In the state of California, committing a sexual act with a non-consenting spouse is handled as a felony rape charge. The main difference between this and other rape charges is that spousal rape also falls under the umbrella of domestic violence, and thus a defendant in a spousal rape case may face the consequences of both rape and domestic violence convictions.
If convicted, the defendant in such a case may face consequences including spending years in prison or on probation, up to $10,000 in fines, and being on a sexual offender registry for the rest of his or her life. In addition to pressing charges in a criminal case, many victims of spousal rape will seek a divorce or at least a separation from their abuser.
Proving Spousal Rape
In order to prove spousal rape in a criminal trial, the prosecutor must prove the following:
- That you and your spouse engaged in sexual activity
- That at that time, you and your spouse were married
- That you did not wish for this sexual activity to take place
- That you were coerced into engaging in this activity through fear or force, or you could not consent at the time of the activity
In addition to criminal charges for spousal rape, many victims will also contact a qualified divorce attorney and cite spousal rape and / or domestic violence as grounds for divorce. If you are looking to divorce an abusive spouse, you need aggressive and caring legal support.
If you have been a victim of spousal rape, protecting yourself and your family from an abusive spouse is the most important thing you can do right now, and we are here to help. Contact the Oceanside domestic violence lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, at 760-722-7646 today.