An accusation that you have committed a sex crime in North Carolina is a life-changing event. A conviction would be even worse.
North Carolina criminal law takes sexual offenses very seriously, which reflects the abhorrence most citizens view these crimes. Merely being accused of a sex crime can lead to being shunned by family and friends.
If the case goes to trial and results in a conviction, your life becomes enormously complicated. Even after serving your prison sentence, you can expect your liberty to be constrained for years. There will be legal restrictions on where you can reside, travel, and work. It is legal for employers to discriminate against you in hiring and for landlords to bar you from living in their apartments. Everyone in your community can look up personal information about you, thanks to the North Carolina sex offender registry.
If you have been accused of:
- Aggravated sexual assault, attempted rape, or date rape;
- Indecent liberty with a minor;
- Internet sex crimes, including child pornography;
- Indecent exposure;
- Sexual exploitation of a minor;
- Sexual battery;
- Prostitution or solicitation;
then you need the services of an experienced Wilmington sex crime defense attorney as soon as possible. Any delay in obtaining legal representation will make it harder to get a good result for your case.
What are the consequences of a conviction for a North Carolina sexual offense?
Even the accusation of a sex crime can be damaging—and those accusations can come at any time, propped up by slender evidence or no evidence at all. A vengeful ex-spouse can make accusations of child sexual abuse in order to get custody of your children, or high school students can punish a strict teacher by concocting stories of indecent exposure. In today’s climate of fear and suspicion, it’s hard for the innocent to restore their good names and reputations even after baseless charges.
If a case proceeds to trial and conviction, there will be dramatic changes in the circumstances of your life.
- You will have a felony conviction. Sexual battery is a misdemeanor offense, but all other sex crimes in North Carolina are classified as felonies. If you are convicted of a felony, you will lose your voting rights (at least until the end of your prison sentence or probation). You will face restrictions on owning firearms. You will be unable to work in some professions, cannot join the U.S. Armed Forces, and may face other forms of discrimination in employment.
- You’re looking at prison time. Felony convictions come with time in prison. It’s rare for a sentence to be suspended. Expect to be incarcerated for a considerable time.
- You will need to register as a sex offender. Almost all persons convicted of sexual crimes are required to register. Failure to register is itself a felony! You will have to notify authorities of your current address periodically, and update this information for a minimum of ten years. You will not be allowed to live or work within a thousand feet of a school or day care center, and you cannot participate in online social networking. You cannot move out-of-state unless the government of the other state agrees to accept you as a resident. And, of course, your name and address is freely available to the public.
- You may be required to wear a monitor for satellite-based tracking. Sexual offenders who are considered a greater risk to society may be obliged to wear an electronic monitor for a period of time, which may be as long as you live. Tampering with the monitor is—you guessed it!—a felony.
- Your social life and personal relationships will disintegrate. Your reputation and good name will be damaged. Convictions for sexual crimes often destroy marriages and tear apart families. You will be shunned if you tell people about your conviction. If you don’t tell people, you will be abandoned when they find out.
Let Speaks Law Firm Get You the Best Available Outcome for Your Case
J. Clarke Speaks and his team of Wilmington criminal defense lawyers can work to get the best available results for your North Carolina sex crime case. They have an extensive record in minimizing the harm to clients’ lives from felony charges. Every delay means time is lost for preparing an effective criminal defense strategy, so call them today at 910-341-7570 or toll-free at 877-593-4233. Speaks Law Firm specializes in helping good people deal with the toughest challenges of their lives.