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Sex-Related Crimes Attorney in Gastonia, North Carolina

Sex charges are treated very seriously in North Carolina, and if you’re ultimately convicted, you could face repercussions that go beyond the jail time or fines associated with your sentence.

Though sex crimes are some of the hardest to talk about and they encounter the most social stigma, you still deserve a qualified criminal defense attorney working by your side to ensure your rights are protected. From my offices in Gastonia, North Carolina, I provide non-judgemental legal counsel to all of my clients, whether you’ve been falsely accused or if you’ve legitimately committed a crime. As the founder of The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks, PLLC, I’m committed to representing your interests in court and letting you know what you can expect regarding your charges. Call me today to set up an appointment.

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Types of Sex-Related Crimes

There are a number of sex-related crimes you could be charged with in North Carolina, ranging from misdemeanors to felony offenses. If you’re charged with sexual assault (rape), your charges and potential penalties will be more severe if it’s aggravated sexual assault (meaning it involved the use of force or serious sexual violence). You’ll also face more severe charges the younger the victim was. Rape of an individual under the age of 16 by an individual over the age of 18 is considered statutory rape — even if no force was used — and this is usually categorized as a Class B felony.

You may also be charged with indecency with a child (a form of child abuse) which covers other forms of sexual behavior. If you are over the age of 16 and the victim is at least five years younger at the time the crime is committed, it is a Class F felony charge. Public sex crimes such as lewdness and indecent exposure (showing male or female genitalia in a public space) are often misdemeanor offenses, but if the defendant exposes themselves to a minor it can become a felony offense. You can also be charged with a sex crime if you’re caught illegally recording someone or transmitting sexually explicit pictures or videos of them without their knowledge (known as unlawful electronic transmission). As with most sex crimes, the charges are most severe when minors are involved.

Defining Consent

Because most sexual assault crimes are based on the lack of consent, it’s an important topic to explore and understand how it relates to your specific circumstances. In general, a minor (someone under the age of 16) is unable to give their informed consent to any sexual activity. However, these levels of consent vary depending on the age of the victim and the age of the defendant. For example, two teenagers who are roughly the same age (say 15 and 17) can have consensual sex without violating any laws, even though one of them is under 16. This is sometimes referred to as the “Romeo and Juliet” law. Conversely, if a defendant is over the age of 18 and rapes a minor under the age of 13, this is a more serious crime than if the minor was 15 and the defendant was 20.

Possible Penalties

The penalty for sex-related crimes depends on the charge and if the defendant has prior convictions. Typical penalties include fines and jail time with some sentences including the possibility of life imprisonment without parole. Additionally, many defendants who are convicted of sex crimes must register as sex offenders after their sentence is complete, which can dramatically impact their ability to gain employment or find a place to live.

Sex-Related Crimes Attorney
Serving Gastonia, North Carolina

Your crime doesn’t have to define your identity, and there are steps you can take to seek a more favorable outcome. If you’ve been charged with a sex-related crime, call me at The Law Office of Eddie L. Meeks, PLLC in Gastonia, North Carolina for a consultation. I’m proud to serve clients throughout the area, including Charlotte, Lincolnton, and Hickory.