The Penalties for Sexual Offenses in North Carolina

North Carolina criminal laws take sexual crimes, including rape charges, incredibly seriously. When the prosecution tries defendants for rape, the life of a defendant can become incredibly complicated. Even the accusation of rape can have a significant negative impact on a defendant's reputation. Defendants convicted of sexual offenses will serve prison sentences - potentially lengthy ones.

Additionally, even after getting out of prison, convicted defendants may face legal restrictions as to where they can travel, work, and reside. Employers have a legal right to discriminate against defendants during the hiring process. Landlords have a right to bar someone with sex offense history from renting property. Members of the community can look up the personal information of defendants on the North Carolina sex offender registry. If you are facing rape charges in North Carolina, hiring skilled attorneys is essential. Contact our Charlotte criminal defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.

How Does the State of North Carolina Define the Crime of Rape?

North Carolina sex crimes prosecutors have the ability to bring several sexual offense charges against defendants. North Carolina represents several different types of rape charges, to include the following:

  • Statutory rape of a child by an adult
  • Second-degree forcible rape
  • First-degree forcible rape
  • Statutory rape of a person younger than 15 years of age
  • First-degree forcible sexual offense
  • First-degree statutory sexual offense
  • Statutory sexual offense by an adult with a child
  • Statutory sexual offense with a person aged 15 years or younger
  • Sexual activity by a substitute guardian or parent
  • Sexual battery
  • Sexual activity with a student

When determining the sex offense with which to charge a defendant, a prosecutor considers the age of the defendant, the age of the victim, and the sexual act itself. Statutory rape and statutory offense charges involve defendants who have sexual intercourse with a person younger than 15 years of age. When a sexual offense is not consensual and happens by force or by the threat of force, a prosecutor will probably bring rape charges.

In order to prove the charge of rape, prosecutors must prove that sexual intercourse took place. When sexual intercourse or penetration did not take place, they may bring sexual battery or sexual offense charges instead. The crime of sexual battery can include force, but it does not involve penetration. Sexual battery can be any act from forced touching to forced groping without consent.

Penalties for Sexual Offenses in North Carolina

The penalties for sexual offenses, including rape, carry a wide range of penalties. The penalties depend on the nature of the crime and whether or not the defendant is a first-time offender or a repeat offender. North Carolina determines punishments based on the class of crime.

Class B1 and B2 Sex Crimes in North Carolina

Class B1 sex crimes are the most serious sex crimes. Correspondingly, those convicted of Class B1 sex crimes face some of the most severe penalties. Class B1 crimes come with a sentence of 144 months in prison to a sentence of life in prison without parole. Class B1 crimes include the following:

  • First-degree rape
  • Rape of a child
  • Statutory rape when the minor is 13, 14, or 15 and the defendant is more than 6 years older
  • First-degree forcible sex offense
  • The sexual offense of a child

Attempted rape is a Class B2 sex crime with a corresponding sentence of 94 to 393 months in jail.

Class C Sex Crimes in North Carolina

Class C sex crimes include the following:

  • Second-degree rape
  • Statutory rape when a minor is 13, 14, or 15 and the defendant is between four and six years older than the defendant
  • Second-degree forcible sex offense

Class C sex crimes come with a corresponding 44 to 182 months in prison.

Class D, E, F, and I Sex Crimes in North Carolina

First-degree sexual exploitation of a minor is a Class D crime that comes with a sentence of 38 to 160 months in prison. Child molestation is a class E crime, sexual exploitation of a minor is a class F crime. Finally, third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor is a class I crime.

Our Sex Crime Defense Lawyers Can Help

Facing sex crime charges can be overwhelming. If you are facing a sex crime charge in North Carolina, the criminal defense lawyers of Arnold & Smith, PLLC can help. We fight hard on behalf of our clients Contact our criminal defense law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn how we can fight for you.