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Facing an allegation of rape?

Rape and Attempted Rape Defence Solicitors

Lawyers specialising in allegations of rape

Clifford Johnston & Co. has over 35 years’ experience of defending allegations of rape.

Allegations of rape and attempted rape are extremely serious and, therefore, it is crucial that you choose a law firm with sufficient expertise and a proven track record in these types of cases.

Clifford Johnston and Co. has a team of sexual offences lawyers with the knowledge and skill to advise and represent you. We recommend that you seek expert legal advice as soon as you become aware that an allegation of rape and/or any other sexual offence has been made against you.

What is rape?

Rape is defined in law under Section 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. A person commits rape if he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with his penis, where the other person does not consent to the penetration and he does not reasonably believe that consent was given.

Related charges include:

  • attempted rape;
  • assault by penetration.

Consent

Rape and sexual offences often hinge on the question of consent, which can be a complex issue. Consent may be affected by the age of the complainant, any mental illness and what is known as capacity. For example, a person’s capacity/freedom to consent may be affected by drugs or alcohol.

What is the maximum sentence for rape?

The maximum sentence for rape, attempted rape and assault by penetration is life imprisonment although this sentence is reserved for the most heinous crimes.

The sentencing guidelines counsel sets out guidance that the Court must consider, when dealing with individuals who have either pleaded guilty or have been convicted of offences of a sexual nature.

Aggravating factors include:

  • abduction or detention;
  • use of alcohol or drugs on the victim;
  • abuse of trust;
  • sustained attack;
  • violence and/or threats of violence;
  • forced entry;
  • severe physical or psychological harm;
  • premeditation and planning;
  • multiple offenders acting together;
  • recording of the incident.

I’ve been accused of rape, what happens next?

Seek immediate legal advice. As soon as you become aware that you have been accused of rape, you should seek immediate legal advice. You may be arrested or invited to attend a police interview voluntarily. In either case, legal representation should be a priority.

Do not contact the complainant in any way and resist the temptation to attempt to solve the issue yourself. This rarely ends well. Any attempt to contact the complainant would be viewed very seriously by the police and could lead to further allegations of witness intimidation. It could also lead to you being remanded into custody.

If you have been falsely accused, it is essential that your case is meticulously prepared.

Even if you intend to plead guilty, it is very important that you obtain legal advice from a specialist lawyer with significant experience of sexual offences.

What happens if I am arrested for rape?

If you are arrested, you will be taken to the police station and you will be asked whether you want a solicitor. The police will then contact the solicitor that you have requested or, if you do not know any, the duty solicitor will be instructed on your behalf. The solicitor will then attend the police station, obtain disclosure from the police and then advise you in private. These conversations are confidential.

Your solicitor will obtain your instructions and then advise you as to your options which, in general, are (i) answer questions (ii) submit a prepared statement or (iii) remain silent and answer no comment to all questions.

I’ve been asked to attend a voluntary interview in relation to an allegation of rape, what should I do?

If you have been invited to the police station for a voluntary interview, you should contact a solicitor of your choosing and they will attend the station with you.

Can I change my solicitor?

If you have been given a solicitor or have chosen one that you feel is not best placed to represent you, it is perfectly acceptable to seek alternative representation. If you wish to change your solicitor, you can do so. It is important that you feel comfortable with your solicitor given the gravity of these types of allegations. Instructing a specialist solicitor, who takes a proactive approach, can sometimes make the difference between you being prosecuted or not.

I’ve been interviewed about an allegation of rape, what happens next?

Following your interview, several things could happen. You could be charged and either bailed to attend Court at a later date or remanded into custody. Alternatively, and most likely, you may be bailed to re attend the police station or released under investigation whilst the police complete their investigations.

Accused of rape – can I be named in the press?

It is possible that you may be identified by the media (provided that you are aged 18 or over and that identifying you will not lead to the identification of the complainant). The complainant has the right to anonymity throughout their lifetime, unless the court lifts the restriction.

Is there a time limit to being prosecuted for rape?

There is no time limit on being prosecuted for rape in the UK. When deciding whether to prosecute you, the Crown Prosecution Service must apply their Code of Conduct. The prosecutor must apply the 2-stage test, namely:

  • Is their sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction? and;
  • Is it in the public interest to prosecute?

Clifford Johnston & Co. – Specialist rape defence solicitors

If you have been accused of rape, attempted rape or assault by penetration it is vital that you choose a solicitor with experience and a comprehensive understanding of this area of law.

At Clifford Johnston & Co, we are committed to making sure that you are afforded the best possible defence. We have an excellent reputation in defending sexual allegations and an impressive track record of acquittals in the Crown Court.

We will give you clear, straightforward, strategic advice and we will keep you fully informed at each stage of the process.

If you choose Clifford Johnston & Co, we can:

  • Represent you at the police station;
  • Offer you specialist expert advice and assistance throughout your case;
  • Draft and submit written representations to the police prior to a charging decision;
  • Prepare your case for trial;
  • Represent and defend you in court;
  • Protect your reputation - We have years of experience in managing situations like this with tact and sensitivity, offering support and advice to you.
  • Advise you, if necessary, on the appeals process
  • Advise you in relation to ancillary orders such as Sexual Risk Orders, Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Offences Notification Requirements.

Clifford Johnston & Co. are a specialist criminal defence firm with offices in Manchester and Stockport, albeit we regularly act for clients across the United Kingdom.

Contact us

Clifford Johnston & Co has a team of experienced sexual offences lawyers. We understand the emotional toll that this will take on you and will work proactively for you at each stage to make sure that you understand the process and what options are available to you.

We can liaise with the police on your behalf, advise you through the interview process, represent you in court and put forward a strong, robust defence.

We also have a track record of successfully defending clients facing rape allegations, so contact us today for an initial consultation, immediate representation, and expert advice.

We know that our help can make a real difference to your case.

 

 

 

 

 

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