Rape is one of the most serious charges that can be faced in the law of Scotland. Rape prosecutions only take place in the High Court of Justiciary. Conviction for rape can attract a life sentence and will normally attract a minimum of 6 years imprisonment. Due to the nature of the crime of rape there is a great stigma attached in society to those convicted of rape. Accordingly rape cases are extremely sensitive matters for both witnesses and the accused. It is essential that you instruct a specialist solicitor who understands these issues and is experienced in defending rape cases.
There are many different circumstances in which the crime of rape can occur. There are often blurred lines in perception of events by different parties that can be as a result of many factors. It is often the case that a defence will be founded upon consent by the complainer. It is a defence to show that you reasonably believed that the complainer was consenting to the particular sexual activity. These defences are incredibly complex to put forward in court and require vast experience. We have instructed counsel in many rape cases in the High Court with many acquittals.
There are currently a large number of prosecutions raised for historic sexual offences, including rape. The public interest in these types of prosecutions has risen significantly in recent years and there is a great deal of media coverage of such cases. If you find yourself subject to an allegation of historic sexual offences it is vital that you secure representation by an experienced criminal defence lawyer at the earliest possible opportunity.