Can I Be Charged With Raping My Spouse In New Mexico?
One question that lawyers are often asked is whether or not a person can be arrested, charged, and convicted of spousal rape. That is, can one be convicted of raping their wife or husband?
The answer to this question: yes, absolutely.
Read further to learn how you can be charged with raping your spouse in New Mexico, and why false allegations of spousal rape sometimes occur.
Spousal Rape is a Crime In New Mexico
New Mexico has a special statute that addresses the crime of spousal rape, also referred to as marital rape. In fact, spousal rape is a crime in all 50 states. But, not only is it a crime in New Mexico, it is punished just like any other rape charge and can carry a sentence of up to 18 years in prison. Furthermore, if convicted, you will be a registered sex offender for the rest of your life. Needless to say, spousal rape is a very serious charge in New Mexico.
Rape, also called criminal sexual penetration (CSP) by New Mexico statutes, is defined as sexual intercourse without the other person’s consent. This includes sexual intercourse, whether forced or coerced, that penetrates the vagina, anus, or mouth, by a penis or other object.
According to the law, spousal rape can occur in a number of ways, most obviously by physically restraining your spouse and forcing him or her to submit to sex. But, it can also occur if you threaten your spouse, or if he or she is unconscious. Technically, if your spouse is passed out and you have sex with him or her, this is rape, since the spouse is not aware or able to give consent to sexual intercourse with you.
False Allegations of Spousal Rape
Spousal rape is one of those crimes where false accusations are made, and many innocent people get wrongly charged – and sometimes wrongly convicted. False allegations of spousal rape often occur at a very turbulent time in a marriage when the couple is on the verge of separation or divorce.
Often, one party will make false allegations against the other to gain the upper hand in divorce or child custody proceedings. In other cases, a party may make false allegations because they caught the other having an affair and out of anger, jealousy or bitterness, they file false allegations against the cheating spouse.
Furthermore, there are situations where the accused person thought there was actually consent from the other party to have intercourse with the other. Perhaps the spouses often engaged in role play during sexual intercourse, and on a particular occasion, the alleged offender thought that the alleged victim was going along with it, only to find out later that he or she did not approve.
How Being Falsely Accused of Raping Your Spouse Can Affect Your Life
False allegations of spousal rape can have severe consequence for the accused, above and beyond their criminal implications. They can cause a great deal of familial discord and damage the relationships that both the alleged victim and perpetrator have with their children, other family members, and friends.
Furthermore, the stigma of having been accused of rape can stay with the accused for a long time, and can have a profound effect on both their social and professional lives, even if he or she is eventually exonerated.
If you’ve been accused of marital rape, contact a New Mexico criminal defense attorney. A qualified criminal defense attorney will do everything he or she can to ultimately get the charges reduced or dismissed, and clear your name.
Partner With The Right Attorney
Accusations of rape can have a serious impact on your reputation. Therefore, it is important to take your defense seriously, and to partner with the best rape and sexual assault defense lawyer in Albuquerque. The New Mexico Criminal Law Offices provide knowledgeable representation and will aggressively fight for your rights throughout your entire case. Contact us online or at (505) 375-4664 for a free case evaluation.