Spousal Rape: A Criminal Offense in all U.S. States

Under the English common law, which is the source of many traditional laws in the U.S., it was not legally possible for a man to be accused of raping his wife. In support of this position, then jurist Sir Matthew Hale explained in 1736 how marriage implied permanent consent that could not be retracted.

The belief that a man could never be held guilty of raping his wife stood for centuries until in 1979, when legal attitudes about the concept changed due to a pair of separate cases. One of these cases, which may have been the first case that led to a spousal rape conviction, involved a bartender in Salem, Mass., who broke into the house that he used to share with his estranged wife and then forced himself on her. Since the incident involved invasion and sexual abuse while in the middle of a divorce, it was not hard to judge the case as one incidence of marital rape; regardless, this case was a precedent to so many other spousal rape convictions during the 1980s and the 1990s, and the major reason why today, spouses are no longer excluded in state criminal codes’ definition of “rape,” why saying “no” to one’s husband is no longer a ground for divorce, and why spousal rape is declared illegal in every state in the U.S.

According to a Nashville spousal rape lawyer, married individuals may be charged with spousal rape if they engage in sexual penetration that is unlawful because it is alleged that the defendant was armed with a weapon, caused serious bodily harm, or the couple has been separated and at least one partner has filed for either divorce or separate maintenance. A charge of spousal rape can be elevated to aggravated sexual assault if the defendant was particularly vile, cruel, or otherwise inhumane and either caused serious bodily harm or was armed with a weapon.

To be accused of a crime can change your life forever. A conviction is so much worse for, besides the penalties, it will also affect your future personal, community and professional life. You should realize, however, that an accusation simply means that you still have the time and any means accessible for a strong defense that will enable you to protect your rights and future and which may even help you earn a verdict of “not guilty.” Being defended by a highly-competent criminal defense lawyer, who knows what evidences to gather and how to gather these, may just be what you need in a case as serious as spousal rape.

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Criminal Defense in a DUI

Texas is a tough state to be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other substance, even if it is a prescription drug. It is even worse if one is found in possession of marijuana when stopped for a DUI, even if it is for a medical condition. Texas does not recognize the legality of medical marijuana, so even having a prescription will not get one off the hook.

Of course, it would take all kinds of bad luck to be charged with both a DUI and marijuana possession, but it can happen. It is not even necessary for the engine to be on or the car moving to be charged with a DUI if one is obviously impaired (sleeping, groggy, bleary-eyed, smells of alcohol); simply being behind the wheel is enough. An article on the website of criminal defense lawyer Ian Inglis, marijuana possession in Texas is at least a misdemeanor, and a conviction is almost certain. However, it is possible to mitigate the charges with the help of an experienced attorney.

With a DUI charge, the consequences can be quite serious if convicted. According to the website of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter in Dallas, the criminal sanctions of a DUI conviction may be far less devastating than social and professional repercussions. Something like that stays with one, especially because of the heightened awareness of society about the costs of DUI. Moreover, it is possible that a DUI conviction may result in a licensed professional being suspended or permanently barred from practicing.

However, it is actually possible to have the charges dismissed even if the results of the breath test or field sobriety tests indicate intoxication due to alcohol or another substance, depending on the circumstances and if the proper criminal defense is mounted. If you are being charged with DUI, find a lawyer in the area with a good track record with DUI cases. Your future may depend on it.

The penalties for these kinds of offenses are beyond steep. Those convicted of DUI can face years in prison depending on any prior convictions. In addition to incarceration, they could be fined thousands of dollars and even have their driving license suspended or revoked. Many drug charges, such as marijuana possession, also carry harsh punishments. While many law experts are beginning to agree that these punishments do not quite fit the crimes, the laws are explicit and must be followed.

If you believe that you have been wrongly charged with a DUI, contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Working with an experienced attorney may be the only way to keep your record clear.

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