North Carolina

In North Carolina, as it is throughout the country, there are very harsh punishments reserved for people convicted of sex offenses. Even for those merely accused and not yet convicted, sex charges can be life changing. Fortunately, such charges can often be beaten.

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When you are accused of something like rape or sexual battery, your whole life can take an abrupt turn. With someone on your side, however, you won’t be alone when up against serious charges and penalties like these.

North Carolina Sex Crime Laws and Punishments

There are several different statutes in the state of North Carolina that cover sexual offenses. This page is designed to provide an overview of the most commonly seen sex charges. Consulting with a local defense attorney can provide a greater amount of insight into the charges you face and what can be done.

Sexual Battery

Sexual batter is defined under North Carolina law as engaging in sexual contact with another person by force or against their will or where the alleged victim is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and doing so with the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.

This offense is classified as an A1 misdemeanor, carrying up to one year in jail.

First-Degree Rape

Rape in the first degree is one of the most serious sex offenses in N.C. law. This offense is defined as engaging in vaginal intercourse with a victim under the age of 13 and you are at least four years older, or where you do so against the will of the other person by use of force and the use of a deadly weapon or where you inflict serious bodily harm on them in the process.

This offense is classified as a Class B1 misdemeanor. If you have no criminal record, a conviction could result in a presumptive sentence of 192 to 240 months in prison.

Second-Degree Rape

Second degree rape is defined as vaginal intercourse with someone by force and against their will or where the alleged victim is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless. A conviction of this Class C Felony can carry a presumptive sentence of 58-73 months in prison when you have no criminal record.

First-Degree Sexual Offense

A first-degree sexual offense is defined as engaging in a sexual act under one of the following circumstances:

  1. Where the victim is under the age of 13 and you are at least 4 years older than them, or
  2. Through the use of force and against the other person, where:
    1. A dangerous or deadly weapon is used,
    2. Serious physical injury is inflicted, or
    3. You are aided or abetted by one or more persons.

This offense is classified as a B1 felony. This means if you have no criminal record, you could face a presumptive sentence of 192 to 240 months in prison.

Second-Degree Sexual Offense

A second degree sexual offense is one where you are accused of engaging in a sexual act with another person either by force or against their will or when they are mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.

This is classified as a Class C Felony charge. Even if you have a clean criminal record, you will face a presumptive sentence of 58 to 73 months in prison.

Child Pornography

You can be charged with felony child pornography for sharing nude or explicit photos or videos of anyone under the age of 18.

Even if that photo is of YOU, and you shared it voluntarily with a boyfriend or girlfriend, you can still be charged with “dissemination of lewd material”. This is a common occurance in teen “sexting” cases.

For the most part, if you are a teen, you will be charged in juvenile court, and for a first offense you may only face a penalty of community service and educational classes.

Of course, if you are an adult over 18, or you are charged with threatening, extorting, bullying, or simply soliciting sexually explicit photos of someone underage, then you will be charged with very serious felony offenses, and face sex offender registration if found guilty.

 

If you are charged with any one of these offenses or another crime altogether, let us put you in touch with a local criminal defense lawyer today. The sex crimes of North Carolina carry extremely harsh penalties and the laws are complex. Contact us today.