Enlist A Top-Rated Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer In Charlotte For A Strong Defense
Few criminal charges come with as much stigma and ongoing consequences as a conviction on a sex crimes charge. In North Carolina, as in many states, harsh penalties are imposed for offenses such as:
- Rape or sexual assault
- Indecent exposure
- Kidnapping for the purpose of committing a sexual crime
- Sex crimes involving a child or an adolescent under age 18
- Taking indecent liberties with a child under age 16
- Statutory rape
- Child molestation or sexual abuse of a child
Our state’s laws are rightly crafted to protect sexual assault victims, and the painful damage a sex crime can cause, including post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the punitive purpose of these charges can be marred when there is a lack of evidence or even false accusations. If you are convicted of a felony sex offense in Charlotte, you may spend years in prison, be listed on a sex offender registry for the rest of your life and have the conviction on your permanent criminal record. You can lose professional credentials or licenses as a result of your conviction.
The Harsh Reality Of Federal Sex Offense Charges
Although many sex crimes cases are tried at the state level, some offenses end up in federal court. These include:
- Possession or distribution of child pornography
- Aggravated sexual abuse
- Sexual assault of a minor
- Human trafficking (including minors)
Penalties for federal sex crimes can include lengthy prison terms and post-release supervision, fines and placement on a national sex offender registry.
One additional aspect to sentencing for these types of criminal cases is that the defendant may be sent to a Federal Medical Center (a part of the federal prison system) and be required to participate in an intensive treatment or management program for sex offenders.
Why We’re The Right Law Firm For These Cases
At Roberts Law Group, PLLC, we have handled more than 4,000 cases in the past 10 years, including numerous sex offense cases. Our skilled sex crimes defense lawyers in Charlotte can guide you through the justice system, whether you are under investigation by law enforcement or other authorities or have already been arrested for a sexual offense. Our firm will fight for your due process rights and always seek to provide the best possible outcome to your case.
Things To Consider When Hiring A Criminal Defense Attorney
For many of our clients, being investigated or arrested for a crime such as rape, statutory rape or a Class C felony such as a second-degree forcible sex offense is their first encounter with the criminal justice system. They may have never hired a criminal defense lawyer before, and may even believe that all such law offices are the same.
If you or a loved one needs skilled defense counsel for a serious sex crime, these are some critical elements you should evaluate before hiring a sex crimes defense attorney:
- How many years of experience do they have as an attorney?
- How many cases have they handled overall?
- How many of those cases dealt with sex crime offenses?
- For cases that go to trial, how successful have they been with providing optimal results for clients?
- Are they willing to represent you until they have obtained the best result for you?
- Do they show concern for you as a person – treating you as if you are innocent until proven guilty?
Additionally, a criminal defense lawyer who has worked as a prosecutor has an advantage over other defense attorneys. Former prosecutors know how the other side will build the case against you; they should be able to anticipate the prosecutor’s actions and have counter moves ready to minimize the impact to you. Defense attorneys with prosecutorial experience will understand if the state’s case is weak, and this can provide them with the confidence to represent you aggressively at the negotiating table or at trial.
When Do You Need To Hire A Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer In Charlotte?
The time to hire a criminal defense lawyer with a concentration on sexual assault laws is the moment you become aware that you have been accused of rape, aggravated sexual assault, sexual contact with a minor or other similar types of offenses. Often, an investigation by law enforcement precedes an arrest. It is imperative that a criminal lawyer with specific experience in handling sex offense cases be by your side if you are required to answer any questions when speaking with law enforcement.
Rather than providing proof of your guilt, being proactive in hiring a sexual assault lawyer prior to or during an investigation means your attorney can gather evidence that supports your side of the case and can attempt to have unlawfully obtained materials suppressed in court.
What Can Go Wrong If You Don’t Hire The Right Defense Attorney For Rape Charges
Being represented by a public defender or by an attorney who is not a Charlotte rape defense lawyer can seem attractive if finances are tight or if the lawyer is a trusted friend. However, sexual offenses require experienced representation. An attorney who is not up to speed on successful defenses to a sex crime will likely not be able to help you:
- Find expert witnesses who can provide exonerating testimony
- Employ computer forensics experts to debunk internet-related criminal charges
- Understand the best ways to demonstrate your accuser’s motivations in labeling you as an offender
- Analyze medical or forensic evidence and testimony that may call the victim’s version of events into question
- Strategize viable options for plea bargains or sentence reductions that are likely to succeed in a sex-related criminal case
If you lose your case because you did not hire a sex crimes defense attorney, the charges could follow you for a lifetime.
