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Raleigh Sex Crimes Attorneys

Raleigh Sex Crime Defense Attorneys

Perhaps no other crime you can be charged with carries the stigma of a sex crime accusation, whether rape, sexual assault, indecent liberties with a minor, or prostitution. Sex crime cases are also emotionally charged and often complex, with two sides to each story.

At Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, our Raleigh sex crimes defense lawyers understand the sensitive nature of these types of allegations, as well as the severity of punishment you face if convicted.

Our collaborative team of five attorneys has the knowledge, skill, and delicacy required to craft a strong defense against sex crime charges. Our experienced defense attorneys will listen to your side of the story and explain what to expect as your case moves forward.

Our team will use every tool in our arsenal to challenge the accusations and evidence against you, and negotiate to have charges dropped or reduced. If we must go to trial, we will do so ready to fight.

Contact our respected Raleigh criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation on your case. Our attorneys represent defendants in Raleigh, Wake County, and throughout North Carolina.

Potential Defenses Against Sex Crime Charges in North Carolina

Regardless of the sex crime charges you may face, the state must prove each element of the crime(s) it is alleging in order to convict you. We will thoroughly investigate and challenge the state’s case, including the alleged victim’s statement and statements from any witnesses.

A defense may be based on such factors as:

  • False accusations
  • False witness testimony
  • Inappropriately misleading witness interviews
  • Mistaken identity or a faulty suspect lineup
  • Faulty forensic testing methods and conclusions (particularly regarding DNA evidence and rape kits)
  • Witness, police, or prosecution bias, e.g., racial, socio-economic, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

The question of consent is at the center of many adult sex crime cases. A defendant may admit to engaging in a sex act but claim it was consensual. Sometimes the story put forward by an alleged victim of a sex crime changes as the cases progress toward trial and the potential consequences of the charges she or he has made start to become real.

Sex crimes committed against children are considered statutory “strict liability” offenses. In these cases, consent is irrelevant as the law presumes that an underaged minor is incapable of consent.

Sex crime cases often come down to whose version of events is more believable. In many cases, there is opportunity to convince prosecutors that justice is served by a lesser charge and/or sentence. When the state’s case does not hold up, charges may be dismissed or defeated in court.

In other cases, as appropriate, our attorneys will discuss whether accepting a plea deal would be in your best interest, ensuring that you are thoroughly aware of the consequences of any agreement you make.

Regardless of the circumstances of your case, we will pursue the most favorable outcome possible for you and make sure you understand every step of the way what is happening and why.

Common Sex Crime Charges

A criminal sexual act involves forced or nonconsensual physical intimacy with another person, typically involving penetration, however slight, or other sexual contact, such as “groping” of a person’s private areas. It is also a crime to engage in a sex act with someone who cannot consent, such as a child or a person lacking mental or physical capacity, including someone who is overly intoxicated.

There are numerous sex crimes “on the books” in North Carolina. Our criminal defense law firm has extensive experience defending clients against a range of charges, including but not limited to:

  • Rape, including “date rape”
  • Statutory rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Indecent liberties with a minor

Sex crime cases are difficult because the accuser and the alleged perpetrator are often the only ones who know what has really happened. In addition, there are people who use these types of accusations as weapons. They can be used to gain advantage in child custody cases and are sometimes used to retaliate for nothing more than hurt feelings. Once these allegations have been made, it can be impossible for the accused to fully recover his or her reputation.

Regardless of the accusations against you, you have the right to be presumed innocent by authorities unless the state can prove its charges. Our legal team can thoroughly examine the evidence and challenge the charges you face. If the state has a strong case, we will work hard to either prevent conviction for a sex crime or, if necessary, argue for a minimum sentence to a non-registration offense

It is understandable for you to be worried, if not frightened, if you or a loved one has been arrested on a sex crime charge. However, there will be many opportunities and strategies for fighting the case against you. Contact our Raleigh sex crime defense attorneys today to discuss your options in a free consultation.

Punishment for Sex Crimes in North Carolina

North Carolina law addresses sexual violence committed by one person upon another in more ways than can be presented here. In our free initial consultation with you, our lawyers can explain the exact nature of the charges against you, what they may mean for your future, and how we may be able to defend you once we investigate your case further.

Sex crimes in North Carolina, and punishment available on a first offense, generally include:

Forcible Sex Crimes and Punishments

  • First-Degree Rape. Vaginal intercourse by force and without consent, and proof of at least one of the following:
    • Use or display of a dangerous or deadly weapon or an object the victim reasonably believes to be a dangerous or deadly weapon
    • Infliction of serious personal injury on the victim or another
    • Commission of the rape aided and abetted by others

This is a Class B1 felony punishable by a presumptive sentence of 192 to 240 months (16 to 20 years) in prison.

