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Spousal Rape (PC 262) Laws in California- IE-Criminal Defense

Inland Empire Criminal Defense: Understanding Spousal Rape in California

Legal Definition:

“(a) Rape of a person who is the spouse of the perpetrator is an act of sexual intercourse accomplished under any of the following circumstances:

      (1). Where it is accomplished against a person’s will by means of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the person or another.       (2). Where a person is prevented from resisting by any intoxicating or anesthetic substance, or any controlled substance, and this condition was known, or reasonably should have been known, by the accused.      (3). Where a person is at the time unconscious of the nature of the act, and this is known to the accused….”


Spousal rape is a serious offense in the State of California, and it’s essential to comprehend its legal definition and implications. Under PC 262, spousal rape refers to sexual intercourse without the consent of one’s spouse. This crime encompasses various circumstances, including the use of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate bodily harm or injury to oneself or others.

To be found guilty of spousal rape, the prosecution must prove two elements:

  • Sexual intercourse was conducted without the other person’s consent.
  • The accused person was married to the victim at the time of the sexual encounter.

Understanding the Elements of Spousal Rape

The act of spousal rape can occur under the following circumstances:

  1. Use of force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate bodily injury.
  2. Administration of an intoxicating or anesthetic substance that prevents the victim from resisting, and the accused knew or should have known about this condition.
  3. Engaging in sexual intercourse when the victim is unconscious and the accused is aware of this.

Exploring the Nuances of Spousal Rape Charges

Spousal rape charges involve complex factors that can lead to false accusations. These can arise from jealousy, anger due to infidelity, or attempts to gain advantage in a divorce proceeding.

It’s important to understand that consent is crucial in any sexual encounter, even within a marital relationship. Our Inland Empire Criminal Defense team is here to ensure that your rights are protected if you have been accused of spousal rape. Contact us today for a strong defense.

Penalties: Know the Consequences of Spousal Rape in California

If you’re convicted of Spousal Rape (PC 262) in California, you’ll be facing serious penalties. This felony charge could result in a State Prison sentence anywhere from 3 to 8 years, with a minimum requirement of serving 80% of that time in custody. Additionally, you’ll be subjected to lifetime Sex Registration (PC 290) and could be fined up to $10,000 in criminal court. It’s important to note that your spouse can also sue you for emotional harm, potentially leading to civil fines and damages.

These penalties are in addition to any other rape charges you may face. Spousal Rape is considered a strike offense under the California Three Strikes law, which carries severe consequences. Due to the gravity of the crime and the classification as Serious and Violent felonies in California, you may also face the loss of your Professional License and mandatory Deportation in Immigration Court.

Don’t underestimate the severity of these penalties; seek the guidance of an Inland Empire Criminal Defense attorney to protect your rights.

Common Defenses: Protecting Your Rights in Spousal Rape Cases

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Violation of Rights
  3. Insufficient Evidence
  4. Coerced Confessions
  5. False Accusations

Shielding yourself from false accusations of Spousal Rape is crucial, especially during messy breakups. Sometimes, individuals may exploit these situations to gain an advantage over their ex-partners. However, by uncovering the motives behind such allegations, the truth can emerge, revealing holes in the Prosecution’s case.

Consent plays a vital role in defending against Spousal Rape charges. If you have obtained clear consent from your spouse before engaging in sexual activity, it can serve as a powerful defense. It is important to note that if the other person withdraws consent during intercourse, this may still be considered rape. However, their withdrawal must be clearly communicated to you for a conviction to occur. Mere changes of heart, without explicit articulation, cannot lead to a rape charge.

PC 262 Defense Attorney

In California, spousal rape is a severe and aggressively prosecuted sex crime. A conviction under PC 262 almost invariably results in custodial sentences—underscoring the grave nature of this offense. Such a charge can drastically and irrevocably alter the course of your life.

But remember, you have the right to a strong defense.

At Inland Empire Criminal Defense, our dedicated Ontario PC 262 attorney has a proven history of effectively defending clients against serious sex crime charges, including those under PC 262. We are committed to fiercely advocating for your rights, guiding you through the complexities of California’s criminal justice system, and striving for the most favorable outcome possible.

Don’t navigate this daunting legal landscape alone. Reach out to Inland Empire Criminal Defense—your local Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney—today at 909-939-7126. We’re here to stand by your side, offering steadfast legal counsel from our strategically located office in Ontario, California.

Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor should it be considered the formation of a lawyer or attorney-client relationship. If you would like to find out more information about your particular legal matter, contact our office for a consultation.

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