the complaining party denies it. Claiming consent will not work if the victim is a minor who is legally considered to be unable to give consent to sex, or if the victim was intoxicated, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.
- There was no sexual activity: This defense can be used in situations where there is no direct evidence or DNA test to show that you had sex or when the complaining party refuses to testify.
- There was no force, intimidation, or threat: For a sex crime to qualify as rape, the prosecution must prove the victim was intimidated or forced into the act. This is difficult to prove if there is no physical evidence or injuries.
- Mental unfitness during the act: If you can prove you were mentally ill during the act, it may result in leniency or a plea bargain.
- Mistaken identity: This defense can be used if a DNA test shows that you did not have sex, or you have a witness to testify you were not at the crime scene during the incident.
Cody Villalon will examine the circumstances of your case to come up with the best defense strategies for your individual situation.
Lawyer for Rape Charges Answers FAQs
Being faced with rape charges is a frightening experience, and it’s natural to have concerns and wonder just what you are up against. Your individual concerns will be best answered at your free consultation, but to get started, here are some answers to questions Cody Villalon is often asked:
Will I Be Required to Register as a Sex Offender if Convicted?
Yes, if convicted, you are required to register as a sex offender, and failure to do so is a separate offense that can lead to further restrictions and having to check in with the police regularly.
Should I make a plea deal?
Prosecutors are reluctant to give plea deals in rape cases, unless they lack evidence for a conviction. Before you agree to a plea deal, let Cody Villalon examine all circumstances of your case, explain everything involved, and tell you whether a plea deal is a good idea.
What is a rape kit?
A rape kit is the physical evidence of the alleged crime and includes evidence such as semen, saliva, or hair that might procure a DNA match.
Is there a statute of limitations for filing Virginia rape cases?
No. Cases of serious crimes such as rape and murder do not have time limits for filing because cases may take a long time to solve, and prosecutors will not allow a violent criminal off on such a technicality. Cases such as sexual abuse have an extended statute of limitations of up to 20 years after reporting the case.
How much does it cost to hire a rape defense lawyer?
Legal fees vary, depending on the seriousness of the charges, the evidence against you, and the complexity and what will be involved to resolve the case. Your initial consultation is free, and we will then work out a fee structure that allows the best outcome for your case.
When you have Cody working for you, he will be there to address your questions and concerns throughout the entire legal process.
Rape Defense Attorney Knows Your Rights
Both the U.S. Constitution and the Virginia Constitution help protect the rights of individuals accused of crimes. Cody Villalon knows that you have many rights under the law, and violations, including those that might warrant a probation violation lawyer, can lead to a dismissal of your case. These rights include:
- The right to remain silent and not answer questions by police unless an attorney is present
- The right to refuse to say anything to incriminate yourself
- The right to confront witnesses against you
- The rights to discovery of any evidence against you, including any tests performed and information on any expert witnesses the prosecution intends to use
- The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures is fundamental, and if you’re facing concerns in this area, consulting a Richmond search and seizure lawyer might be advisable
- The right to have a public, speedy jury trial by an impartial jury
- The right to be represented by an attorney.
We will aggressively fight to make sure all your rights are upheld and use any violations to get your charges lowered or your case dismissed.
Call Cody Villalon to Defend Rape Charges
Cody Villalon believes that we are all guaranteed rights under the law, but they exist only as long as there are people that are willing to defend them. He provides skilled, aggressive legal representation to ensure that his clients have been treated fairly.
“If you ever need help, look no further, this is the only phone call you need to make. Cody is the best; he goes above and beyond and there’s no one else I’d rather have in my corner fighting for me than him.” – Asher Casazza (Google Review)