Even an experienced Buffalo criminal defense lawyer may find the numerous different sex offenses in the New York State Penal Law difficult to follow.
Offenses classified as “rape” require the performance of actual sexual intercourse.
Rape in the Third Degree is the lowest level of criminal offense involving sexual intercourse.
The reason this charge is considered less serious than other forms of rape is because it involves a lack of ability to consent, not the use of force.
It may be charged when someone twenty-one or older has sexual intercourse with a person less than seventeen years old, as the younger person cannot legally consent.
It may also be charged when a person cannot consent for any other reason, such as a mental disability sufficient to render the person incapable of consenting, or being unconscious.
When the charge is based on the age of the victim, it is not a defense that the defendant did not know the victim’s age.
When lack of consent is based on mental disability or incapacity, however, the defendant’s lack of awareness of the victim’s condition may be raised as a defense.
If you have been charged with a sex offense and need legal advice, call us at 716-542-5444 to discuss your case.