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Appealing a Sex Crime Conviction in North Carolina

Have you been convicted of a sex crime in North Carolina? If so, it is important to know that you may be able to appeal your sex crime conviction. The circumstances in which you can appeal a sex crime are limited, however. Filing an appeal for a sex crime conviction requires the assistance of an experienced lawyer. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we understand how serious sex crime convictions can be.

Contact Our Charlotte Sex Crime Appeals Lawyers

Penalties for North Carolina sex crimes can include significant jail time, fines, probation, and being listed in North Carolina’s Sex Offender Registry. A sex crime conviction can negatively impact your life for a long time after you have served your time. It can affect job and educational opportunities. Indeed, a sex crime conviction can negatively impact your life for a long time. Contact our law firm today to discuss whether or not you can appeal your sex crime conviction.

When Can You Appeal a Sex Conviction Appeal?

Those convicted of a sex crime in North Carolina must be able to show that an appeal of their conviction is warranted. They will need to prove a substantive reason that the appellate court should hear the appeal. Typically, you will be able to appeal if new evidence comes to light. Examples of reasons to appeal a sex crime conviction include the following:

  • DNA or other new evidence proves that you did not commit the sex crime
  • An evidentiary problem happened during the original criminal trial that should result in a re-trial or a reversal of your criminal conviction
Appealing Your Registration as a Sex Offender

Mandatory sex offender registration is one of the most serious consequences of being convicted of a sex crime in North Carolina. At Arnold & Smith Attorneys at Law, clients often ask us if they can appeal their sex offender registration. In some situations, defendants can request to be removed from North Carolina’s Sex Offender Registry.

Whether or not North Carolina will remove you from the sex offender registry depends on the facts surrounding your case. The legal team at Arnold & Smith Attorneys at Law can review the facts of your case and advise you as to whether or not you might be able to request removal from the sex offender list. We can help you fight for your legal rights.

Filing an Appeal for a Sex Crimes Conviction

By filing an appeal, the defendant is asking the appellate court to review a judge or jury’s sex crime conviction. Appellants ask the appeals court to review the trial record and overturn the criminal conviction. Many defendants who have been convicted of a sex crime assume that when they appeal their conviction, they will need to go through a whole new trial. This is not true, however.

You will not be able to present evidence and witnesses to convince the appellate judges that you are not guilty of a sex crime. On the contrary, you will need to show the appellate court judges that the trial judge presiding over your criminal court trial made a mistake. You will need to prove that your trial judge made a procedural error that was significant enough to result in your unfair trial.

For example, you may argue that the judge or jury did not have enough evidence to support the verdict that you were guilty of a sex crime. Or, you might argue that the trial court that convicted you of the sex crime did not have the proper jurisdiction or power to hear your case in the first place.

Winning an Appeal for a Sex Crime Conviction Can Be an Uphill Battle

Appellate courts do not overturn many convictions. The Court of Appeals affirms most of the convictions that are challenged on appeal. However, trial court judges do make significant mistakes in North Carolina. It is worth taking the time to ask an experienced Charlotte appeals lawyer to review your conviction.

In some cases, serious errors do happen. When the evidence presented at trial was not significant enough to support a guilty verdict and the trial court commits prejudicial error, the Court of Appeals will reverse the decision. You may be able to receive a new trial for the sex crime charge. In the best-case scenario, the Court of Appeals may dismiss your case. Contact the Charlotte sex crimes appeal lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule a case evaluation.