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Asheville Sex Crime Defense Attorney

Asheville Sex Crime Defense Lawyer

At Doug Edwards Law, our Asheville sex crime lawyers offer experience when it matters most. If you have been accused of a sex crime, contact us immediately. We will begin focusing on facts rather than allegations and will develop strategic and effective defense strategies.

Doug Edwards is a Board-Certified Specialist in Criminal law, and a former prosecutor, with over a decade of experience in Western North Carolina. Doug has handled some of the most complex and high-profile cases over the years. We understand that when someone is charged with a sex crime, their livelihoods, reputation, and freedom are at stake.

In North Carolina, the court system aggressively prosecutes sex-related offenses, and some politically influential organizations apply significant pressure on prosecutors and the courts to seek maximum punishments on those offenders that are convicted.

That is why we are here. We will ensure that your sex crimes case receives the necessary attention by reviewing the facts and evidence and developing a strategic defense to get the best possible outcome.

For a free consultation with an experienced Asheville criminal defense attorney, call us at (828) 445-1719 today.

Understanding the Role of a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Pornography Cases

Hiring a sex crimes defense lawyer to address any allegations of illegal pornography, especially child pornography, is one of the most important decisions you will make to defend your interests. Defense lawyers who represent the niche of sex crime defense are well-versed on how to handle the specifics of these cases, like their sensitive nature and severity of punishment.

For example, in cases of sexual exploitation, an attorney will need to craft a solid defense that shows no vulnerabilities that a prosecutor will pick up on. This will require a comprehensive look into digital forensic evidence, the context of the material in question, and what the intent was behind an individual’s act of possession or distribution. These cases can sometimes bleed into privacy rights and the legality of law enforcement intervention to support a defendant.

Navigating Child Abuse and Sexual Activity Allegations

Facing allegations of child abuse or illegal sexual activity are other sex crimes that can be extremely distressing to face alone. Consulting with a sex crime defense attorney can help alleviate the initial stress and anxiety that prevents a defendant from focusing on their case and piecing together their own account of what happened.

The most advantageous reason for hiring these legal professionals is to access their understanding of both the state and federal laws that will be used to dictate the outcome of your case. This understanding will guide their ability to analyze the charges and evidence used against you in connection with any alleged sex crime. To do this, they may work with other industry professionals like a psychologist, examine the background of their client, and also look into the likelihood of a false accusation.

For example, all of this analysis may lead them to challenge the specific methods used by authorities to gather the evidence. If they can prove that a constitutional right has been violated, it could immediately dismiss the use of their most compelling evidence. This has the power to significantly reduce or even dismiss the charges against their client.

Asheville Sex Crime Lawyer

What Are Examples Of Sex Crimes In North Carolina?

Sex-related crimes are serious and carry significant potential punishments. If you are under investigation or believe you may be under investigation, you should contact us immediately to begin putting into place protections for you and your case. This can be a stressful, intimidating, and depressing situation. The consequences of simply being accused of a sex offense can affect your mental well-being and your reputation in the community.

Some Common Sex Offense Charges include:

  • Sexual Assault
  • Child Pornography
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Indecent Liberties with a Child
  • Date Rape
  • Rape
  • Statutory Rape
  • Sexual Battery

What Are Common Defenses To Sex Crimes?

Being in a situation where you are charged with a sex crime means the defense has to be strong. If you are under investigation for a sex crime or have been charged with a sex offense, it is important to contact an experienced sex crime lawyer immediately.

We will have a free initial consultation and confidentially discuss the case against you. From the initial consultation forward, Doug Edwards will work with you to begin putting together a team of professionals to provide the best possible defense.

Common Defenses to Sex Crimes in North Carolina vary depending on the charge. However, some common defenses are consent, DNA or lack of DNA evidence, alibi, or that it did not happen. Doug Edwards will review every allegation and statement made for discrepancies and inconsistencies. He will personally work directly with you to develop the most viable defense to the charges against you.

Understanding the Differences Between First-Degree and Second-Degree Sexual Offense Charges

Being able to understand what makes a first-degree and second-degree sexual offense charge different is critical for anyone involved in a sex crime defense case. The differing degrees each have their own legal definition that covers the specifics of a crime with their own associated penalties.

First-degree sexual offenses are regarded as the most serious form of a sex crime. This is when someone is caught using force or other aggravating circumstances to commit a crime. Common examples include using a weapon or causing severe physical injuries to the victim. There is also special consideration given to the age of the victim, as the crime penalties will increase significantly if any minors are involved.

On the other hand, second-degree offenses are still serious but lack aggravating circumstances. Sex crimes, in the second degree, are usually categorized by specific acts of non-consensual sexual activity. For example, someone may not have used force to sexually engage with another individual, but the alleged victim’s ability to provide consent is in question. This could include someone too young to consent or the status of their mental state.

