Being accused of rape can be a situation fraught with fear and anxiety. The accusation alone can be life-changing. Those convicted of rape in North Carolina are subject to decades in prison and years of stigma with a sex offender registration. Sex crimes like these must be handled with speed and skill to preserve the rights and freedom of the accused.
Sexual assault and rape cases are a hot-button issue in our society today. In a world so ready to judge before knowing the details, it can be difficult to handle a case where you are assumed guilty until proven innocent. That is why you need an aggressive North Carolina criminal defense attorney like Aden Wilkie to help protect your rights while fighting for your freedom. Aden Wilkie knows how to handle sensitive cases with tact, so obtain his legal services as soon as possible by calling 910-333-9626 today.
What Constitutes Rape in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, rape is generally considered as any non-consensual vaginal intercourse. The laws for rape in North Carolina, as well as other sexual offenses like statutory rape and sexual acts that do not include vaginal penetration, can be found in Article 7B of the NC General Statute.
These laws can be tricky to interpret, so it’s important to have someone with experience and extensive knowledge of North Carolina laws on your side. If you or someone you love is accused of any type of rape allegation, it’s important to seek legal counsel immediately. An experienced rape defense attorney like Aden Wilkie has a thorough understanding of the legal system and what it takes to defend against such charges. When you schedule a confidential consultation, Aden will go over all your legal options.
Types of Rape Charges
North Carolina law classifies rape offenses based on the details of the case. The age of the alleged victim, mental capabilities, and any involvement of weapons in the act can all have an impact on the type of rape charges the prosecutor may pursue against you. All forms of sexual violence are a felony in North Carolina. Depending on the details of the crime, legal action can include criminal charges and a civil lawsuit for economic damages to the victim.
The age of consent in North Carolina is 16 years old. This means that anyone 15 or younger is not legally capable of giving consent to any sexual act or intercourse. Consent is not a defense against statutory rape in North Carolina. Depending on the ages of the parties involved and the details of the relationship, the following charges may be pursued:
- Statutory rape of a child (N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-27.23)
- First-degree statutory rape (N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-27.24)
- Statutory rape of a person who is 15 years of age or younger (N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-27.25)
Second-Degree Forcible Rape
Second-degree forcible rape occurs when a person engages in vaginal intercourse with someone against their will or with someone who is mentally incapacitated (N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-27.22). Someone unconscious is physically helpless and not able to give consent to the person performing the sexual activity. This statute also protects people who have a mental disability that prevents them from giving consent to sexual activity.
First-Degree Forcible Rape
First-degree forcible rape includes vaginal intercourse without consent and by force. The defendant must also use or threaten to use a deadly weapon, cause a serious personal injury, or commit the offense aided by at least one other person (N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-27.21). Unlike second-degree forcible rape, the use of force alone is not enough to warrant this charge.
Other Types of Sexual Offenses
Vaginal intercourse is the only type of sexual intercourse that the law specifically defines as rape. North Carolina law defines sexual contact and sexual acts separately. Sexual acts include oral sex and anal sex, but not vaginal sex. Sexual acts also include the penetration of any object into the vagina or anus (N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-27.20). A sexual offense follows the same classification as rape. As such, a first-degree forcible sexual offense requires the use or threat of a dangerous or deadly weapon, serious personal injury, or at least one accomplice aiding in the sexual assault. A second-degree forcible sexual offense happens with the use of force or if a person who does not have the mental capacity to consent is sexually assaulted.
Sexual battery involves forceful sexual contact against the will of another person. Sexual contact includes touching someone else’s groin, buttocks, breasts, or genitalia. It also includes using your own genitalia to touch another person as well as putting body fluids like semen, urine, or feces on another person.
What are the Penalties for Rape in North Carolina?
North Carolina law is extremely harsh when it comes to rape convictions. That’s why working with a criminal defense attorney with a comprehensive knowledge of North Carolina law is so important. The prior criminal history of the accused can have a large influence on the outcome of the case. The severity of the crime and the kind of rape committed also have an impact on the penalty. With all things considered, those convicted of a Class B1 felony like first-degree rape can spend anywhere from 12 years to life in prison. Second-degree rape, which is a Class C felony, can carry a prison sentence of anywhere between 44 months to 182 months.
Those convicted of rape will also have their personal information publicly listed. North Carolina’s sex offender registry includes their photo, name, and address. Depending on the offense, the time required to be on the registry can vary. As a convicted sexual offender, housing, employment, and education may be severely limited.
Common Rape Defenses
Skilled criminal defense attorneys have a few different ways to defend against criminal charges like rape. Without proof of injury, accomplices, or deadly weapons, the charge of first-degree rape can be reduced. Lesser charges mean less prison time. The most common arguments defense attorneys use against rape charges are innocence and consent. Many of these cases have no eye-witnesses, so they depend on the testimony of the parties involved.
It is important that you choose a law firm with the skill to handle rape and sexual assault cases. Aden Wilkie is skilled at uncovering crucial details of the defense case as well as pointing out inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case. Schedule your consultation and begin your attorney-client relationship today by calling 910-333-9626.
Why You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to Fight Your NC Rape Charges
Experienced criminal defense attorneys can defend you against rape charges and get them reduced or even get the charges dismissed. If you have been wrongly accused of rape, you need an experienced Jacksonville sex crimes defense attorney like Aden Wilkie to fight your charges.
Police will do everything they can to get a confession, even if you are completely innocent. That is why it is critical to your case that you do not speak to the police or answer any questions before retaining a lawyer. Politely tell the investigating officers that you are waiting for your lawyer. You have protected rights, and these include remaining silent until a lawyer is by your side.
During the trial, the prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury. North Carolina civilian defense lawyer Aden Wilkie will do everything he can to poke holes in the prosecution’s case and fight hard to give you the most favorable outcome possible.
Jacksonville, North Carolina Rape Defense Lawyer
North Carolina law is not lax when it comes to rape or any other sex offense charges. If you or someone you love has been accused of rape in North Carolina, you need to retain the services of someone you know who will fight tooth and nail to defend your rights and freedom. At The Wilkie Law Group, we defend clients against many different types of sex crimes, including statutory rape and date rape. An experienced rape defense lawyer like Aden Wilkie can be the difference between freedom and decades of jail time. Schedule a case evaluation today by calling 910-333-9626 or completing our online intake form.
Hire The Best
It is crucial for you to have an experienced rape defense attorney on your side. Contact us today at 910-333-9626 for a consultation and decide for yourself if The Wilkie Law Group is the best choice for you.