Few crimes carry with them the negative stigma that a sex offense does. Even the allegation that you have committed a sex offense such as rape can be enough to destroy your work, social, and even family life. If you have been accused of the crime of rape in Nebraska you are facing serious penalties if convicted; however, try to keep in mind that there is a huge difference between being charged with a crime and being convicted of a crime. Only an experienced Nebraska criminal defense attorney can review the unique facts and circumstances of your case and provide you with individualized advice regarding what defenses might be available in your case; however, knowing what some common defenses to rape are may put your mind just a little bit more at ease.
- Consent – Consent is by far the most common defense. Consent simply means that the alleged victim agreed to the sexual conduct. Keep in mind, however, that the alleged victim must be over the age of consent (17 in Nebraska) in order to legally give consent. Therefore, even if the alleged victim initiated the sexual conduct, if he/she was under the age of consent at the time you cannot claim consent as a defense.
- Conduct never occurred – this simply alleges that the conduct on which the allegations of rape are based never happened.
- Mistaken identity – when the alleged victim was attacked by a stranger, mistaken identity can occur. You could, for example, have been picked out of a line up or photp array simply because you have the same basic physical characteristics as the actual perpetrator.
- Insanity – lack of the requisite mens rea, or state of mind, necessary to commit the crime is always a legitimate defense to a crime.
- Illegal search and seizure – rape cases are often won or lost based on physical evidence. If that evidence was obtained as a result of an illegal search and seizure you may be able to suppress the evidence, meaning it cannot be introduced at trial.
- Victim motivation – care must be taken to ensure that you don’t “blame the victim”; however, the reality is that “victims’ sometimes have ulterior motives to claim rape. If, for example, you broke up with the alleged victim just prior to the alleged rape and he/she vowed to “get you back”, you might have a valid defense.
If you have been charged with the criminal offense of rape, or another sex offense, in Nebraska you are facing serious penalties if convicted. Contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.