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North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys
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What's At Stake In A Second-Degree Rape Charge?

A Gastonia man is facing charges of second-degree rape after a New Year's Day liaison at his home led to accusations of sexual assault. According to reports of the incident, the woman involved had suffered a seizure and was unconscious at the time the sex act took place.

The man was arrested on sex crimes charges; his bond was set at $100,000.

Second-degree rape is chargeable when an individual has sexual intercourse with another who is mentally incapacitated, mentally disabled or physically helpless.

The 24-year-old man is facing a serious felony sex crime. Second-degree rape is a Class C felony in North Carolina. A conviction can trigger a minimum prison sentence of 58-73 months under North Carolina's structured sentencing grid; the minimum sentence is higher for those with a prior criminal history.

North Carolina has established substantially higher maximum prison sentences for sex offenses that trigger sex offender registration after conviction. A minimum sentence of 58 months in prison will trigger a maximum sentence of 130 months in prison for a second-degree rape conviction.

A conviction on second-degree rape charges is considered a sexually violent offense and will trigger a requirement that the individual register as a sex offender for a period years to life, depending on the circumstances of the crime and his or her criminal history.

Although we've attempted to paint a correct picture of what lies ahead for someone facing second-degree rape charges in North Carolina, the facts of each case are different and deviations from the numbers above are possible. These are just estimates. An experienced sex crimes defense lawyer can discuss the consequences on the line in your case, based on your history as well as discuss an appropriate strategy for fighting the charges you face or mitigating the potential consequences of a conviction.

Source: Gaston Gazette, "Man charged with raping woman unconscious from seizure," January 14, 2013

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