Rape

The Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys at Intermountain Legal represent clients accused of serious crimes in Utah, including rape and other sexual offenses.

Understanding Rape Charges in Utah

As defined by the Utah Criminal Code, a person commits rape when the actor has sexual intercourse with another person without the victim’s consent. It applies to any situation in which consent is lacking, regardless of whether the actor is married to the victim. Rape is classified as a first degree felony and, unlike many offenses in Utah, is subject to mandatory minimum sentencing requirements.

As a starting point, rape is punishable by a prison term of no less than five years to life. If the court finds that the defendant caused serious bodily injury to another in the course of committing the rape, the sentence increases to 15 years to life; and if the court finds that the defendant was previously convicted of a grievous sexual offense at the time the rape was committed, the sentence becomes life without parole. As with most sex offenses, a person convicted of rape must also register as a sex offender.

Because Utah promotes an intermediate sentencing system for most charges, which emphasizes individualized sentencing, there is some leeway for judiciary discretion despite these sentencing requirements. For example, even if the court finds that the defendant seriously injured another during the commission of a rape, the sentence may be lessened to 10 years to life or six years to life if it is in the interests of justice. The court will look at factors such as:

  • The defendant’s prior history of offenses
  • The vulnerability of the victim
  • The relationship between the defendant and the victim
  • Cooperation with law enforcement
  • Whether the defendant is a good candidate for a recognized treatment program
  • Developmental disabilities

With factors such as these at issue, criminal records, psychological profiles, possible motives, character witnesses, and other circumstantial information must be assessed and leveraged to develop a strong defense. Our attorneys are equipped with the knowledge and resources to conduct an in depth investigation and thoroughly prepare for negotiations or trial.

Seek Experienced, Effective Representation

Given the life-altering legal and personal consequences involved with a rape conviction, it is essential to retain knowledgeable representation to defend against the charges. Contact Intermountain Legal today for honest, straightforward advice from an experienced attorney. During your free initial consultation we will discuss your options and provide valuable insight into your situation.