  • Second-Degree Rape. Vaginal intercourse by force and without consent or with someone whom the perpetrator knows or reasonably should know is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless. This is a Class C felony punishable by a presumptive sentence of 58 to 73 months (4.8 to 6 years) in prison.
  • First-Degree Sexual Offense. Sexual acts (not vaginal intercourse) by force and without consent, and proof of at least one of the following:
    • Use or display of a dangerous or deadly weapon or an object the victim reasonably believes to be a dangerous or deadly weapon
    • Infliction of serious personal injury on the victim or another
    • Commission of the rape aided and abetted by others

This is a Class B1 felony punishable by a presumptive sentence of 192 to 240 months (16 to 20 years) in prison.

  • Second-Degree Sexual Offense. Sexual acts (not vaginal intercourse) by force and without consent. This is a Class C felony punishable by a presumptive sentence of 58 to 73 months (4.8 to 6 years) in prison.
  • Sexual Battery. Nonconsensual sexual contact (touching the sexual organ, anus, breast, groin, or buttocks of another directly or through clothing); sexual contact with a victim whom the perpetrator knows is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless; or placing semen, urine, or feces upon any part of another person. A Class A1 misdemeanor punishable by 1 to 60 days in jail.
  • Sexual Servitude. Knowingly subjecting or maintaining a person in sexual servitude. This is a Class F felony if the victim is an adult, punishable by a presumptive sentence of 13 to 16 months in prison. It is a Class C felony if the victim is younger than 18, punishable by a presumptive sentence of 58 to 73 months (4.8 to 6 years) in prison.
  • Prostitution (Adult): To engage in, procure, or facilitate the offering or receiving of the body for sexual intercourse for hire, or to loiter in a public place for the purpose of prostitution. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by 1 to 45 days in jail.

Statutory Rape Crimes and Punishments

These generally do not require proof of force. The “age of consent” to have sexual intercourse in North Carolina is 16. Consent or mistaken understanding of the alleged victim’s age is not a valid defense.

  • Rape of a Child by an Adult. Vaginal intercourse with a person younger than 13 by someone at least age 18. This is a Class B1 felony punishable by a presumptive sentence of 192 to 240 months (16 to 20 years) in prison.
  • First-Degree Rape. Vaginal intercourse with a person younger than 13 by someone at least 12 years old and 4 years older than the victim. This is a Class B1 felony punishable by a presumptive sentence of 192 to 240 months (16 to 20 years) in prison.
  • Sexual Offense of a Child by an Adult. Sexual acts (not vaginal intercourse) with a person younger than 13 by someone at least age 18. This is a Class B1 felony punishable by a presumptive sentence of 192 to 240 months (16 to 20 years) in prison.
  • First-Degree Sexual Offense. Sexual acts (not vaginal intercourse) with a person younger than 13 by someone at least 12 years old and 4 years older than the victim. This is a Class B1 felony punishable by a presumptive sentence of 192 to 240 months (16 to 20 years) in prison.
  • Statutory Rape by a 13-, 14- or 15-year-old. Vaginal intercourse or sexual act by someone 5 years older than the alleged victim (Class C felony punishable by a presumptive sentence of 58 to 73 months (4.8 to 6 years) in prison); or with a 13-, 14- or 15-year-old by someone at least 6 years older than the victim (Class B1 felony punishable by a presumptive sentence of 192 to 240 months (16 to 20 years) in prison).
  • Indecent Liberties with a Child. Willfully taking any immoral, improper, or indecent liberties with a child 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.
    • Adult perpetrator: At least 16 years old and at least 5 years older than the victim. This is a Class F felony punishable by a presumptive sentence of 13 to 16 months in jail.
    • Juvenile perpetrator: Someone younger than 16 and a victim 3 years younger than the perpetrator. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by 1 to 45 days in jail.
  • Indecent Liberties with a Student: Indecent and lewd acts by a teacher, administrator, coach, school safety officer, or other school personnel with a student at the same school, when the perpetrator is 4 or more years older than the victim (Class I felony punishable by a presumptive sentence of 4 to 6 month in jail) or less than 4 years older (Class A1 misdemeanor punishable by 1 to 60 days in jail).

In addition to prison time for committing a sex crime in North Carolina, a person convicted of an offense against a minor, a sexually violent offense, or an attempt to commit such sex offenses will be required to submit identifying information to the state’s sex offender registry and/or enroll in the sex offender monitoring program.

Contact Our Raleigh Sex Crime Defense Lawyers Now

If you have been arrested on charges of rape, sexual assault, or another sexual offense in North Carolina, what you do to protect yourself can decide your future. You should combat charges of any kind of sex crime with the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyer who will fight fiercely for you.

The respected legal team at Kurtz & Blum can provide you with dedicated and strategic defense representation against sex crime charges. Contact us today for an honest assessment of your case in a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

Our North Carolina criminal defense law firm serves clients throughout Wake County, North Carolina. We frequently work with people in Apex, Wake Forest, Raleigh, Rolesville, New Hope, Cary, Holly Springs, Garner, Zebulon, Knightdale, Wendell, Morrisville, and Fuquay-Varina. Our team will also travel anywhere in the state to help clients who are facing serious felony charges.

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