State laws are very clear: Anyone who engages in sexual activity with a child under the age of 16 can be charged with statutory rape.
This, in legal terms, is a sexual assault charge on a minor. And, in New Hampshire, it does not matter if there was consent because a minor cannot give consent.
If you have been accused of statutory rape, you need to have an experienced criminal defense attorney such as Michael Anzalone on your side. He will work aggressively to protect your best interests. This is a serious, life-changing accusation and the implications of a conviction can be long-lasting.
Don’t hesitate to call The Anzalone Law Firm in Nashua, New Hampshire, once you’ve been arrested on a statutory rape charge.What is Statutory Rape?
Sex involving children is taboo in the United States and New Hampshire has especially tough laws on the books. In fact, state laws specifically say that it is considered sexual assault if someone engages in any kind of sexual activity on a child over the age of 13 and under the age of 16 when the defendant is five years or more older; or, if the person engages in sexual penetration with a child over the age of 13 and under the age of 16 when the defendant is less than four years older than the child.
Michael Anzalone encourages you to read up on the laws involving sexual assault, which can be found at RSA 632.
Under state law, if the defendant is four or more years older than the minor, statutory rape charges can bring a more severe punishment. A harsher sentence also is possible in cases of incest or in which the victim is under the age of 18 and the defendant is in a position of authority over the minor.
In cases in which the child is under the age of 13, charges are bumped up to aggravated felony assault or aggravated felony sexual assault.
How will your attorney defend these charges? In New Hampshire it is not a defense to say that you mistakenly took the child to be older, as in over the age of consent. And that is the case even if the minor lied about his or her age.
As for the penalties, sexual assault is a Class A misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to a year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines. A felony sexual assault can bring a sentence of up to 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $4,000.
In the case of aggravate felony sexual assault, a judge can sentence you to between 10 and 20 years in prison with up to a lifetime of probation. If this is a second or third offense, the penalties can be even more severe.
So, this is not something to be lax about. You need the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney and Michael Anzalone is your best bet.
Please call us today at 603.548.3797 for a free consultation with Michael Anzalone.