Nobody likes to think of child abuse or sexual exploitation of a minor. The charge carries one of the worst social stigmas in most cultures around the world. Being falsely accused of molestation or exploitation can be devastating. You may lose custody of your children and face prison time in places where inmates do not treat those who are convicted kindly. You may lose the trust and respect of friends and family, even if the charges are wholly false. Our skilled Raleigh child molestation attorneys can help.
Those who are guilty of sex crimes against children will be punished according to the laws in North Carolina. Most acts of child exploitation are considered felonies, and all require registry on a state sex offender list.
To fight a charge of Raleigh child molestation or exploitation, you’ll need legal advocates who understand what you’re going through and who are willing to hear your side of the story. You’ll need the counsel of the knowledgeable attorneys at Scharff Law Firm in Raleigh, North Carolina. We have firsthand knowledge of prosecution strategies as well as years of public defense service in one of the highest crime centers in the country. Our child molestation lawyers in Raleigh will aggressively protect your rights and reputation in a child related sex offense case.
Sex offenses including children are some of the most difficult cases to defend. It is difficult for people to look at allegations regarding children with impartiality. In some cases, there is evidence of mistreatment of some form. Others are wholly about revenge, and angry parties may use children as pawns, coaching them to say certain things as a means of enacting revenge on an innocent party.
Whatever your situation, you deserve to have your side of the story presented in a fair and accurate manner. Don’t be afraid to reach out for legal help at the first sign of an investigation. The best way to react to allegations is with a proactive legal defense.
Crimes Associated with Child Molestation/Exploitation
Molestation and exploitation charges are sexual in nature. They involve abusive actions by an adult against minors under the age of 16. Offenses may include:
- Statutory rape
- Indecent liberties (encouraging sexualized behavior for the purpose of sexual gratification)
- Child pornography (possession, creation, and/or distribution)
- Child solicitation
- Aggravated sexual actions (cause physical harm or sodomy)
The laws surrounding these offenses vary depending on the age of the victim, the number of instances, and a defendant’s criminal history. Anyone convicted of one of these crimes may face years in prison, fines, and other court ordered sentencing.
Those who have been convicted of a child molestation or exploitation charge in Raleigh, NC will also have to follow the rules set forth by the sex offender registry and will no longer be able to serve in teaching or other child-related careers. The impact is often life-altering, and waiting to consult a defense attorney leaves room for the prosecution to build a case against you.
Not all child related sex offenses are the types of cases you hear about on the news. Ignorance regarding a child’s age is not a defense. However, if there is only four years difference between parties, in which one or both parties are minors, proving consent is a valid defense. It is known as the Romeo and Juliet exception. Another exception includes consensual sex between married couples, even if one spouse is underage.
False accusations are also common in child exploitation cases. Securing evidence that may exonerate you is imperative in these cases. Prosecutors will challenge a defendant’s credibility, character, and history to secure a conviction. A qualified criminal defense attorney will carefully examine the context of the situation and the accuser’s credibility to determine the illegitimacy of an accusation.
Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation about your case.