In North Carolina, rape is defined as a criminal act where there is forced vaginal penetration without the consent of the victim. All other forms of sexual penetration are categorized as forcible sexual offenses.
What Is a Forcible Sexual Offense?
According to North Carolina law, a forcible sexual offense is a sexual act committed against a person’s will or with an adult who is incapable of providing consent. North Carolina’s definition of a sexual act includes oral sex, such as fellatio and analingus, as well as penetration of a person’s genital or anal opening with an object.
What Is a Second Degree Forcible Sexual Offense in North Carolina?
A person commits a second degree forcible sexual offense when they engage in a sexual act with a victim either against the victim’s will or by force. It can also be committed when a person engages in a sexual act with a victim who is mentally disabled, physically helpless, or mentally incapacitated and the perpetrator knew or should have known that about the victim.
Is a Second Degree Forcible Sexual Offense Just Sexual Battery in North Carolina?
No. Sexual battery is unwanted touching or other contact with the victim that is done for sexual gratification, sexual abuse, or sexual arousal. It does not involve any penetration of a sexual nature, nor does it include any form of oral sex.
Is Second Degree Forcible Sexual Offense a Lesser Charge than First Degree Forcible Sexual Offense?
Yes. A first degree forcible sexual offense is a forcible sexual offense that involves:
- The use or display of a dangerous or deadly weapon or an item that the victim reasonably thought was a deadly or dangerous weapon;
- Infliction of a serious physical injury to the victim or another person; OR
- Assistance provided by one or more people when committing the crime
Is Second Degree Forcible Sexual Offense a Misdemeanor?
No. A second degree forcible sexual offense is a felony crime. More specifically, it is a Class C felony.
What Is the Punishment for a Class C Felony?
In North Carolina, a first conviction of a Class C felony conviction is punishable by 58 to 73 months in prison. If a person has prior felony convictions, then their prison sentence could be as long as 146 months.
Should I Get Help for My Forcible Sexual Offense Case?
You absolutely need legal assistance if you are charged with committing a second degree forcible sexual offense. Contact a North Carolina lawyer for help with your case.