Why are Penalties for Spousal Rape Different From Penalties for Other Types of Rape?

Currently, California is one of only 11 states in the United States that treats spousal rape differently than other types of rape. This may not be the case for long, though, because there are two bills that are being considered by legislators in California that will make the way spousal rape is punished akin to other acts of rape. What this means is that instead of allowing individuals charged with spousal rape to be subject to much softer penalties and more lenient outcomes, the state will hold those perpetrators to the same legal repercussions as any others.

Sexual crimes across the board are taken seriously in California, and the negative stigma that goes along with these charges means that defending against them can be complicated. The courts are not particularly understanding or considerate to an individual facing sexual assault charges. Because of this and due to the far-reaching implications of a guilty verdict, it is critically important that if you have been charged with a sex crime in California you have the best, most knowledgeable legal representation supporting you. 

David M. Boertje is a San Diego sex crime defense attorney who will always fight for a not guilty verdict. As an experienced trial lawyer, even in cases in which a defendant will not have their charges dropped, David M. Boertje will defend you by finding the best possible outcome such as negotiating a favorable plea deal, arguing to have your charges reduced, or finding alternative sentencing options to keep you out of jail.

Why are Spousal Rape Charges Treated Differently in California?

The reason why there is a distinction between spousal rape and other forms of rape goes back to an out-of-date belief that wives should be obedient to their husbands. It was once believed that once married, a husband has rights to his wife’s body and can be sexually satisfied by her even if she does not consent. As time progressed, the thinking about rape between married partners changed and evolved to embrace the idea that women have a right to be free from unwanted sexual advances, no matter who is making them. 

The first man to be taken to criminal court for raping his wife went on trial in 1979. After this happened, charges of spousal rape became more prevalent. Even though rape between married individuals was now a criminal charge, the law still did not treat spousal rape as harshly as other types of sexual abuse where the parties involved were not married. For example, someone found guilty of spousal rape would likely face probation rather than jail time, and in some cases that person would not even have to have to register as a sex offender. 

Speak with a San Diego Sex Offense Attorney Today

Davide M. Boertje, a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will do a comprehensive investigation of your case and scrutinize every aspect and all evidence. Nothing is off of the table. Every piece of forensic evidence will receive a thorough inspection, as will the individuals alleging you committed the crime. Call David M. Boertje today to schedule your free case evaluation at (619) 229-1870 for his San Diego office or (760) 476-0901 for his Carlsbad location.

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