If you have been charged with a sex crime, it is important to understand your rights. Understanding the specific charge and its severity along with what the potential consequences might be if found guilty of the crime is important for the legal battles that lay ahead.
Sexual battery and sexual assault, along with sexual molestation and rape are each defined differently in a court of law. If you are facing charges related to an alleged sex crime, it’s important to speak to a qualified and professional sexual battery and sexual assault defense attorney to handle your case.
What are Sexual Assaults in North Carolina?
Sexual assault is when someone is violated by being non-consensually penetrated or non-consensually touched in a sexual nature. This can be done so in a forcible way or through coercion to convince someone to participate in sexual intercourse with them.
Sexual assault is the all-encompassing term for the following types of sexual violence and types of sex crimes:
- Groping or grabbing
- Oral, vaginal, and anal penetration by use of genitals, fingers, other body parts, or objects
- Child Sexual Abuse
- Sexual torture
- Sexual coercion
Sexual assault is when any form of non-consensual sexual contact is enacted from one person to another person. The lack of consent can be present through words spoken by the accuser, the body language of the accuser, whether the accuser is under the influence of a drug or alcohol, and the state of consciousness of the accuser.
Various Considerations of Sexual Assault
Depending on the state in which the sexual assault took place, sex crimes are handled differently based on location. Some parts of the U.S. define inappropriate over-the-clothes touching as sexual assault, while others do not. In one state it is considered sexual assault if the offended attempted a rape, whereas in another state that might be considered sexual battery.
Sexual assault laws
There are many different charges of sexual assault in North Carolina’s laws against sex crimes and sexually motivated assault. Sexual assault crimes in NC are felony charges and have life-altering consequences if found guilty.
- First-degree forcible rape: The non-consensual anal and vaginal penetration committed by force or coercion, and the accused uses, threatens to use, or shows they are in possession of a dangerous or deadly weapon or inflicts physical injury upon the victim.
- Second-degree forcible rape: the non-consensual anal and vaginal penetration against a disabled person who is unable to consent, is physically helpless, or physically incapacitated.
- Child rape: the vaginal or anal penetration of a child aged 13 or under by an adult aged 18 or over.
- first-degree statutory rape: when a victim under the age of 13 is penetrated by a person 4 or more years older.
- Statutory rape of someone 15 or younger: the victim is between ages 12 and 15 and the assailant is 6 years or more older than the victim.
Penalties If Convicted Of Sexual Sexual Assault
First and second-degree forcible rape offense punishments range from beginning at 44 months of incarceration all the way up to a potential life sentence. If the victim is a child, the punishment gets more severe, beginning at 300 months of incarceration to life without parole. North Carolina law takes sexual crime very seriously and if the victim has suffered serious bodily harm or criminal sexual penetration and the defendant is found guilty, they may have to register with the state government as a sex offender.
Possible Sexual Assault Defenses
When facing a charge of sexual assault, there are various approaches your legal defense team can take to fight the charges and avoid a guilty verdict. For instance, we can argue innocence, that consent was present, or that you were not of sound mind. Your legal team of rape and sexual assault defense attorneys will review your case and plan the best course of defense to avoid incarceration.
Definition of sexual battery
While sexual battery falls under the umbrella of sex crimes, sexual battery is a lesser offense than sexual assault in the eyes of the law. The more serious offenses including non-consensual penetration, forced or coerced oral sex, and genital stimulation is felony offenses, whereas sexual battery charges fall into the misdemeanor sexual battery category.
Sexual Battery Laws and Legal Considerations
Sexual battery refers to the non-consensual physical or sexual contact of one person’s body by another person. This includes the use of force as well as the threat of force to another person’s body parts.
Some examples of sexual battery are when the accused:
- Uses their body weight to restrain the victim.
- Uses weapons or objects to threaten or coerce the victim.
- Uses drugs or alcohol to impair the victim.
- Forcing themself upon the victim to touch, grope, kiss, or fondle the victim against their consent.
Penalties If Convicted Of Sexual Battery
In North Carolina law, sexual battery crimes are misdemeanors and hold a shorter sentence if found guilty than assaults of a sexual nature. The defendant, if found guilty may spend anywhere from 1 to 150 days in prison and be ordered by the court to pay a fine.
Possible Sexual Battery Defenses
If you are charged with sexual battery in the state of North Carolina, possible approaches for your defense would be to plead innocence, that consent was present, that the accuser is not telling the truth, or that there is a lack of evidence. Like with any legal battle, your legal representation will review your specific case details and discuss the best course of defense to avoid a guilty verdict.
Similarities Between Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse, and Sexual Arousal
Sexual battery cases have many similarities to sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual arousal cases. Depending on the specific circumstances related to the crime and whether this is the defendant’s first offense or whether they are a serial sexual offender, there will be different approaches to creating a strong defense.
Criminal offenses of a sexual nature that do not have the person’s consent can come with a lengthy prison sentence and other harsh penalties like registering as a sex offender, a damaged reputation, and a lack of housing and employment opportunities because of your sexually motivated criminal record.
It’s important to speak with a dedicated defense attorney for advice on how to tackle your criminal sexual offense charges.
Contact the Coolidge Law Office For An Experienced Sexual Battery And Sexual Assault Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a sex crime of sexual assault or sexual battery, it is important to act quickly by securing a skilled and knowledgeable legal defense.
The lawyers at Coolidge Law Firm in Wake County, NC are here to help you fight your sexual offense charges and avoid serving jail time. We have represented many accused sex offenders and understand the unique circumstances of developing a successful defense strategy.
Call us today at (919) 239-8448 or complete the contact form below.