Defenses for Assault to Commit Rape

Posted by Ronald D. HeddingOct 18, 2023

California Penal Code 220 PC assault to commit a felony is a commonly charged crime where the authorities claim that you assaulted or accosted somebody and attempted to rape the person. 

The rape is not effectuated.  They would also charge Penal Code 261 PC rape if it doesn't happen.  The defense to this that I mainly see utilized is that the alleged victim consented to your actions. 

In other words, you went on a date.  You attempted to become romantic with the other person, and then they rebuffed your advances, and therefore, you weren't trying to rape the person; you simply were taking the next step in a consensual encounter. 

That's a pretty good defense if the surrounding circumstances stack up properly.  There wouldn't be any injuries to the alleged victim if it were a consensual situation.

If you don't rape the person and you don't force the person to have sex, then it starts to become a problem for the prosecutors to prove this charge of assault with intent to commit rape.

Review of Case Details

Another thing you want to look at when you're trying to defend these cases is the following:

  • What happened in the case?
  • How do you know the person?
  • Why are they making these allegations against you?

Once we get to the bottom of that, we can start building the defense to help you. What I have you do is come into the privacy of my office. 

We talk about all of the facts and details of the case, your relationship and background with the alleged victim, and then decide what we will do to defend the case properly. 

Preliminary Hearing

We can set the case for a preliminary hearing.  They usually will call the alleged victim into the court.  I will get the opportunity to cross-examine them and bring up some of the points that make sense for our side of the story. 

Maybe there are text messages between the two of you that are inconsistent with you trying to rape anybody before or after the encounter between you and this individual.  Maybe some witnesses saw you two together becoming intimate, and there was no force. 

Maybe there's a circumstance explaining why this individual claims you did something illegal to them.  So, we will look at all of the defenses available.

Guiding You Through the Process

Of course, depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding your case, I will use my 30 years of experience to help guide you through the process to make the right moves so that you don't take a case to trial that you will lose. 

We want to ensure that you've got the facts and circumstances to defend an assault with intent to commit rate case versus you can't win the case because there's evidence of an injury.

For example, they've got other independent evidence proving you're guilty; in that circumstance, we will want to sit down with the prosecutors, mitigate the case, and work out some resolution.

So, if you or a loved one is charged with Penal Code Section 220 – assault with intent to commit rape – pick up the phone now.  Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.  I stand at the ready to help you.

Related Content: