Rape Defence Solicitors

Have you been accused of rape?

At Lawtons, we have a specialist team of criminal defence solicitors with the expertise and experience to successfully represent you in any sexual offence case. We also work in close conjunction with leading historical sex crime barristers and can provide the advice you need.

You need specialist rape defence lawyers for the best legal representation

It is vital that you receive the best possible legal advice and representation from specialist rape defence lawyers. Rape offences ‒ including marital rape, sexual offences, historical sexual abuse offences and indecent assault offences ‒ are all extremely serious crimes that can result in a significant prison term.

The law was changed in 2003 by the introduction of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, which replaced the previous legislation of the Sexual Offences Act 1956. For those offences allegedly committed before 2003, they will be governed by the old law. Historic sexual offences are dealt with under the old law.

What is the legal UK definition of rape? 

Rape, along with sexual assault and assault by penetration, is one of the three most common sexual crimes covered by the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Rape is defined under Section 1 of the Act as one person’s intentional penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth with the penis, whereby the other person has not consented to the act.

According to the law, only a man can commit rape, as the illegal penetration must be with a penis.

What are the sentences for rape and assault by penetration? 

Rape is an indictable only offence, which means that an allegation can only be heard in the Crown Court. A conviction for rape carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The maximum sentence, if convicted of the sexual offence of assault by penetration, is life imprisonment. The maximum sentence for sexual assault is a term of 10 years’ imprisonment.

In addition to a prison sentence, the courts are also able to impose requirements on an individual to sign the Sex Offenders Register and abide by the terms of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO).

At Lawtons Solicitors, we have an experienced team of prison law solicitors that have the knowledge and expertise to offer you specialist advice in respect of these orders.

We are also able to advise on cases of historic rape and sexual abuse, plus offences involving the possession or distribution of indecent images.

What should you do if you are accused of rape?

If you are accused of rape, assault by penetration or sexual assault, it is crucial that you are represented by someone who is an expert in this complex and very serious area of law. The consequences of a conviction for rape offences are very grave and will often have life-changing effects for the person accused and those around them.

What defence is there against rape allegations?

The prosecution must persuade the jury or magistrates that the alleged victim was ‘sure’ or ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that the rape happened. So the most common defence to rape allegations is that the events described by the complainant did not happen. It is therefore vital that evidence is gathered by the rape allegations defence solicitors immediately. Any object of evidence, the character of the defendant, the surrounding circumstances, and why the complaint was made could all be used in the defence. False allegations and false rape accusations are deeply distressing, but with a rape defence lawyer to support you, the truth will come out.

We’re on your side

Based in London and the South-east, we offer discreet and understanding advice for anyone accused of a sexual offence.

At a time that is highly stressful and often frightening, we are there to listen to you, support and guide you. Any form of sexual offence is highly sensitive and we take the utmost care when dealing with your case.

If you need expert legal advice on your case, contact us to see how we can help you achieve the best outcome.

FAQs about Rape Offences

What does consent mean in sex offences?

Consent is to give agreement to any sexual activity. It is necessary to show that the accused believed that the other party genuinely consented. Consent is an issue to consider when the case involves adults, but not children.

Can someone consent if they are drunk?

Yes, it is possible for an adult to consent to sexual activity when they have chosen to consume alcohol. The issue is whether they remain able to give their consent after drinking alcohol. If they voluntarily consumed alcohol but remain capable of choosing whether to consent to sexual activity, there is no criminal offence. If however, someone is too drunk to consent (for example, incoherant, drowsy, unbalanced, vomiting), they are legally incapacitated.

Will telephone and social media evidence be relevant?

Yes, it is becoming more common for text messages and relevant social media posts to be used as evidence. The police will often seize any mobile devices and download evidence, which can be unnerving and upsetting. If you find yourself in this situation, you should have legal representation as soon as possible. Some believe they don’t need legal help as they are innocent, but it is vital that you get the best legal advice whatever the circumstances, so that you don’t say anything you regret later.