Beaufort, North Carolina, is a small coastal town and a popular tourist attraction. A historically preserved colonial town, Beaufort remains a small town with just over 4,300 residents. If you are a resident of Beaufort and you’re facing sex crime charges, reaching out to an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial.
Representing Clients Charged with Sex Crimes in Beaufort
Facing accusations of a sexual crime carries a significant social stigma. Hiring a sex crimes defense attorney in Beaufort will help you protect your rights and reputation. The power of a sex crime accusation itself can be personally and professionally challenging and may seem impossible to overcome.
Attorney Joel Hancock has a proven track record of successfully defending individuals charged with sex crimes in Beaufort. When you work with Hancock Law Firm, you will receive professional, experienced, and dedicated legal representation. Every person accused of a crime deserves the best possible defense.
Types of Sex Crimes Defenses We Handle
There are numerous sex-based criminal offenses with which a person may be charged. For a defendant to be convicted of a sex crime, the prosecution must prove all of the elements of the specific crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Some of the more common crimes include the following:
- Statutory rape
- Rape, including date rape
- Indecent liberties with a minor
- Child pornography
- Sexual battery
- Prostitution and solicitation of prostitution
Fighting for Defendants Accused of Sex Crimes in Beaufort
At Hancock Law Firm, we have the resources and network to provide you with a robust legal defense. We will thoroughly investigate your case, interview witnesses, and find all available evidence in your favor. We use multiple strategies to pursue an effective defense strategy, including, but not limited to, the following.
- Using DNA evidence to prove the alleged sex crime didn’t occur
- Identifying any discrepancies in the alleged victim’s testimony
- Identifying any discrepancies with the prosecution’s witness’s testimony
- Identifying and using evidence that may negatively impact the accuser’s credibility
- Negotiating effective plea deals for lesser charges and sentences
- Questioning the motives of the accuser through cross-examination
- Identifying surveillance camera footage or physical evidence
The Penalties for Sex Crimes Convictions in North Carolina
If the prosecution convicts a defendant of first-degree or second-degree rape, he or she will be facing a felony punishable by a lengthy prison sentence. In North Carolina, a first-degree rape conviction is classified as a class B-1 felony, carrying a minimum 25-year prison sentence.
When the victim was under age 12 at the time the crime was allegedly committed, he or she could be facing a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole. A conviction of second-degree rape is considered a class C felony punishable by 44 to 182 months of imprisonment.
In North Carolina, judges overseeing criminal cases have the ability to increase or decrease the length of imprisonment based on the circumstances of the crime, making it crucial you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled criminal defense attorney will be able to present arguments for reducing your sentence if you are convicted.
False Sex Crimes Accusations
Unfortunately, many defendants facing sex crime charges have been falsely accused. For example, if a parent wants full custody of a minor child in a custody dispute, he or she may accuse the other parent of a sex crime. Criminal accusations may negatively influence therapists, mediators, and judges. Similarly, a spouse seeking an advantage while going through a divorce may falsely claim that a sex crime has occurred.
A spouse seeking a divorce may seek a restraining order against the other spouse. If the court issues the restraining order, you may not be able to return to your home to get personal effects or clothing. You may not be able to speak to your children. Violation of a protective order is a separate crime. If you’ve been falsely accused of a sex crime, it’s crucial to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to protect yourself and your freedom.
Defending Against False Accusations for Sex Crimes in Beaufort
In sex-related criminal cases, several legal defenses can be effective. For example, a defendant’s basic defense is his or her innocence. The defendant may be able to show he or she had an alibi and was in another location at the time the alleged sex crime occurred. An attorney may be able to help you gather evidence proving you couldn’t have committed the alleged sex crime because you were not at the location where the crime allegedly occurred. Photos, videos, receipts, use of your credit or debit cards, and testimony may provide evidence of an alibi.
In other cases, defenses may be able to argue they’ve been misidentified effectively. DNA evidence from semen, blood, skin, hair, and nails can be used to establish the defendant was the perpetrator at the crime scene. Finally, the legal defense of consent can be extremely effective. Prosecutors must prove a sex act occurred without the victim’s consent to convict a defendant.
When a defendant presents evidence showing a victim agreed to sexual contact, it will serve as a legal defense against allegations of sexual assault or other misconduct. Proving consent can be challenging, and it may not always be possible to show that consent was given for the sexual act. For example, if the alleged victim was a child or otherwise incapable of comprehending the sexual behavior involved, it can be challenging to support the legal defense of consent. An attorney will consider all of the facts in your case and help you determine the most effective legal defense.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
The accusation of rape or another sex crime can ruin a person’s reputation, even if he or she isn’t convicted. When convicted, a defendant may carry the lifelong stigma of being a registered sex offender. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you.
Attorney Joel Hancock has successfully represented clients charged with sex crimes, including serious criminal charges like rape and distribution of child pornography. Don’t hesitate to contact attorney Joel Hancock of Hancock Law Firm to schedule a complimentary case evaluation and learn more about how we can advocate for you.