Sex Offenses in North Carolina
In North Carolina, sex offense accusations are very serious and carry repercussions beyond criminal penalties, such as the social stigma associated with being accused/charged. Possible criminal punishment can be, but not limited to, lifetime sex offender registry, lifetime satellite-based monitoring, and years of imprisonment in the North Carolina Department of Corrections.
If you are being questioned by police or are a suspect in a sex offense, even if it was consensual, it is in your best interest to decline to speak to police and contact an attorney to know your rights and begin working on your defense. You are under no obligation to talk to police.
A misdemeanor in North Carolina but punishes someone with registration on the sex offender registration, as well as probation and a criminal conviction on your record. This is one of the most serious misdemeanor cases in the State of North Carolina. This type of accusation occurs when an unwanted touching, that is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse engages in sexual contact with another who is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless. This charge can also occur when the State accuses someone if there is an unwanted touching for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse, engages in sexual contact with another person by force, AND, against the will of another person.
First-Degree Forcible Rape
This is one of the most serious sex offense a person can be accused. This is a B1, felony charge which carries a maximum punishment of life without the possibility of parole. This charge involves the Defendant having vaginal intercourse with another person by force, AND against the will of the other person, AND does any of the following:
- Employs or displays a dangerous or deadly weapon or an article which the other person’s reasonable believes to be a dangerous deadly weapon,
- Inflicts serious person injury upon the victim or another person, or
- The person commits the offense aided and abetted by one or more other persons.
Also, any child born of the conviction of this rape, shall have no rights to custody of or rights of inheritance from any child born as a result of the commission of the rape, nor shall the person have any rights related to the child under Chapter 48 or Subchapter 1 of Chapter 7B of the General Statutes.
This charge is a Class C felony. If convicted, sentencing can be up to 44 – 182 months in jail, the possibility of registering as a sex offender for the rest of your life, and satellite-based monitoring. If there is a child born of this allegation and conviction, the Defendant would have no rights to the minor child. Just because this is a lesser charge than First-Degree Forcible Rape, does not mean that you should seek an attorney only upon the allegation or when the police begin investigating you. You should seek an attorney at the slightest idea that the police are investigating you. When the police want to talk to you, they are either fishing for evidence or they are looking for the icing on the cake of a conviction.
First-Degree Statutory Rape
This is a Class B1 felony. This is the second highest felony charge in North Carolina. This charge does not involve consent and consent is not a defense to this charge. This is a numbers equation in which the Prosecution has made mistakes in before. The prosecuting witness must be under the age 13 and the defendant is at least 12 years old and at least four (4) years older than the prosecuting witness. Again, nowhere in the North Carolina General Statutes does it say that a defense to this is consent. Consent is not a defense. We often see this charge when a parent gets upset at a young male when they find out they are having sex with their daughter. The sooner your child speaks to an attorney, the sooner a defense can be made to help prevent your child from being a convicted felon or a registered sex offender.
This statute is difficult to apply to today’s modern world. It is not uncommon for children being given cell phones at a young age; when given a cell phone, they begin to equip themselves with Snapchat and other picture-sharing social media to share “selfies” and other pictures with one another. Unfortunately, without updates to the law, kids sharing nude pictures apply perfectly to this statute. Again, with the North Carolina Statutory Rape charges, consent is not a defense. For the most part, these charges involve children sending nude photos to other “children” which are their peers. The earlier your child is able to speak to an attorney the sooner a defense can be made. This is very serious to the State of North Carolina, as well as to the Judges of our State. The time couldn’t be sooner if your child is being investigated by the State whether that is at school, or at the police station, to speak with me about making sure their rights and future are protected.