AMOS TYNDALL: BAR TALES


Thoughts on Criminal Defense in North Carolina

How Is A Sex Crime Determined To Be A Misdemeanor Or A Felony?


Sexual battery is the only misdemeanor sex crime in North Carolina. That does not mean a person accused of a felony sexual offense will not be convicted of another misdemeanor. All other sexual assaults, or sexual crimes, are felony offenses and carry very severe penalties. Those penalties include the risk of a prison sentence and registration as a sex offender. Anyone convicted of a sexual offense is required to register as a sex offender, including a conviction for misdemeanor sexual battery.

In addition, federal sex crimes can have broad interpretations. The sexual offense we see most often in federal court involves allegations of possessing child pornography and soliciting underage people for sex across state lines. Increasingly, the government prosecutes sex trafficking offenses, as well.

The sex offenses in state court are more likely to include actual contact, like unwanted sexual touching, rape, and the allegations of contact with children. The state prosecutes some child pornography offenses, but often defers to the federal government in those cases.

Does Hiring An Attorney Prior To Arrest Make Someone Look Guilty?

That should not matter. A person facing an investigation should be represented by a lawyer. That is especially true when a sexual allegation is involved because the ramifications are so significant. These allegations ruin reputations, families, and careers.

All it takes to initiate an investigation is an allegation. Any person under investigation will know a lot less about the allegations than the investigator, which puts the person at a dangerous disadvantage. Why would you not want the insight and advice of someone experienced in dealing with investigators? You need someone who prepares you for all possibilities, including being charged with a devastating offense.

The idea that you look guilty to an investigator does not matter, because the investigator has reached conclusions before requesting an interview, most likely. If the investigator has sufficient evidence to charge you, the investigator will seek warrants whether you submit to an interview or refuse an interview. It is rare for a person to talk an investigator out of a charge, but common to create problems during an interview.

Hiring counsel to help you make these decisions may be the difference between making a critical mistake and protecting the strength of your defense.

How Often Do Accusers Recant Allegations Of Sexual Offenses Committed Against Them?

The prosecutor represents the state or the government. The accuser cannot control the outcome of the case, but has a lot of influence over the way the prosecutor approaches the case. When it comes to sexual offenses, prosecutors give the accuser even greater discretion on how to proceed. When accusers recant or express reluctance, the prosecutors consider their wishes very carefully.

It is quite common to resolve sexual offenses based on an agreement with the accuser. They do not control the outcome in every situation, but most prosecutors are reluctant to proceed in sexual assault cases without the support of the accuser.

For more information on Misdemeanor Vs. Felony, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (919) 967-0504 today.

Related Articles