Will I Go to Jail if I Commit Adultery in North Carolina?

After you have committed adultery you may have many questions about how this will impact your life. Although you may be feeling a sense of regret and sorrow as a result of your actions, you may also be concerned about the potential legal consequences. If you have never looked into the specific laws surrounding adultery in North Carolina, you may be in for a few shocking discoveries. North Carolina handles adultery differently compared to most states across the nation, and there are specific considerations that you need to keep in mind.

When dealing with any potential legal issue, it is always a smart move to consult with a qualified legal expert. An experienced attorney can guide you through your next steps and ensure that you are approaching this situation in a calm, calculated manner. Whether you are dealing with an upcoming divorce or you are facing criminal charges as a result of adulterous behavior, an expert attorney can help you achieve a favorable legal outcome.

Possible Jail Time for Adultery

According to North Carolina law, jail time is indeed a possibility if you have committed adultery in Union County. This is because according to state law, adultery is classified as a criminal offense. Specifically, adultery falls under the category of a Class 2 misdemeanor. As any legal expert will tell you, a Class 2 misdemeanor may result in jail time of up to 60 days. In addition, you may face a fine of up to $1,000 after being found guilty of adultery.

With all that said, it is important to note that it is quite rare for prosecutors to bring charges of adultery against a defendant. In practice, adultery laws in the context of criminal offenses are rarely enforced, even if outside observers might assume North Carolina’s laws on adultery are archaic and antiquated.

Adultery and Divorce

While adultery probably will not result in you spending time behind bars, it will probably have an impact on your divorce. Those who commit adultery are automatically required to pay alimony. If you are the one who will be receiving alimony payments and you have committed adultery, you will likely receive a reduced amount or nothing at all.

If your spouse can prove you have been adulterous, your ability to act as a responsible parent may be called into question. This can seriously impact your ability to win sole or joint custody, and it may even limit your visitation rights.

Of course, your spouse will still have to prove that you have been adulterous. Their confessions and admissions are usually not enough to convince a judge of this, which means they will have to submit much more convincing evidence to the courts. This usually consists of text messages, video footage, and similar documentation. In many cases, this evidence is collected by a private investigator.

Have You Reconciled With Your Spouse?

One of the potential ways in which you can negate the legal consequences of adultery is by reconciling with your spouse. Of course, this needs to happen with their consent, and you cannot simply claim to have reconciled with them without adequate evidence. Reconciliation is defined in quite specific legal terms in the state of North Carolina. Reconciliation occurs when two former spouses start living together once again under the same roof.

Reconciliation may also involve the resumption of marital responsibilities and obligations, such as financial support and caring for any children. You must also have a prolonged period of intimacy with your spouse. In other words, a few random sexual encounters over a prolonged period does not constitute reconciliation.

The impact of reconciliation on past adultery offenses can be tremendous. In the eyes of the courts, spouses who reconcile forgive each other for past illicit affairs by default. This is known as “condonation,” and it means that your spouse will no longer be able to use your adulterous acts against you in court. This means that you will still be eligible for alimony, and your spouse will no longer have the chance to pursue a “heart balm tort” against the person you had an affair with.

Getting Legal Help

If you have committed adultery, it is best to enlist the help of a legal professional as soon as possible. With a qualified attorney by your side, you can explore your legal options. Highly experienced lawyers can use a variety of tactics and strategies to help limit the legal impact of adultery. In some cases, they may even be able to question the evidence brought against you and help you nullify the legal consequences of adultery altogether. If you need help with this troubling situation, reach out to Arnold & Smith, PLLC today by calling 704-370-2828, calls available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with offices conveniently located in Uptown Charlotte, Monroe and Mooresville.