Three main defenses can be used to fight a rape charge: innocenceconsent, and insanity.

Innocence. An innocence claim is a fundamental defense for all crimes, including rape and sexual assault. The innocence defense is simply stating that the defendant did not do the allegedly criminal action. One way an innocence claim can arise is in the context of an alibi defense. With an alibi defense, the defendant asserts that they were at a different location at the time the alleged crime took place. Witnesses can be presented to confirm the defendant’s whereabouts at the time in question. Other evidence such as surveillance footage, store receipts, and vehicle GPS data, can also be used to support the alibi.

A defendant can also claim that they were misidentified by the victim, or that the alleged victim is simply lying, perhaps due to some underlying motive to harm the defendant. If DNA evidence is available, it can help establish with a high degree of certainty whether the defendant was involved or even present at the scene of the alleged crime.

Consent. The focal point of sexual offenses is often consent. Sometimes with this defense, the defendant will not deny having sexual relations with the alleged victim but will assert that those relations were consensual. In the consent defense, it is crucial to establish that the sexual act was not done against the will of the complainant. If the alleged crime involves a child or a teenager under the age of 16, or a person with mental illness, consent is no defense-even if everyone agrees that the activity was consensual. Minors and persons with mental illness cannot legally give consent. Learn more.

Insanity. A defendant can also claim that a mental illness has impaired or affected their ability to use moral judgment, preventing them from ‘seeing’ the act as a crime. In the insanity defense, it must be established that the defendant, at the time the alleged crime took place, suffered from a mental defect and as a result did not understand the nature and consequences of the act, and could not distinguish between right and wrong — and therefore cannot be held responsible for the crime. When a defendant is found not guilty by reason of insanity, that does not end the process. Such a verdict will result in an indefinite civil commitment.

If you are facing rape and sexual assault charges, call to get a free consultation with the attorneys at Marcilliat & Mills PLLC.

State v. B.S.: Not Guilty Verdict in First Degree Murder Case.

In this case, our client was charged with First Degree Murder in connection with a “drive-by” shooting that occurred in Charlotte, NC. The State’s evidence included GPS ankle monitoring data linking our client was at the scene of the crime and evidence that our client confessed to an inmate while in jail. Nonetheless, we convinced a jury to unanimously find our client Not Guilty. He was released from jail the same day.

State v. S.G.: First Degree Murder Charge Dismissed.

Our client was charged with First Degree for the shooting death related to alleged breaking and entering. The State’s evidence included a co-defendant alleging that our client was the shooter. After conducting a thorough investigation with the use of a private investigator, we persuaded the State to dismiss entirely the case against our client.

State v. B.D.: First Degree Murder Charged Dismissed.

After conducting an investigation and communicating with the prosecutor about the facts and circumstances indicating that our client acted in self-defense, the case was dismissed and deemed a justifiable homicide.

State v. I.R.: Reduction from First Degree Murder to Involuntary Manslaughter and Concealment of Death.

Our client was charged with the First Degree Murder of a young lady by drug overdose. After investigating the decedent’s background and hiring a preeminent expert toxicologist to fight the State’s theory of death, we were able to negotiate this case down from Life in prison to 5 years in prison, with credit for time served.

State v. J.G.:

Our client was charged with First Degree Murder related to a “drug deal gone bad.” After engaging the services of a private investigator and noting issues with the State’s case, we were able to negotiate a plea for our client that avoided a Life sentence and required him to serve only 12 years.

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