What Is Date Rape?

Date rape is a serious crime in North Carolina. Being found guilty of date rape or other sex crimes carries significant penalties, from a lengthy prison sentence to fines and having to register as a sex offender. 

If you’re accused of date rape, you need to seek assistance from a Raleigh sex crimes lawyer right away. The criminal defense attorneys at Kurtz & Blum are highly experienced with sex crimes cases, and we know how to craft a strong and compelling defense on your behalf. 

We’ve put together some information on what date rape is and how you can defend yourself if you’re accused of it. Keep reading to learn more.

Date Rape Defined

In criminal law, date rape is a form of acquaintance rape, which is when someone is sexually assaulted by someone they know. However, whereas acquaintance rape occurs between two people who know each other beforehand but may not be romantically or sexually involved, date rape generally involves two people who are on a date or are otherwise sexually or romantically involved.

However, date rape can also refer to cases when someone is drugged by someone they may or may not know beforehand. These cases often involve so-called “date rape drugs” and are sometimes referred to as drug-facilitated sexual assaults. These kinds of date rapes tend to occur among young people and college students, though not exclusively.

What Leads to Date Rape Charges?  

Many sexual assault cases come down to different accounts of what occurred from the parties involved. However, there are a few elements of a sexual assault case that can make a date rape charge more likely, such as:

  • Alcohol – The law states that someone who’s incapacitated by alcohol cannot give proper consent to sexual intercourse, even if they seemingly consent to sexual activity. Similarly, someone who passes out due to alcohol intoxication cannot consent to sexual activity.
  • Date rape drugs – If someone believes they’ve been date raped, authorities will sometimes run a check for certain drugs that are commonly used in date rape cases. If these drugs — such as Ketamine, GHB, Rohypnol, sleep aids, Xanax, Valium, etc. — are found in a sexual assault victim’s system, it’s more likely that the accused will be charged with date rape.
  • Other drugs – Marijuana and other narcotics can cloud someone’s judgment in a similar way as alcohol. Individuals who are incapacitated by these drugs are not able to give consent to sexual acts. The presence of these drugs in a sexual assault victim’s system may lead to a date rape charge.

Possible Defenses for Date Rape 

Some possible defenses to charges of date rape may include:

  • A lack of physical evidence proving you committed the crime
  • Showing that the alleged victim may have had a reason to falsely accuse you of rape
  • Providing another reason why someone may have a date rape drug in their system, such as their own history of recreational drug use
  • Consent 

Ultimately, the right strategy for your case will depend on the available evidence and other factors that are unique to your case. A date rape defense attorney can protect your rights by vigorously and skillfully challenging the accusations you’re facing.

Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Kurtz & Blum Today

Do not take any allegation of date rape lightly. The possible penalties for a conviction can be severe and life-changing. If you’re accused of date rape, your first call should be to the experienced sex crimes attorneys at Kurtz & Blum. We’ll help you understand the charges against you and how we may be able to defend your case. Get a free, confidential consultation with one of our attorneys by visiting our contact page today.

Seth A. Blum is a graduate of Tufts University and Duke Law School. He also holds a Master’s Degree from the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy Studies. Seth is an experienced trial attorney who is licensed and has tried cases in both North Carolina State and Federal Courts. Seth is an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at the University of North Carolina School of Law. He regularly teaches other lawyers advanced trial techniques.