First Degree Rape Charges in Missouri

A judge’s gavel - representing a final ruling for first degree rape charges in Missouri

Rape in the first degree is a serious offense in Missouri. Individuals convicted of first-degree rape face a minimum five-year prison sentence (but up to life imprisonment), fines, and a life-long criminal record.

If you’ve been charged with rape in Missouri, it’s in your best interest to consult with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help you evaluate the charges against you, understand your options, and plan a viable defense strategy. 

Contact the attorneys at Kirsch and Kirsch today for a free consultation to learn how we can help. Continue reading to learn about first-degree rape charges in Missouri. 

What is First Degree Rape? 

Under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 566.030, an individual is guilty of rape in the first degree if they: 

  • Have sex with an incapacitated person (i.e., a person who is in a coma or passed out drunk)
  • Engage in sexual intercourse with a person who doesn’t have the capacity to give consent 
  • Physically force or threaten force against another person to have sexual intercourse against that person’s wishes (i.e., forcible compulsion)
  • Attempt to commit any of the actions listed above 

Forcible compulsion can be defined as using force to overcome non-consent or threats/intimidation that reasonably places another person in fear of injury or death. 

It’s important to note that slipping a drug into someone else’s drink that renders them incapacitated (i.e., roofies, quaaludes, etc.) is also considered forcible compulsion. 

Penalties For First Degree Rape Charges 

The penalties for rape or attempted rape in the first degree depend on the circumstances. For instance, a first-time offender can expect a lighter prison sentence than a “persistent sexual offender.” 

Learn more about the different ways first-degree rape charges can be punished in criminal cases below. 

  • First Degree Rape: 5-year minimum prison sentence 
  • Aggravated Rape in the 1st Degree: 15-year minimum prison sentence 
  • Rape Committed by a Persistent or Predatory Sex Offender:  Life imprisonment without the eligibility for parole (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 566.125)  

Additionally, individuals who commit rape against a child (younger than 12 years old) are subject to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, conditional release, or probation. Further, the court cannot grant a suspended sentence for rape charges in Missouri. 

What is the Statute of Limitations for Rape Charges? 

Most crimes cannot be prosecuted after a certain amount of time passes. However, that’s not the case with first degree rape charges in Missouri. There is no statute of limitations for first degree rape charges in Missouri. That means that an individual can be arrested and go to prison for 1st degree rape, even if it happened 10 years ago. 

Contact a Missouri Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you’re currently facing first degree rape charges in Missouri, it’s in your best interest to consult with a proven criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. 

At Kirsch & Kirsch, our sex crimes lawyers are aggressive, knowledgeable, and have experience successfully defending clients who face serious charges like first degree rape in Missouri. Contact us today for your free, confidential initial consultation.