Wilmington Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer
You Deserve a Chance at Freedom
Being charged with a sex crime is a very frightening situation to be in. If you have been charged, you may be wondering: Am I going to jail? Am I going to have to register as a sex offender? Will I lose contact with my kids? What will my friends and family think? These are realistic possibilities that you have a higher chance of facing in the absence of our experienced, well-respected sex crimes attorney.
North Carolina, like most states, aims to prosecute sex offenders to the fullest extent. The law will work against you in every possible way in order to convict you of this crime, even if you’re innocent. Before panic sets in, talk to our attorney for an objective outlook on your case.
Fighting Sex Crime Charges
Even if you think your situation is hopeless, you may have solid legal defense options available. Our lawyer has more than 10 years of experience handling numerous high-stakes sex crime cases, including but not limited to:
- Child pornography
- Sexual assault
- Statutory rape
- Sexual battery
- Sex crimes against children
- Taking indecent liberties with a minor
- Internet sex crimes
- Indecent exposure
Identifying Sex Crimes & Their Punishments
Below are some examples of sex crime cases we represent. Depending on the type and degree of the sex crime, penalties include:
First degree rape is defined as engaging in vaginal intercourse with another person by force
and against the will of the other person, and:
- Uses, threatens to use or displays a dangerous or deadly weapon or an article that the other person reasonably believes to be a dangerous or deadly weapon; or
- Inflicts serious personal injury upon the victim or another person; or
- Commits the offense aided and abetted by one or more other persons.
This is penalized based on your prior criminal history, but you may face 144 months in prison to life without parole.
Second degree rape is defined as engaging in vaginal intercourse with another person:
- By force and against the will of the other person; or
- Who is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know the other person is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.
This is penalized based on your prior criminal history, but you may face 44 months to 182 months in prison.
Statutory rape occurs when:
- The person is at least 18 years of age and engages in vaginal intercourse with a victim who is a child under the age of 13 years.
- Upon conviction, a person under this section has no rights to custody of, or rights of inheritance from, any child born as a result of the commission of the rape, nor shall the person have any rights related to the child.
This is penalized based on your prior criminal history, but you may face 300 months in prison to life without parole. Following the termination of active punishment, the person shall be enrolled in satellite-based monitoring for life.
Sexual battery occurs when, if for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification,
or sexual abuse, a person engages in sexual contact with another person:
- By force and against the will of the other person; or
- Who is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless, and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know that the other person is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless.
This is penalized based on your prior criminal history, but you may face 1 day to 150 days in prison and a fine, at the discretion of the court.
Defenses Against Sex Crimes
Our team has obtained positive results on behalf of clients facing serious charges, allowing them to move on with their lives. Here are some options that may be worth exploring in your case:
- Consent may be a valid defense: Often, an individual may be charged with rape even though the alleged victim consented. We will investigate the facts of your case to determine if this is a valid defense.
- Internet chat rooms: Entrapment is often an issue when police set up Internet chat room stings that frequently target men. Our team will explore your defense options if you have been charged with online solicitation of a minor, or related charges.
- Child pornography: Several defenses may apply when someone is charged with child pornography. Did the defendant knowingly download the images or videos? Did the defendant know that the images or videos were of minors?
- Registered sex offenders: If you are a registered sex offender, you may be able to petition to be removed from the registry if you meet certain requirements.
How Long Will I Have to Register as a Sex Offender in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, you will have to register as a sex offender for at least 30 years and can go as long as a lifetime depending on the sex offense. For persons convicted of an aggravated offense, a repeat offense, and/or determined by a court to be a sexually violent predator, they are subject to:
- Lifetime registration
- Ineligible to petition for a shorter registration period unless their sentence is reversed or they are pardoned
Prompt legal intervention from an experienced attorney is your best bet if you have been charged with a sex crime. We are passionate about defending the rights of individuals facing serious criminal charges, and we want to help you next.
Can You be Removed From the Sex Offender Registry in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, you can be removed from the sex offender registration. Those required to register for 30 years may be eligible to petition for removal after the 10-year mark post-conviction. You must not have been arrested again for a sex crime that would require sex offender registration during that time. If you are required to register as a sex offender for life – you are ineligible for removal.
Charged with a Sex Crime? Call Our Office for Legal Help.
Our criminal defense attorney, Merritt Wagoner, represents individuals in North Carolina who have been charged with serious sex crimes such as child pornography, rape and sexual assault. Please fill out this short contact form to schedule a time to meet in our Wilmington law office. It’s essential that you act fast to prevent your situation from escalating too far.
Do not hesitate to contact our law office at (910) 400-8285 to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation to discuss your charges and legal options.
Assault by Strangulation Client Acquitted
Assault on a Female Case Dismissed
Common Law Robbery Case Dismissed
Driving While Impaired Case Dismissed
Felony Hit and Run with Injury Client Acquitted
First Degree Arson Case Dismissed
Heroin Trafficking Case Dismissed
Insurance Fraud Client Acquitted
Sexual Battery Client Acquitted
Statutory Rape Case Dismissed