The role of a sex crime defense lawyer in these cases is to explain to their clients what the differences are between these crimes and to provide their own assessment of which penalties their client is at risk for. If an attorney believes your actions actually constitute a second-degree charge, they could pitch the notion of having it reduced. This can significantly reduce the amount of penalties you face and could even keep you out of prison.

What to Do When Facing Police Investigations for Sex Crimes

Being involved in a police investigation for sex crimes can be extremely stressful and intimidating. Because the stakes are so high and the implications can change the trajectory of your life, you want to make sure you behave in a way that will protect your interests and not allow anyone to take advantage of your rights.

If you find yourself as the subject of a sex crime investigation, you want to exercise your right to remain silent. As an American citizen, you have the constitutional right from self-incrimination, which allows you to not say anything to law enforcement officers. If you do choose to share certain pieces of information or opinions with them, it’s important to know that all those words could be used as evidence in court down the road.

This is why it’s always advised to have your lawyer present when speaking about your case to others. It’s important to secure an attorney who is not a generalist but rather has a strong command of defending against sex crimes. This will ensure that all the unique factors of these cases, like psychological evaluations or forensic evidence, are not overlooked.

Aside from not speaking to other attorneys or cops about your situation, you also want to keep a low profile and avoid discussing the case informally with others. A prosecutor can subpoena an individual they know you spoke with and put them on the stand in court to share the details of the conversation. The same rule applies to social media posts, as these are often in public forums where a prosecutor can take screenshots and use the evidence as part of their case.

What Should I Do If I Have Been Accused of A Sex Crime?

If you have been arrested for a sex crime, the first step is to make sure you are speaking to a legal professional. At Doug Edwards Law, we recommend hiring an Asheville sex crime defense attorney as soon as you have been arrested, as that will allow us to be there with you from the beginning.

Do not speak to investigators without the assistance of an experienced sex crimes lawyer. It is important to meet with an attorney prior to speaking with law enforcement officers about the allegations against you. The decision to talk to investigators and answer their questions should be made in consultation with an Asheville sex crimes lawyer.

Doug Edwards spent over a decade as a prosecutor and has developed relationships with law enforcement across Western North Carolina. There are circumstances where speaking with law enforcement may be helpful. However, in every situation, you should consult with an attorney prior to speaking with the police.

What Are Potential Punishments For Sex Crimes In North Carolina

Sex Crimes in North Carolina carry some of the harshest penalties allowed by law. Depending on the charge and your prior criminal record, you could face up to life in prison without parole.

Most sex crimes carry significant periods of incarceration, or time spent in prison. Additional punishment may include payment of restitution to the victim, mandatory sex offender specific rehabilitation, large fines, and a term on the sex offender registry.


Q: Is There a Statute of Limitations on Sex Crimes in NC?

A: For many serious sex crimes in Asheville, North Carolina, there is no statute of limitations. This is designed to protect those who may take a while to feel comfortable pressing charges against their alleged perpetrator after having time to process what happened. To ensure a statute of limitations has not expired, a defense attorney can look into the case and see which statute it may apply to.

Q: What Is a Tier 1 Sex Offender in NC?

A: A Tier 1 sex offender in North Carolina is the lowest risk level among all sex offenders. This is often someone who has committed nonviolent sex crimes or other incidents that did not involve minors. Anyone found guilty of a Tier 1 sex offense must register as a local sex offender and remain in public records for at least 15 years.

Q: What Is the Romeo and Juliet Law in North Carolina?

A: The “Romeo and Juliet” law in North Carolina prevents the prosecution of any underage couples who engage in consensual sexual activity. The rule states that it is legal for any minor from age 13 to 15 to have consensual sex with another partner who is no more than four years older than them. This law was designed to not criminalize teenage relationships.

Why Should I Hire Doug Edwards Law?

If you have been charged with a Sex Crime or are under investigation, you should immediately seek our legal counsel. Doug Edwards has over a decade of experience in criminal law. He has served as a prosecutor and as the Chief Assistant District Attorney for Asheville, North Carolina. Doug’s experience in the criminal justice system is unparalleled. He has tried over 100 cases to a jury verdict, ranging from misdemeanors to First Degree Murder.

Doug Edwards Law is uniquely prepared to defend your case. Doug Edwards defends individuals accused of committing sex offenses in North Carolina. He understands the criminal process from investigation to disposition and will work tirelessly to protect you and your rights. Doug will review your case, looking for weaknesses in the government’s case. He will also assemble a team of professionals to help find the truth and reach the best possible outcome.

Due to his vast experience in the criminal justice system, Doug is uniquely positioned to negotiate outcomes, or competently try your case to a jury verdict. He will aggressively defend you and help you navigate the court process. We understand the severity of the charges against you and will develop a strong, personalized defense to reach the best possible outcome in each case.

If you have been charged, or are under investigation for a sex offense, call us today at (828) 445-1719 for a free consultation.

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