North Carolina has three criminal statutes devoted to statutory rape offenses: statutory rape of a child by an adult, first-degree statutory rape, and statutory rape of a person who is 15 years of age or younger. Statutory rape of a child by an adult the crime of someone at least 18 years old engaging in vaginal intercourse with a victim under the age of 13. First-degree statutory rape is a crime that someone commits if they have vaginal intercourse with a victim under 13 years old while being four years older than the victim and at least 12 years of age.

What Is Statutory Rape of an Individual 15 Years of Age or Younger in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, statutory rape of a person who is 15 years of age or younger involves engaging in vaginal intercourse with anyone who is younger than 16 years old, which is the age of consent of North Carolina. The person charged with the crime must be at least 12 years old and four or more years older than the victim.

Does This Law Apply to Married Couples?

No. If the perpetrator and the victim are married, then any consensual sexual intercourse between the two is not statutory rape. In North Carolina a person can get married at the age of 15 if they have a child with the person that they are marrying and they obtain the approval of the court. Otherwise, they must be at least 16 years of age to get married.

What Is the Punishment for This Crime?

The crime is a Class C felony, which is punishable by 58 to 73 months in prison for a first conviction. However, if the perpetrator is at least six years older than the victim, then the crime is a Class B1 felony. Anyone convicted of a Class B1 felony for the first time will face imprisonment of 192 to 240 months.

Do I Need a Criminal Lawyer to Represent Me in My Statutory Rape Case?

You should contact a North Carolina criminal lawyer immediately for help with your statutory rape charge. The lawyer will advise you of the best defenses that may be available to you and help you in defending yourself against the charge in court.