How We Challenge Sex Crime Cases
When facing allegations of a sex crime, the best-case scenario is to avoid charges altogether or have the charges dropped as soon as possible. Depending on when we are hired, our Charlotte sex crimes lawyers at Randall & Stump, PLLC immediately pursue these outcomes by investigating the accusations and your relationship with the alleged victim.
We’ll ask you questions about the relationship, if there is one, and about the incident in question. Then we reach out to other relevant individuals, including alleged witnesses to the crime and mutual friends. We’ll dig into electronic evidence, too, such as text messages, emails, videos, photos, social media content, direct messages, and more.
At the same time, we pick apart the police investigation. We scrutinize the prosecutor’s evidence, how the police found it, and the credibility of the state’s witnesses, including the alleged victim. Our analysis and independent investigation lead us to the truth, which is the foundation of crafting a winning defense.
In a sex crime case, our defense strategy might rely on proving there’s been a mistake of identity, and you aren’t the culprit. We may seek to prove you reasonably believed you had consent to act as you did. In some cases, we are able to show the accuser has an ulterior motive and/or lacks credibility. Other times, our focus is on the prosecutor’s lack of sufficient evidence.
When the evidence supports your defense, we negotiate with the prosecutor to not bring charges, drop the charges, or significantly reduce the charges. If the prosecutor insists on prosecuting the case, we may file a motion to dismiss and ask the judge to throw out the charges because the prosecutor lacks evidence.
While there may be enough evidence for the prosecutor to push forward,this doesn’t mean you’re guilty—it means there is sufficient evidence to show probable cause. You may still be able to beat the charges. Our decades of combined experience defending against sex crime cases have prepared us to aggressively fight sex crime charges through pre-trial motions, strong evidence, and compelling arguments at trial.
It’s the prosecutor’s burden to prove you committed the sex crime beyond a reasonable doubt. We force prosecutors to meet that burden, and when they can’t, we make it clear to the jury that they should acquit you.
How You Benefit from Hiring Randall & Stump, PLLC
When you hire Randall & Stump, PLLC, you benefit from our sex crimes lawyers’ more than 35 years of combined experience. Our attorneys have worked in federal and state courts and on both sides of the courtroom. Ryan Stump, a managing partner, previously worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Samuel Randall, a managing partner, has been a Board Certified Specialist in both State and Federal Criminal Law by the North Carolina State bar since 2004. He’s one of only 53 specialists in the state. Anthony DelNero, an associate attorney, also has experience as a prosecutor, beginning his career in the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office.
By hiring our firm, you benefit from both our experience and our client-focused approach. We are always here to answer your questions and provide updates on your case. You’ll never be in the dark about what’s going on, your rights, or your legal options. You’ll also never feel like just another case. We know sex crime accusations impact your life right away, and what you need is compassion and respect to get through this tough time.
If you aren’t convinced to give us a call yet, look at our case results. Though we can’t guarantee a specific outcome to your case, you’ll see that we routinely get charges dropped, dismissed, and reduced. We can promise to fight hard and do everything possible under the law to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
Schedule a free consultation with our Charlotte sex crimes lawyers by calling (980) 237-4579. Or, if you are more comfortable, you can submit the details surrounding your criminal charges via our online form.
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 while using or displaying a deadly weapon, inflicting serious injury, or receiving 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. It is a Class C felony. If you’re 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 were 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 was under 13 years old and you were 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 with another person 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. This 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. It 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, 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 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, a child sex offense, sexual battery of a child, taking indecent liberties with children, solicitation, or 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 the Felony Punishment Chart. The rows represent the felony class, and the columns are your prior record level, which is based on points calculated by what’s on your criminal record. Depending on your past, you may be placed in a prior record level I through VI.
North Carolina utilizes different maximum penalties for certain sex offenses. There are greater maximum penalties for Class B1 through E felonies that are subject to sex offender registration than for non-sex crime felonies. For example, if you are charged with a Class B1 felony, and it’s your first offense, then the presumptive range is 192-240 months in prison. However, for a reportable 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 for 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 in Charlotte
Perhaps the most severe penalty associated with sex crimes is mandatory sex offender registration. If convicted of certain sexual offenses, you must register within three days of conviction if you do not serve an active sentence or within three days after being released from prison with the law enforcement agency in the county where you reside. The police will fingerprint and take a current photo of you.
You must provide the police with a great deal of information, including your name, physical description, address, driver’s license number, and offense and conviction date. If you work or go to school, you must provide information on where. If you use the internet in any way, you must provide all online identifiers, like email addresses and social media handles. Most of this information will be public record and easily available online.
During your registration period, you may face a great deal of stigma and live with several restrictions. You cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school or child care center. Your activities that may involve minors, including those in your own family 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.
Failure to Register
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 and satellite based monitoring. You also must renew your registration over the years. If you fail to register, provide accurate and complete information, or 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), but that only applies in cases where the defendant is ordered to register on the 30-year sex offender registry in North Carolina.
To win removal from the list, you must submit a petition to the court for a hearing, obtain a new sex offender evaluation, bring witnesses to court to testify on your behalf, and endure a full hearing in court. You also must meet certain minimum requirements, such as you cannot have been arrested or convicted of another offense that would require registration, and then the judge has discretion in whether or not to approve your request. If the judge denies your request, you must wait another 12 months before petitioning for removal again.
Sex Crimes FAQ
Who is required to register as a sex offender?
North Carolina requires registration as a sex offender if you are convicted of one of these types of crimes:
- An offense against a minor (such as statutory rape, kidnapping, and using a computer to solicit a child to commit a sexual act)
- A sexually violent offense (such as sexual battery, rape, and human trafficking)
- An attempt to commit an offense against a minor or sexual violent crime
Who can see that I am a sex offender?
The sex offender registry is available to the public. This means anyone can search the public record and find your name, photo, address, and information about your conviction.
What if I fail to register?
If you fail to register as a sex offender or verify your address for the registry, you could be found guilty of a Class F felony, which can bring jail time of 10 to 41 months.
How long am I on the registry?
If your offense was aggravated or a repeat offense, you could be subject to lifetime registration. All other reportable convictions bring a minimum of 30 years registration, although you can petition the court to be removed from the registry after 10 years for some offenses.
What is a monitoring program?
North Carolina requires sex offenders convicted of severe crimes to submit to satellite GPS monitoring for life.
However, this practice has recently come under controversy and a law signed in September 2021 will reduce lifetime monitoring to a period of 10 years.
Can sex crime convictions be expunged?
If you were convicted of a sex crime that requires registration as a sex offender, that conviction cannot be expunged from your record.
A limited number of lesser sex crimes such as misdemeanors may be expunged if certain conditions are met. Contact an attorney to see if your offense is eligible for expungement.
Do I need a lawyer?
North Carolina’s punishments for sex crimes are severe, and a conviction can bring lifetime stigma if you are required to register as a sex offender. If you face sex crime charges, you need a lawyer with experience challenging these types of cases.
The criminal defense attorneys at Randall & Stump, PLLC, know sex crime law and how to best prepare your defense strategy. Call (980) 237-4579 or contact us online today for a free, confidential case consultation.