Are All Sex Crimes Felonies in North Carolina?
If you’ve been charged with a sex crime in North Carolina, you may be wondering if you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge. In general, misdemeanors are considered less serious crimes, punishable by up to one year in jail. A felony, on the other hand, is considered to be a very serious crime, and if convicted, you could face several years in state prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
The Charlotte criminal defense attorneys at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys can help you understand the charges against you and the potential penalties you face. They will provide you with a knowledgeable and aggressive legal defense, to ensure that you get a fair result. Let us help you face your charges – call us at (980) 237-4579 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today.
Misdemeanor Sex Crimes in North Carolina
Almost all sex crimes in North Carolina are felonies. Sexual battery is one of the only exceptions, which is a Class A1 misdemeanor.
Sexual battery is defined under North Carolina law as whenever someone “engages in sexual contact with another person” forcefully or against their will for their own sexual arousal, gratification, or as a form of sexual abuse. Sexual battery can include something as minor as touching another person without their consent to more serious incidents of molestation.
Sexual battery also includes engaging in sexual contact with someone “mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know that the other person has a mental disability or is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless.” In this situation, note that the sexual contact does not need to be forceful or against the other person’s will. Furthermore, you can be charged with sexual battery even if you didn’t know the other person was mentally incapacitated but “should have known.” This can include situations where the other person was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs but seemingly gave you their consent.
Felony Sex Offenses in North Carolina
Every other sex crime in North Carolina is a felony. Under North Carolina law, the following crimes are felony offenses:
- Statutory rape
- Child pornography (charged as sexual exploitation of a minor)
- Child sex offenses
Sex offenses are taken very seriously in North Carolina and are prosecuted aggressively. No matter what charge you are facing, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced sex charge defense attorney.
Potential Consequences of a Misdemeanor Sex Offense Conviction
If you are convicted of sexual battery, you face up to 150 days in jail.. Depending on your criminal history and other factors, any jail time could be combined with supervised probation, house arrest, or community service. Despite being a misdemeanor, if convicted of sexual battery in North Carolina, you still have to register as a sex offender.
North Carolina Sex Offender Registry
In addition to time in jail or probation, you will also be placed on the North Carolina sex offender registry anywhere from 10 to 30 years. You will be required to register within 3 days of your release from jail with the law enforcement agency in the county where you reside. You will have to provide your address, where you work or go to school, a fingerprint, and various other identifying details. You can get off the sex offender registry after 10 years, but you will have to file a special petition with the court.
Charged with a Sex Crime in Charlotte, NC? Contact Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys
A sex crime conviction can change your life forever. Even after you finish your time in jail or prison, you will have to deal with the stigma of being a convicted sex offender for years to come. The criminal defense attorneys at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys will fight for your rights and help you get a fair result. Contact us at (980) 237-4579 for a free consultation to discuss your case and learn more about how we can help you.