Defenses to Sex Crimes Charges in North Carolina
North Carolina prosecutors take sex crimes or what sometimes referred more commonly as rape charges seriously. In addition to serious penalties including fines, jail time, and possible registration as a sex offender, convicted defendants also face strong social stigma. Many people consider those charged with sex crimes or rape to be guilty until proven innocent. The negative effects of a sex crime charge are far-reaching.
A conviction, and sometimes, a charge can negatively affect a defendant’s job, reputation, and personal relationship. If you are facing a sex crimes or rape charge in the greater Charlotte area, you need the help of skilled criminal defense attorneys. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC as soon as possible to learn how our lawyers can provide you a defense to these types of charges.Types of North Carolina Sex Offenses
First-degree sexual offenses come with a minimum sentence of 12 years. Under some circumstances, a conviction for certain First-degree sexual offenses requires a defendant to serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole. The following sex crimes are first-degree sexual offenses, such as:
- Inflicting serious injury in a sexual crime
- Using a weapon in the commission of a sex crime
- Engaging in vaginal intercourse with a victim under the age of 13 while being at least 4 years older than the defendant.
- Engaging in a sexual offense other than vaginal intercourse with a person by force and against the persons will while using or displaying a dangerous weapon
- Working with one or more assailant to commit a sex crime
Second-degree sexual offenses include engaging in a sex act with a person who is physically or mentally disabled. Forcing a victim to engage in a sex act against his or her will is another second-degree sex crime. Defendants convicted of these crimes face between 44 months and just over 15 years in prison. The sentencing for sex crimes depends on several factors including prior criminal convictions, the crime itself.Defenses Against North Carolina Sex Crime or Rape Charges
If you are facing sex crime or rape charge, you might feel overwhelmed and stressed. Many defendants worry that they have no chance of receiving a not-guilty verdict or negotiating a beneficial plea deal. Law enforcement officials and prosecutors often make defendants think that they have insurmountable evidence against them. They often pressure defendants into making an unfavorable plea deal. Accepting the first plea deal offered is sometimes not the best strategy when defending against a sex crime or rape charge.
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC we frequently employ the following strategies to mount an effective defense strategy:
- Using DNA evidence to prove that the alleged sex act did not take place
- Discovering discrepancies in witness testimony
- Discovering discrepancies in the accuser’s testimony
- Flushing out evidence that may negatively impact the credibility of an accuser.
- Negotiating effective plea deals for lesser sentences or lesser criminal charges
- Presenting witness testimony and evidence that the victim consented to the sex act
- Questioning the accuser’s motives through cross-examination
- Discovering physical evidence or surveillance camera footage that helps our client
Sex crime convictions come with some serious consequences, such as:
- Long prison sentences
- Registration as a sex offender in North Carolina
- Long periods of probation
- Restrictions as to where the sex offender can live
- Restrictions as to which types of jobs the sex offender can have
- Restrictions on owning firearms and weapons
- Mandatory rehabilitation treatment
Prison inmates often antagonize, isolate, or assault inmates who have received felony sex crime offenses. Even the allegation of committing a sex offense can negatively affect a person’s reputation or permanently destroy a career. For individuals who work with children, a sex crime conviction could force them to make a change of career.
Many employers that provide jobs that involve working with children, the elderly, or disabled individuals, will not hire applicants who have a sex crime on their record. For defendants required to register on North Carolina’s sexual offender database, doing so can be a major lifetime inconvenience.Hiring a Skilled Sex Crime Defense Lawyer
When facing North Carolina sex crime charges, hiring experienced criminal defense lawyers is a must. If you are trying to find a skilled defense lawyer, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the attorney have experience handling a sex crime or rape charge in court?
- Does the attorney have experience trying a case in front of a jury? Surprisingly many attorneys do not have much experience trying a case in courtroom.
- Does the law firm have a good reputation?
- Does the law firm have experience defending clients against false accusations of sex crimes, including rape?
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC the answer to all of these questions is yes. Our lawyers are extremely experienced when it comes to defending clients against serious sex crime accusations. To learn how we can help fight for your rights, contact our criminal defense law firm today. Call (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.