The term “date rape” refers to an alleged forced sexual encounter between two people with a pre-existing relationship.  The two people can be actually dating or may even just be friends who interact in social situations.  Many people believe that accusations of date rape are not as serious as accusations of rape between strangers, and that they may face lesser consequences if the sexual encounter was with someone with whom they had some type of previous relationship.  This is not the case, however, as date rape accusations in Pennsylvania are charged and prosecuted as violations of the same law as stranger rape.  Therefore, if you are facing date rape allegations, you face the same potential consequences as any other accused rapist.  Rape is a first degree felony and defendants charged with rape may face up to 20 years in prison and up to $25,000 in possible fines.  For this reason, if you believe you may be facing a date rape accusation, it is imperative that you seek the help of an experienced Philadelphia sex crimes attorney as soon as possible.

Though defendants face the same type of charge, defending an alleged date rape can even be more complicated than a stranger rape case under some circumstances.  In date rape situations, the alleged victim was usually voluntarily spending time with you.  However, that does not automatically mean they consented to having sex.  Furthermore, date rape situations often happen at parties or other social events, which usually involve alcohol.  Alcohol can lower a person’s inhibitions and cloud their judgment, so you may believe you were having a consensual interaction when the other person disagrees.  Additionally, if the alleged victim was too intoxicated to reasonably know what was going on, it may negate consent, even if you thought she knew what was happening.  Other cases may involve allegations of the defendant using a “date rape drug” to render the alleged victim unconscious.

Regardless of the circumstances of your case, if you wait to contact an attorney, important evidence may be overlooked or destroyed.  Therefore, you should contact experienced criminal defense attorney Brian Zeiger at The Zeiger Firm as soon as possible so he can start building your defense.  Call today at (215) 546-0340 to schedule a consultation.

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