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Big difference in sentencing between 1st and 2nd degree rape

Many evidence-related issues can be significant ones in cases involving allegations of rape. Among these are issues touching on whether a person accused of rape would be facing a first-degree or a second-degree rape charge.

One reason why whether a person is charged with first-degree or second-degree rape is such a big matter is that the prison sentence range for a conviction is quite different between the two.

Under state law, second-degree rape falls into the class D felony level. The maximum prison sentence for this class of felony here in Missouri is seven years.

The max sentence for first-degree rape is considerably higher. In fact, state law allows a person to be sentenced to up to life in prison for this offense. There is also a minimum prison sentence for first-degree rape here in Missouri. This minimum is generally five years. However, certain circumstances could raise it even higher.

Under state law, there are two different things that would push a rape up from the second degree to the first degree. One is if the rape was done with forcible compulsion. The other is if the person the rape was committed against didn’t have the capacity for consent, wasn’t capable of giving consent or was incapacitated.

There are a range of different types of evidence that could touch on whether one of these two special conditions was present in relation to an alleged rape. Skilled attorneys can advise individuals facing rape allegations on how the different types of evidence in their case might impact what degree of rape charge they could be facing or other major aspects of their case, and can help them with addressing key evidence-related matters in their case.

Sources: Missouri Revised Statutes, “Section 566.030.1 - Rape in the first degree, penalties--suspended sentences not granted, when.,” Accessed Jan. 31, 2017

Missouri Revised Statutes, “Section 566.031.1 - Rape in the second degree, penalties.,” Accessed Jan. 31, 2017

Missouri Revised Statutes, “Section 558.011.1 - Sentence of imprisonment, terms--conditional release.,” Accessed Jan. 31, 2017

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