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Defenses against claims of sex crimes in North Carolina

In North Carolina, being convicted of a sex crime can have negative consequences that may last a lifetime. Not only does a person face incarceration, even after their release they may need to register as a sex offender, which could affect their housing options and their ability to find a job after their release from prison. This is why it's important to establish a strong defense against sex crime charges.

There are a number of defense arguments one could employ against accusations of sex crimes. One defense is consent. In general, for a sex crime to occur, it has to take place against the will of the victim. One should keep in mind, however, that there are certain instances in which consent cannot be a defense, such as in the case of a minor child. In addition, this defense should be wielded with caution -- trying to prove consent via the alleged victim's sexual past can backfire.

Another defense is simply innocence. The defendant can offer an alibi, stating that they were not at the place of the alleged crime when it happened. In some cases, DNA evidence can play a crucial role in determining whether or not the defendant committed the crime. In addition, it is possible for a defendant to be misidentified as the culprit, and is therefore innocent.

In the end, a defendant's guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the prosecution's burden to bear, not the defendant's. In North Carolina, each person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If any reasonable doubt exists as to whether the defendant committed the crime, the accused should be cleared of all charges.

Source: FindLaw, "Sexual Assault Defenses," Accessed Jan. 11, 2015

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