What Is Statutory Rape In North Carolina? What Are The Penalties If I'm Convicted?
Teens and young adults involved in a sexual relationship with another teen may unknowingly be breaking the law in North Carolina. The age of consent in North Carolina is 16. That means that having sex or engaging in a sex act with someone under the age of 16 is punishable as a sex crime.
For a free consultation about the criminal charges you, your son or your daughter is facing, contact our Charlotte law office online or at 800-511-7869.
At Roberts Law Group, PLLLC, we have years of experience successfully defending individuals charged with rape, forcible sex crimes and statutory rape.
North Carolina Statutory Rape
Teens and young adults who have sex with or engage in a sex act with a 13-, 14- or 15-year-old may be committing statutory rape as it is defined in North Carolina. Statutory rape is defined as:
- A Class B1 felony if the alleged victim is 13, 14 or 15 and you are six or more years older
- A Class C felony if the alleged victim is 13, 14 or 15 and you are more than four but less than six years older
North Carolina has determined that a mistake as to the age of a sexual partner is not a valid defense to statutory rape charges.
The only exception to statutory rape charges is if you are married to the alleged victim. You can still be charged with a forcible sex offense if you have sex or engage in a sex act with your husband or wife against his or her will, but you cannot be charged with statutory rape.
Penalties For Statutory Rape
A criminal charge of statutory rape is a serious sex crime. Statutory rape is classed at the same felony levels as first- and second-degree forcible rape in North Carolina. Punishment for a Class B1 felony if you have no criminal history is a prison sentence of up to 240 months. Punishment for a Class C felony if you have no criminal history is a prison sentence of up to 73 months.
In addition to prison time, you can expect to register as a sex offender.
Teen Sex Offenses And The Close-In-Age Exemption
Based on the definitions of statutory rape in North Carolina, teens and young adults between the ages of 17 and 21 can face statutory rape charges for what may have been thought to be consensual sex with another teen.
Legally speaking, North Carolina has a close-in-age exemption to teen sex offenses. But, while a 17-year-old may be able to avoid statutory rape charges after being sexually active with a 14-year-old, the minute he or she turns 18 (and is more than four years older than his or her partner), he or she can be charged with statutory rape.
Facing Statutory Rape Charges? Contact Roberts Law Group, PLLC Today.
From our office in Charlotte, our statutory rape defense attorneys defend those accused of engaging in an illegal sex act with a teen. Contact our sex crimes defense lawyers online today or call 800-511-7869 to schedule a free consultation if you, your son or your daughter has been accused of statutory rape.