North Carolina Sex Crime Charges
At Randall & Stump, PLLC, we are experienced in handling all types of sex offense charges, including:
- Rape (NCGS 14-27.21 & 27.22): Depending on the allegations against you, you may be charged with first-degree or second-degree forcible rape. First-degree forcible rape encompasses engaging in vaginal intercourse with another person by force and against that person’s will and includes the use or display of a deadly weapon, the infliction of serious injury, or assistance from another person. It is a Class B1 felony. Second-degree forcible rape includes engaging in vaginal intercourse with another person by force and against their will or with a person who is mentally disabled or physically helpless. This is a Class C felony. If you are accused of performing another sex act other than vaginal intercourse against the victim’s will, you may face charges for a forcible sexual offense under NCGS 14-27.26 & 27.27. Following accusations of forcible rape or sexual offense, you should contact a sex crimes attorney immediately.
- Statutory Rape (NCGS 14-27.23 – 27.25): You may be charged with statutory rape if you are over 18 years old and engaged in vaginal sex with a minor under 13 years old, if the minor was younger than 15 years old, and you were at least six years older, or if the minor is under 13 years old and you are at least four years older. Statutory rape is typically charged as a Class B1 felony, though the potential penalty varies depending on the specific charge. You may also be charged with a statutory sexual offense (NCGS 27.28 – 27.30) if you are accused of performing a different sex act with a minor. To learn more about statutory rape and sexual offense charges, call our sex offense lawyers today.
- Sexual Battery (NCGS 14.27.33): Sexual battery encompasses sexual contact performed by force and against their will for sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse. Sexual contact performed on a person who has a mental disability or is physically helpless for those reasons is also sexual battery. Sexual battery is one of the only sex crimes charged as a Class A1 misdemeanor instead of a felony. However, you should always retain a sex offense attorney to defend you because despite the charge being a misdemeanor, if convicted, you will still be required to register as a sex offender.
- Child Pornography (NCGS 14-190.16 – 190.17A): Under North Carolina law, offenses involving child pornography are known as first, second, and third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. You may face first-degree sexual exploitation charges if you induce, coerce, or allow a minor to participate in creating pornography. This is a Class C felony. If you photograph, distribute, exhibit, sell, buy, or solicit child pornography, you may be charged with second-degree sexual exploitation, which is a Class E felony. Possession of child pornography is third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and a Class H felony. Sexual exploitation of a minor is a serious offense, and you should speak with a sex crimes lawyer right away.
- Child Sex Offenses : Some of the most heinous accusations you can face are of sexual misconduct toward a child. We understand how devastating these allegations are and how they can impact your life immediately. We are here to help when you are accused of statutory rape, child sex offense, or sexual battery of a child, taking indecent liberties with children, solicitation, and kidnapping. A child sex offense will likely be charged as a felony and punished harshly. Contact our sex offense lawyers at Randall & Stump, PLLC to discuss your rights and options.
Sex Offense Penalties
If you are convicted of a felony in North Carolina, the potential criminal penalties are based on a sentencing grid. The rows of the grid represent the class of the felony. The columns are your prior record level, which is determined by assigning points based on your criminal record. Depending on this information, you may be placed in a prior record level I through VI.
North Carolina utilizes different maximum penalties for certain sex offenses. For Class B1 through E felonies that are subject to sex offender registration, there is a greater maximum penalty than for non-sex crimes. For example, if you are charged with a Class B1 felony, and it is your first offense, the minimum penalty of the presumptive range is 192 months’ imprisonment. The maximum of the presumptive range is 240 months for other crimes; however, for a sex offense, the maximum is 291 months in prison.
Certain sex offenses, like statutory rape of a child by an adult, have a higher minimum penalty. For statutory rape of a child by a person over 18 years old, you may not receive an active penalty less than 300 months. After your imprisonment is completed, you must be enrolled in a monitoring program for the rest of your life.
To learn more about the potential penalties you face, you need to speak with a sex offense attorney right away. The North Carolina criminal justice process punishes sex crimes harshly, and the best way to avoid criminal penalties is to put forward a strong defense.
Sex Offender Registration
Perhaps the most severe penalty associated with sex crimes is mandatory sex offender registration. If convicted of certain sexual offenses, you will be forced to register within three days of being released from prison, and you must register with the law enforcement agency in the county where you reside. You must provide the police with a great deal of information about yourself, including your name, physical description, address, driver’s license number, and your conviction date and offense. If you work or go to school, you must provide information on where. If you utilize the internet in any way, you must provide all online identifiers. The police will fingerprint and take a current photo of you. Most of this information will be public record and easily available online.
During your registration period, you may not only face a great deal of stigma, but you must also live with a number of restrictions. You cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school or child care center. Your activities that may involve minors are restricted, including your professional opportunities. You cannot obtain certain licenses or perform certain duties, such as being a bus driver. Your ability to use social networking sites may also be restricted.
You will be required to register as a sex offender for at least 30 years from the date you initially register. However, some offenses require lifetime registration. You must also renew your registration over the years. If you fail to initially register, provide accurate and complete information, or to renew your registration when required, you can be charged with failure to register, a Class F felony (NCGS 14-208.11).
Sex offender registration is an incredibly harsh penalty, and our sex crime lawyers at Randall & Stump, PLLC are here to help you avoid it, if possible.
Sex Offender Registration Removal in North Carolina
After being on the North Carolina sex offender registration for 10 years, you may petition for early termination of your registration requirement (NCGS 14-208.12A). Even if you’re on the 30-year sex offender registry in North Carolina, you may petition for removal after 10 years.
In order to achieve removal from the list, you must submit a petition to the court and endure a full hearing in court. The judge has discretion in whether or not to approve your request, and you must meet certain minimum requirements, such as you cannot have been arrested or convicted of another offense that would require registration. If you are denied, you must wait 12 months before you can petition for removal again.