You Were Charged With Rape. What Does That Mean?
Rape is often used as a general term to refer to any kind of sexual assault, including attempted rape, statutory rape, date rape, sexual battery, forcible rape or statutory rape. In legal terms, North Carolina has created different categories of rape that can be charged by a prosecutor based on the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged sex crime.
If you have been charged with rape, you are facing serious prison time if convicted, along with damage to your reputation simply for being accused of a sex offense. Contact our Charlotte law office online or at 800-511-7869 to schedule a free consultation.
Our sex crimes lawyers at Roberts Law Group, PLLC, can explain the charges you face and create an effective defense strategy to achieve the best possible results in your case based on all available facts.
You may be charged with rape in the 1st degree if you had vaginal intercourse:
- With a child under the age of 13 if you are at least 12 years old and four years older than the alleged victim. If you are older than 18, you may be charged with the rape of a child
- With another person against his or her will or through the use of force if you:
- Used or displayed a dangerous or deadly weapon
- Caused serious personal injury to the alleged victim or to another person
- Were assisted in committing the alleged rape by at least one other person
First-degree rape is punished as a Class B1 felony in North Carolina if you are convicted. If you have no criminal history, you can expect up to 240 months in prison upon conviction for first-degree rape.
You may be charged with rape in the 2nd degree if you had vaginal intercourse with another person:
- Through the use of force or otherwise against his or her will
- Who is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless, and you knew or should have known that the alleged victim is mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless
Second-degree rape is punished as a Class C felony in North Carolina if you are convicted. If you have no criminal history, you can expect to spend up to 73 months in prison if convicted of second-degree rape.
Rape Of A Child
You may be charged with rape of a child if you are 18 years old or older and have vaginal intercourse with a child who is under 13 years old. Raping a child is punished as a Class B1 felony in North Carolina and carries a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 300 months in prison with the potential for a life sentence without parole. Once the prison term is complete, a person convicted of the rape of a minor will be subject to satellite GPS monitoring for life.
A charge of rape of a child may also include a charge for the lesser included offense of first-degree rape. We have provided a separate page on what constitutes statutory rape.
An attempted rape is punished one level below the attempted crime. For example, attempted first-degree rape is punishable as a Class B2 felony. With no criminal history, an individual convicted of attempted first-degree rape may be sentenced to 125 to 157 months in prison.
Additional Notes On Sentencing For Rape Crimes
An experienced sex crimes defense lawyer can explain the potential punishments you face if convicted of rape. In addition to potential sentences noted above for each type of rape, you should be aware of the following penalties:
- Criminal history. If you have a criminal record and are convicted of rape in North Carolina, the minimum and maximum potential prison sentences will be much higher than those listed here.
- Sex offender registration. For any sex offense classified as rape in North Carolina, you will be sentenced to register as a sex offender.
- Child custody or visitation. You will lose any right to custody or visitation with children born out of a sex act that ended in a rape conviction.
Questions About Rape Charges Or Sentencing? Contact Roberts Law Group.
Our Charlotte rape defense lawyers offer a free initial consultation to anyone facing charges of first-degree rape, second-degree rape or the rape of a child. These are serious sex offenses that require a serious defense strategy. Call 800-511-7869 today to schedule a free appointment or contact our firm online.