Skilled Raleigh Lawyers for Those Charged with Sexual Offenses
Wake County sexual offenses include battery, felony and misdemeanor charges
“Sex offense” is a broad term that encompasses many offenses in North Carolina. The Criminal Defense Team of Hatch, Little & Bunn defends clients charged with Misdemeanor Sexual Battery, Felony Indecent Liberties with a Minor, First-Degree Forcible Sexual Offense, Rape, Possession of Child Pornography, Prostitution and other sex related offenses. These are serious charges that need a team dedicated to defending your rights. Conviction for these charges may require registering as sex offender, special mental health treatment, and significant prison sentences. You need an attorney before speaking with law enforcement.
Contact vs. Non-contact offenses in Wake County NC
The term Sex Offenses applies to many charges in North Carolina. These charges are typically divided into two groups: Contact Offenses and Non-contact Offenses. Contact offenses include such charges as rape, sexual battery, first and second degree sex offense. These charges typically require the unlawful physical touching of another for the purpose of sexual gratification without consent or against one’s will. Non-contact offenses include charges such as indecent liberties with a minor, prostitution, indecent exposure, computer solicitation of a child. These are charges that involve unlawful exposure of a person to sexual conduct or content, and are illegal due to the purpose of the exposure or due to the age of the victim.
Rape may be the most commonly known contact sex offense. A rape occurs when a person engages in vaginal intercourse with another person by force, against their will, or when that person is unable to give consent. North Carolina law differentiates between two forms of rape; Forcible Rape and Statutory Rape.
Forcible rape involves the use of a dangerous or deadly weapon, the inflicting of serious personal injury upon the victim, the involvement of more than one perpetrator, or a victim that is mentally disabled, incapacitated or physically helpless. A forcible rape may be charged as either a class B1 felony or a class C felony. If charged as a B1 felony, a defendant is exposed to the possibility of a sentence of life without parole.
Statutory Rape involves vaginal intercourse with a victim under a certain age by a Defendant who is at least 12 years old and at least 4 years older than the victim. As the age range between the perpetrator and the victim increase, so will the level of punishment. Statutory rape is based upon the idea that the victim cannot give consent due to their age. In statutory rape cases, it’s important to understand that, 1) proof of force is not required, 2) consent is not a defense, 3) mistake of age is not a defense, 4) the age of consent to intercourse is 16 and, 5) marriage is a defense to statutory rape only.
In addition to rape, contact offenses include the crimes of First Degree and Second Degree Sexual Offense. The State legislature codified these offenses to include all sexually abusive or illegal behavior that is not vaginal intercourse. Conviction under either degree of offense requires a mandatory prison term.
Unlike related felony charges, the crime of Sexual Battery is a misdemeanor. It is defined as sexual contact with a victim for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse that is by force and against the will of the other person. Punishable by up to 150 days in jail, this crime may include conduct such as unwanted groping of another’s genitalia.
Indecent Liberties with a Minor
Indecent Liberties with a Minor is defined as willfully taking any immoral, improper or indecent liberties with a child under age 16, by a defendant at least 16 years of age and at least 5 years older than the victim, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire; or willfully committing any lewd or lascivious act on any part of the body of any child under age 16. As a class F felony, the crime is punishable by more than four years in prison. This statute covers a wide range of behavior. Case law has interpreted the language to include taking pictures of minors in suggestive poses, exposing a nude body to a child, engaging in intercourse in front of a child, and watching pornography in front of a child.
Indecent Exposure is a crime that occurs when as any person willfully exposes their private parts in any public place and in the presence of any other person. A class 2 misdemeanor, the crime is punishable by up to 60 days in jail. Nonetheless, these charges can frequently be diverted under certain circumstances. Exceptions include breastfeeding and sexually oriented businesses such as strip clubs and private fetish events or clubs. It is important to note that this is one of the only sex offenses that does NOT require you to register with the N.C. Sex Offender Registry.
The Criminal Defense Team of Hatch, Little & Bunn defends clients charged with Misdemeanor Sexual Battery, Felony Indecent Liberties with a Minor, First-Degree Forcible Sexual Offense, Rape, Possession of Child Pornography, Prostitution and other sex related offenses. These are serious charges that need a team dedicated to defending your rights. Conviction for these charges may require registering as sex offender, special mental health treatment, significant prison sentences and lifetime satellite monitoring. You need an attorney before speaking with law enforcement. Contact our team today for a free consultation.
You need experienced defense. Call our experienced lawyers now.
You need an attorney before speaking with law enforcement. Call 919-714-4306 or contact us now for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.