In cases where the defendant is charged of rape, the evidence for the case is usually very scarce and is usually narrowed down to the allegations by the accuser. One way an experienced criminal attorney may attempt to challenge the alleged victim’s credibility. Through this strategy, your attorney will be able to prove that the victim’s allegations are unreliable or that they have an ulterior motive to accuse you or lie about the rape.

In case of a personal injury claim, the responsible person or party (the defendant) pays monetary damages to the plaintiff (injured person). A damage award is agreed on mutual terms after a negotiated settlement involving the insurance companies, parties and other attorneys or might be ordered by the jury or judge following the court trial. Below is an explanation on the various kinds of damages that are considered while estimating the actual worth of the case.

However, there are still some boundaries as to what your attorney may use in your defense in a rape case. Contrary to popular belief, a victim’s promiscuous behavior cannot be used as evidence of consent in the court. In California, this is governed by the Section 1103 of the California Evidence Code, also known as the California Rape Shield.

What is California Rape Shield?

According to the Section 1103 of the California Evidence Code, the defense cannot use any knowledge or evidence of the alleged victim’s sexual history in order to prove consent to the act. The California Rape Shield Law is meant to protect the victims from harassment and invasions of their privacy.

This section applies to various forms of rape, sodomy and other forceful sexual acts. The California Rape Shield Law prevents the defense from exploiting the alleged victim’s sexual history with different partners. However, the evidence referring to the sexual history between the defendant and the alleged victim.

Are There Any Exceptions to the Law?

There are certain exceptions to the California Rape Shield Law, given that certain special circumstances are met. Under Section 782 of the California Evidence Code, the defense is allowed to bring up the alleged victim’s sexual past if this evidence can prove:

  • That the victim cannot clearly recall what they are testifying about
  • That the victim is prone to dishonesty
  • That the victim has an ulterior motive to accuse the defendant
  • That the victim’s statements are inconsistent with their original testimony.

In these types of cases, this evidence might help prove that the victim had a hidden motive to accuse the defendant, for example to cover up for pregnancy or infidelity or to cover up a sexual act they gave consent to but feel ashamed of.

The defendant’s attorney will need to present a written motion to the court and present the evidence. The judge will then decide if the court will accept the evidence at a hearing. The court will determine whether the evidence is usable by determining how relevant it is to the credibility of the victim.

If you’re looking for a reputable criminal attorney in California, contact Monder Law Group at:
424 F Street, San Diego, CA, US
619-405-0063