How The Right Defense Lawyer Can Make A Difference
An experienced sexual assault lawyer and his or her law firm will have one goal at the top of their list when you are their client: minimizing the impact of the case on your reputation, career and personal life. That means doing everything possible to avoid a conviction, avoid jail time and avoid you having to participate in sex offender registration.
Our firm is frequently able to intervene in the investigation stage with no charges filed. This is an especially desired outcome, as it removes even a sex crimes arrest from your permanent record. In other cases, we can negotiate a favorable plea deal or a suspended sentence, all of which are possible only because our defense lawyers understand how the prosecution builds its cases and how to find their weak spots.
What To Do – And What NOT To Do – If You Are Contacted About A Sex Crime
First, you need to hire an attorney as soon as possible if you are contacted about a sex crime investigation. They can guide you through the behaviors most likely to help your case. Here is some of what they may tell you:
- DO listen carefully to ALL of the lawyer’s advice, including your rights as the accused.
- DO NOT talk to law enforcement officers about the case without your attorney present.
- DO NOT sign anything presented to you by police or the district attorney’s office without consulting your attorney.
- DO NOT speak with media representatives, friends or family members about your case.
- DO be completely honest about your sexual behavior (as it relates to the accusations) with your attorney – even if you are not proud of it.
One more very important point: DO NOT ever miss a court date if you are arrested – you can have your driver’s license revoked and face additional fines and charges, including having your bond revoked and having to await your trial in jail.
What Are Some Possible Defenses To Sex Crimes?
An arrest for a sexual offense in Charlotte is not equal to a conviction. Our firm’s attorneys review the ENTIRE case against you, including medical and forensic evidence, and challenge any evidence that is questionable or inappropriately obtained by the sheriff’s office or other law enforcement officers.
The following defenses have consistently been upheld in state and federal courts for sex crimes cases:
- Consent. If an act of sexual intercourse was mutually desired, and all parties were over the age of 18, the defense may focus on questioning the validity of the criminal charges and proving the encounter was consensual.
- Insanity. Defendants whose lawyers can prove they were too mentally ill or intellectually challenged to understand the nature of the crime may be found not guilty by reason of insanity.
- Innocence. Since few sex offenses are publicly witnessed, proving innocence can be challenging. However, DNA evidence provides a strong indicator whether a defendant had physical contact with a victim. This can be supported with other types of forensic evidence.
If the defendant has a history of prior convictions, whether sexually related or other violent crimes such as assault, this may impact the success of these defense strategies.
What Sets Us Apart As Defense Lawyers For Rape Charges In Charlotte
Roberts Law Group, PLLC, focuses on defending clients accused of rape and other violations of criminal law that are sex offenses. Our experience in this practice area allows us to succeed in minimizing the consequences of a sex crime investigation, arrest or conviction because:
- We work together as a team of attorneys to provide cases with the attention it takes to win.
- We retain support staff who enable us to keep clients fully informed and provide rapid responses to crucial questions.
- Our firm was founded by Patrick Roberts, who previously worked in the Wake County, Johnston County, and New Hanover County District Attorney’s Offices, providing him with a prosecutor’s outlook on our cases.
- Because our founder started in the field of chemistry, not law, our firm’s perspective on how we operate is different from many other law firms. We take an analytical approach to figuring out the solution for our clients – and then work hard to achieve it.
Case Result: No Charges Filed
A young client, who was under 16 at the time of the accusations against him, was facing charges of second-degree rape in juvenile court. Our firm quickly gathered exculpatory evidence from witnesses and the client’s own cellphone, which documented that the sexual intercourse between our client and the alleged victim had been consensual. When our findings were forwarded to the lead detective on the case, he quickly closed the investigation with no charges filed.
Our Defense Attorneys Handle Rape Charges, Sexual Assault And More
The legal services provided by our attorneys span the spectrum of criminal charges related to sex offenses. We provide representation for clients accused of:
- Sexual harassment cases involving physical/sexual contact
- Child pornography distribution and possession cases
- Federal-level sex crimes
- On-campus collegiate sexual misconduct charges
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Sexual abuse of a minor
We have handled thousands of cases as a firm, many of them focused on sex crimes. Our attorneys understand the legal nuances in this area of the law. We will search for the solution to your case and fight hard for it.
If Your Future Is On The Line, We Fight Hard For Your Freedom
Do not fight accusations of a sex offense alone. Our Charlotte rape and sexual assault defense attorneys can defend you and protect your due process rights in many types of felony and misdemeanor sex crime cases. Call our office in Charlotte at 877-880-5753 today for an introductory appointment, or email our firm. We also have five other offices across North Carolina, including one in Raleigh – we serve clients from the mountains to the coast.