Olsinski Law Firm team

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First-Degree Rape

Sex Crime Lawyers Defending People in Charlotte and Concord

Sex crimes are typically viewed as very grave offenses. While all accusations of unlawful sexual activity should be regarded as serious, a person charged with first-degree rape could potentially be sentenced to life imprisonment, and they should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. If you are accused of engaging in sexual intercourse with another person without consent, it is critical to retain an attorney who will help you fight to protect your rights and reputation. The Charlotte and Concord rape defense lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm can zealously advocate on your behalf against any charges related to rape.

First-Degree Rape as Defined by North Carolina Law

In North Carolina, a defendant may be found guilty of first-degree rape for engaging in vaginal intercourse with another person without the person’s consent and with the use of force if certain additional factors are present. Specifically, the prosecution must show that the defendant displayed, threatened to use, or used a deadly or dangerous weapon or something that the victim believed to be a dangerous or deadly weapon while engaging in the crime. A defendant can also be charged with first-degree rape for inflicting a serious injury on the victim during the course of the act, or if another party assisted the defendant in committing the offense.

Penalties for a First-Degree Rape Conviction

First-degree rape is what is known as a reportable conviction under North Carolina law. Specifically, it is a sexually violent offense, and people found guilty of this crime must register as sex offenders if they were convicted on or after a certain date. Additionally, first-degree rape is defined as a class B1 felony, which is punishable by 144 months to life in prison without parole. Generally, the severity of a defendant’s sentence will depend on numerous factors, including whether he or she has previously been convicted of a felony or another crime.

Potential Defenses to First-Degree Rape Charges

There are a number of potential defenses that can be asserted in a rape case, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. One potential defense is consent. In other words, if the defendant can establish that the alleged victim willingly engaged in sexual intercourse with the defendant, he or she should be able to avoid a conviction. In many cases, there are no witnesses to the alleged crime, and whether a judge or jury will issue a guilty verdict will come down to the credibility of the defendant compared to the credibility of the accuser. In other instances, the defendant may be able to argue that the evidence that the prosecution intends to use was obtained illegally and therefore should be barred. For example, if the police did not provide a Miranda warning prior to interrogating the defendant and cajoled the defendant into making incriminating statements, this may constitute a violation of the defendant’s Fifth Amendment rights. Thus, the State may not be able to introduce those statements into evidence.

Contact a Trusted Sex Crime Attorney in Concord or Charlotte

Being found guilty of rape often results in irreparable consequences, including the loss of liberties and damage to career and relationship prospects. Therefore, it is essential for anyone charged with a sex crime to promptly meet with an attorney. If you are accused of first-degree rape, the criminal defense attorneys at the Olsinski Law Firm can advise you about your rights and develop persuasive arguments that will aid you in pursuing the best outcome available under the circumstances. We frequently defend people accused of rape in Concord and Charlotte and throughout Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties, including people in Huntersville, Davidson, Matthews, Cornelius, Midland, Pineville, Mint Hill, Harrisburg, Kannapolis, and Mount Pleasant. We can be reached at our Charlotte office by calling 704-405-2580 and at our Concord office by calling 704-918-4747. We can also be contacted through our online form to schedule a meeting.

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