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At common law, rape is strictly defined to be "the unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman by a man, not her husband, without her effective consent". (Carnal knowledge requires penetration only, not ejaculation.) In many states, however, laws have been revised to consider situations of a woman and her husband. In addition, in some states the laws may include circumstances of a man (or boy) by another man.

It should be noted that laws vary from courtroom to courtroom on what constitutes effective consent. However, if there has been any force used the act will be considered as rape. In addition, if consent was elicited under duress, it will not be considered "effective" consent.

In Georgia, rape is defined as carnal knowledge of (1) a female forcibly and against her will or (2) a female who is less than ten years of age.

Rape is punishable by life imprisonment or a term of 25 years or more in prison followed by probation for life.  It is subject to sex offense conditions, and a person convicted of rape has a substantial likelihood of being classified as a sexually dangerous predator under the sexual offender registration requirements.  

Rape defense presents very challenging evidence issues including expert witness rules, genetic testing, and sexual assault examinations.  Evidence regarding the behavior of the victim may be restricted by Rape Shield rules.



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