13 Reasons Why is currently making waves as a much watch Netflix Original Series. But would you believe that there are at least 13 offences committed throughout the 13 episodes? Over the next 6 days I will be continuing to post blogs about the 13 different offences I have found and what could happen should you be arrested or charged with them.
The below images can be found on the Sentencing Council Website here.
8. Rape (Section 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003)
The offence of Rape is an Indictable Only offence and therefore can only be tried in the Crown Court. The maximum penalty of a Rape offence is one of life imprisonment.
Rape matters are extremely complex and there can be a lot of aggravating features such as if the victim is a vulnerable person (i.e. a child or someone with any disabilities), if there was use of any weapons or even if the Defendant already has some previous convictions, especially if they are of a similar nature.
Below are three categories that a Rape offence can fall under and the Court will take all of these factors into consideration.
The Court will always take into consideration any early guilty pleas and a reduction in sentence is highly likely to be given in the event of an early guilty plea. This means that a potential sentence can be reduced by as much as a third.
If you are convicted of Rape it is almost certain that you will be sentenced to a term of imprisonment. This can range from 4 years to 19 years’ imprisonment with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for the most serious of cases.
The Court will also take into consideration any mitigating features, for example; if the Defendant is of good character, has no previous convictions and even if the Defendant has any mental health issues especially relating to this type of offence.
A Rape Trial can be an extremely long process as both sides will want to obtain witness statements. It is often one person against another and it is essential that both sides gain as much information as possible about the incident and the circumstances surrounding it.
We would seriously recommend that, if you are arrested in relation to an allegation of Rape, you obtain legal representation at the earliest opportunity. We, at Ringrose Law, are able to represent you if you are being interviewed, either on a voluntary basis or if you are arrested. This will always be free of charge as all advice given at the Police Station is covered by the Legal Aid Agency under the Advice and Assistance Scheme. Having legal representation can make all the difference especially so early on in the case.
Being an imprisonable offence means that there is the chance of being eligible for Legal Aid. This means that any representation at the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court could be at no cost to the Defendant as all costs incurred will be met from public funds. (This does depend on the Defendant’s income and financial circumstances). You may need to pay a contribution towards Legal Aid in the Crown Court.