Kurtz & Blum, PLLC - Criminal Justice Attorney

Sexual Assault Lawyers in Raleigh

Sexual assault and other sex crimes are taken seriously by law enforcement and prosecutors in North Carolina. If you were accused of sexual assault in Raleigh, you could face harsh penalties with potentially life-changing consequences. 

At Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, our North Carolina criminal defense attorneys understand the sensitive nature of these situations and can help you through this difficult time. Contact our empathetic lawyers today to discuss the details of your case in a confidential legal consultation. 

How a Sexual Assault Criminal Lawyer Can Help If You Are Charged

If you have been charged with sexual assault in Raleigh, the dedicated attorneys of Kurtz & Blum, PLLC can help you learn what to expect and present a strong defense by:

  • Helping you understand your rights – We will provide you with a thorough evaluation of your case and keep you updated at all times as the case progresses through the justice system. 
  • Persuading authorities to drop or reduce charges – In some cases, there may be grounds for reducing the charges against you or dismissing them entirely. An attorney can handle discussions with law enforcement and prosecutors on your behalf to try to convince them to drop their case.
  • Conducting a private investigation – Our attorneys can conduct an independent investigation to determine if false accusations have been made against you, evaluate the alleged crime scene, speak with witnesses, and uncover valuable evidence to aid in your defense.
  • Negotiating a plea bargain with prosecutors – You may have the opportunity to avoid an uncertain and lengthy trial by agreeing to plead guilty to a lesser offense. This could allow you to avoid jail time or registering as a sex offender.
  • Defending you in court – If your case goes to trial, we can use our considerable experience and resources to anticipate the prosecution’s tactics and develop a strong defense strategy accordingly. Our lawyers use a collaborative approach, so you get the benefit of our whole team.

What Is Sexual Assault in North Carolina?

North Carolina sexual assault laws define four main types of sexual assault, each of which is a felony:

  • First-degree rapeFirst-degree rape involves engaging in forceful vaginal penetration of a victim without their consent and by use or threat of use of a deadly weapon, the infliction of serious injury, or the assistance of another person.
  • Second-degree rapeSecond-degree rape involves engaging in vaginal intercourse by force, either without consent or with a victim who is known to be mentally disabled, incapacitated, or physically helpless.
  • First-degree sexual offense – A first-degree sexual offense occurs when a person engages in a non-consensual sexual act other than vaginal penetration by force, with the use or threat of use of a deadly weapon, by inflicting serious injury, or with the help of another person.
  • Second-degree sexual offense – A second-degree sexual offense occurs when a person engages in a non-consensual sexual act other than vaginal penetration by force, with a victim who is known to be mentally disabled, incapacitated, or physically helpless.

Other Sex Crimes in North Carolina

At Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, we aggressively defend clients accused of various sex crimes in North Carolina. Our team has decades of experience representing clients in sex crime cases, such as:

  • Sexual battery – A person may be charged with sexual battery if they engage in forceful sexual contact for arousal or gratification with another person against their will or with a person who is disabled, incapacitated, or helpless. 
  • Statutory rape – An adult may be charged with statutory rape if they have sex with a child 12 or younger. A minor can be charged with statutory rape if they are at least 12 years old and four or more years older than the alleged victim.
  • Child molestation – Child molestation and child sexual abuse are classified as “taking indecent liberties with a child” under North Carolina law. A person may be charged with taking indecent liberties with a child if they are at least 16, at least five years older than the child, and willfully commit or attempt to commit any “immoral, improper, or indecent liberties” with the child for arousal or sexual gratification or if they commit or attempt to commit “lewd or lascivious” acts upon the child.
  • Prostitution – A person could be charged with prostitution if they perform, offer, or agree to perform any sexual act for money or other favors. Solicitation of prostitution is also a crime, and both are considered Class 1 misdemeanors.

How Is Sexual Assault Different Than Other Sex Crimes?

The law categorizes and punishes sex crimes differently depending on a variety of factors, such as their severity and whether it was a one-time or repeated offense. More severe crimes, such as those involving forcible penetration or serious bodily injury, typically result in harsher charges and penalties. 

Sexual assault is often used as a catch-all term or used interchangeably with other terms like rape. However, sexual assault has its own specific definition under the law. Sexual assault crimes are different from many other crimes because they can be charged as different classes of felonies based on the circumstances of each case.  

Possible Penalties for Sexual Assault in North Carolina

Sexual assault is a category of serious crimes in North Carolina that carry harsh criminal penalties. Depending on the type of sexual assault charges filed against you and any prior criminal convictions you have, you could face punishments such as:

  • First-degree rape – A conviction of first-degree rape charges carries a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.
  • Second-degree rape – A conviction of second-degree rape charges carries a penalty of 231 months imprisonment.
  • First-degree sexual offense – First-degree sexual offense is charged as a Class B1 felony and carries a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.
  • Second-degree sexual offense – Second-degree sexual offense is charged as a Class C felony and carries a maximum penalty of 231 months imprisonment.

In most cases, a sexual assault conviction also means you will be required to register on the national sex offenders’ registry. Inclusion in this database can impact your ability to find a job, apply for housing, or even travel to certain areas.

The potential penalty you face will depend on several factors, including any prior criminal history and the strength of your defense.  

Contact Us for Immediate Assistance

If you have been accused or charged with sexual assault in North Carolina, it’s critical to hire an experienced sex crimes lawyer who has faced and overcome these charges in previous cases. The knowledgeable defense attorneys of Kurtz & Blum, PLLC fit this description. 

Our respected and diverse legal team can protect your rights and develop a strategic legal defense against the charges you face. Contact us today for a confidential case review

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