If you are facing a charge of statutory rape, you may feel that you have done nothing wrong. The elements of statutory rape vary between states, but in North Carolina, your age and the age of the other person are what determines if a crime has been committed. The charge of statutory rape does not have an element of force or coercion. Here are the elements of statutory rape in North Carolina:
-- A person is guilty of statutory rape when he or she engages in vaginal intercourse with a person who is 13, 14 or 15 years of age and the defendant is at least six years older.
-- A person is guilty of statutory rape when he or she engages in vaginal intercourse with a person who is 13, 14 or 15 years of age and the defendant is four years older but less than six years younger.
-- An exception to this is when the two people are legally married.
When the defendant is at least six years older than the alleged victim, the charge is a class B1 felony. When the defendant is four years older than the alleged victim but not more than six years older, the charge is a class C felony. Both have serious penalties including prison time.
At Roberts Law Group, PLLC, we know that being charged with statutory rape may seem unfair and unjust. We provide our clients with experienced legal representation against charges like this, as well as many other sex crimes. In some cases, it may feel as though you were tried in the court of public opinion and not a court of law. We will present the judge or jury with any mitigating circumstances in your case.
In some instances, a plea bargain may be offered by the prosecution. We will explain the plea bargain and advise what it might mean for you. Plea bargains are not the right choice for all defendants and the decision to accept or not accept a plea deal ultimately lies with you.