Charlotte Rape Charges Lawyers

The charges against Harvey Weinstein are well-known. He was recently convicted of rape and sexual assault in a highly publicized trial. While the jury found him not guilty of predatory sexual assault, they did convict him of sexual assault and rape. He also faces charges that in 2013, he sexually assaulted another woman in a Los Angeles hotel one night and sexually assaulted another woman in a Beverly Hills hotel the next night. In addition, 11 other women have stated that they plan to testify against Weinstein at that criminal trial.

Rape Charges are Incredibly Serious in North Carolina

Jail time and fines are difficult enough for those convicted of rape charges. However, one of the most lasting negative consequences is the requirement of registering as a sex offender for at least 30 years. Should you serve jail time, you will need to register as a sex offender for three decades after being released from confinement. Those who are registered sex offenders must meet strict requirements. Their name, address, picture, and exact sexual crime will be available for the public to see online.

While on the sex offender registration list, you will need to meet many requirements. You will not enjoy true freedom while you are on the sex offender list. Those with a permanent record and who are also on the sex offender registration face the following additional challenges:

  • Obtaining certain professional licenses
  • Continuing your education
  • Getting a job and maintaining the job
  • Securing personal loans
  • Renting a house or apartment
  • Receiving child visitation and custody rights
  • Maintaining your immigration status and renewing your immigration status
Degrees of Rape Charges in North Carolina

North Carolina laws recognize two separate degrees of rape charges. They recognize first-degree rape and second-degree rape. First-degree rape happens when the defendant forces the victim to have non-consensual sex. To prove first-degree rape, the prosecutor will also need to prove the following:

  • The defendant had a deadly weapon
  • The defendant inflicts serious injury upon the victim, or
  • The defendant was aided by one or more other people

Statutory rape also constitutes first-degree rape in North Carolina. When the rape victim is younger than 13 and the defendant is 12 years old or older and at least four years older than the victim, the defendant will face first-degree rape charges.

Second-Degree Rape in North Carolina

Second-degree rape happens when a person forces a victim to have non-consensual sex, and the victim is not able to give consent to the sexual act. The victim must not be able to give consent due to a mental disability, incapacitation, or physical helplessness.

What Constitutes a Forcible Rape?

Someone commits a sexual offense when they engage in a sexual act with another person by force. The act must be against the will of the victim, or the victim must lack capacity. The victim can lack either mental or physical capacity. The defendant needs to know or reasonably should know that the victim lacks capacity.

Penalties for Rape in North Carolina

When defendants are convicted of a first-degree sexual offense, they will face Class B1 felony charges and 144 months to life in prison. Second-degree rape is a Class C felony in North Carolina. Class C felonies come with 44 to 182 months in prison.

Defenses for Rape Charges in North Carolina

The most common defense of rape is that the victim gave consent for the physical act. Proving a lack of consent can be challenging. Nonetheless, in order to secure a rape conviction, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defense forces a victim to have non-consensual sex.

In many rape prosecutions, the only evidence is the testimony of both people involved. However, in some cases, evidence in the form of video recording, audio recording, or outside witness testimony may be able to disprove the charges. Another strategy is to poke holes in the testimony of the alleged rape victim. When the victim cannot accurately remember facts regarding the situation, it will lend reasonable doubt to the charges.

Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers can Help

Are you faced with a sex crime charge, including rape charges? If so, speaking with an experienced criminal lawyer in Charlotte can be immediately beneficial. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we understand that a conviction can result in serious, long-term negative consequences for you and your loved ones. Call our lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form . Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.