If you have been charged with taking indecent liberties with a minor, your future, reputation, and freedom are on the line. The crime of taking indecent liberties with a minor is punished as a Class F Felony in North Carolina, and can have severe penalties, such as jail time and having to register as a sex offender. With so much on the line, it is crucial to hire an aggressive criminal defense attorney with the knowledge and skill it takes to defend against child sex crime charges.
The defense attorneys at Randall & Stump, PLLC have decades of legal experience and have helped countless clients get indecent liberty charges reduced or completely dismissed in the past. Schedule a free initial consultation with our attorneys today by calling (980) 237-4579.
Child Sex Offenses in North Carolina
There are many North Carolina laws that define and prohibit sex crimes involving children. Depending on the allegations, you could face charges of statutory rape, statutory sexual offense, or indecent liberties with a minor.
Certain crimes, such as statutory rape, require the prosecutor to prove that you engaged in sexual intercourse with the minor. Other crimes, including indecent liberties with a minor, do not require intercourse and encompass other forms of inappropriate conduct, engaged in for the purpose of sexual gratification.. For any sex crime, especially those involving children, you will face a lengthy term of imprisonment, sex offender registration and the stigma that comes with your registration, and other collateral consequences, such as limitations of where you can live.
Why You Need an Attorney for a Child Sex Offense
The police, prosecutors, court, and even the media take allegations of child sex offenses very seriously. It is not uncommon for police to believe everything the child says and ignore any evidence that points to your innocence. To make matters worse, prosecutors will not hesitate to overcharge someone suspected of committing a child sex crime, in an effort to force them into entering a guilty plea to a lesser charge or else face decades in prison if the individual were found guilty at trial. While these are not the only tactics employed by the state, it should be clear that if you are charged with a child sex crime, the deck is stacked against you. Don’t waste time leveling the playing field. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights, freedom, and reputation. The criminal defense lawyers at Randall & Stump, are your answer.
If you are accused of a child sex crime, the media will likely get wind of the situation quickly. Without any inquiry, the media will waste no time plastering your image, your name, and the police department’s narrative across news stations, just to sell a story. It’s important to hire an experienced lawyer to not only defend you in court but also combat the media’s narrative, in hopes of preventing you being deemed guilty by the public, before you even step foot in a courtroom.
Randall & Stump, PLLC Is Here for You
You need an attorney with experience specifically dealing with child sex offenses. We have worked with countless clients who were facing decades in prison for state and federal child sex crimes. We know how to collect evidence in your favor, present that evidence and your side of the story to prosecutors, all in an effort to obtain the best possible outcome for your case.
The criminal defense attorneys at Randall & Stump, PLLC have a working relationship with prosecutors and investigators that routinely handle investigating and prosecuting child sex offense cases. As a result, we are able to engage in discussions about the facts of the case early on and we know what is important to those parties when it comes to presenting your defense.
Attacking a Child Sex Offense Case in North Carolina
Our attorneys have experience with courts throughout North Carolina. We can handle your case no matter what jurisdiction it is in, and we are familiar with the unique rules and deadlines in all courts.
From the outset of defending your case, we will first listen to your story and gather evidence to support your innocence. We will evaluate the way in which police approached you, investigated the case, and handled evidence. If anything was done inappropriately or if there were any steps missed in the investigation, we can present those issues to the prosecutors to show the weaknesses in their case, or if we are preparing for trial, file motions to exclude evidence, or in some cases, ask the court to dismiss the case altogether due to the lack of evidence.
You should know that you cannot argue consent or ignorance about age for indecent liberties with a child cases. You may not have known the age of the person in question, but the court will not accept that as a valid defense. That means that your attorney will have to develop stronger defenses that consider all of the evidence.
We will work hard for you and do everything we can to protect you if you’re being investigated or have already been charged for committing a child sex crime. Call Randall & Stump, PLLC today at (980) 237-4579 for help.
Penalties for Indecent Liberties with a Child
If you are convicted of class F felony, there are only two punishment options, which are an intermediate punishment or active prison sentence. You could be sentenced to a term of imprisonment and face significant fines. You also may be sentenced to probation, house arrest, and/or GPS monitoring. The length of your incarceration is based on North Carolina’s felony sentencing chart. The felony sentencing chart in North Carolina takes into account the level of the offense, aggravating factors, mitigating factors, and your prior record level.
If you’re found guilty of a class F felony in NC, you can be sentenced to anywhere between 10 and 59 months in prison.
An intermediate punishment requires a sentence of supervised probation and other conditions, such as special probation (a split sentence), drug treatment court, house arrest, community service, local confinement, skills development, or satellite-based monitoring.
Sex Offender Registration
Another harsh penalty for being convicted of taking indecent liberties with a minor is the requirement to register as a sex offender. Because this is considered a sexually violent offense, you will be required to register as a sex offender. Because this is a public registry, your name, personal information, picture, and conviction will be published online for family, friends, co-workers, employers, landlords, and every other member of the public to see.
There will be a separate hearing to determine if you are placed on a 30-year registry or lifetime registry. Both are devastating, but an attorney can help you obtain the least harsh option.
When you are on the sex offender registry, you will not be able to live your life normally. It will impact where you live, the types of jobs you can obtain, electronics you have in your home, social media you can use, your ability to be around family members, especially minors and your child’s friends, you will not be able to go to your child’s school for activities, and law enforcement will hound you continuously. This is, perhaps, one of the most significant consequences of a sex offense that should be avoided at all costs.
Taking Indecent Liberties with a Child in Charlotte
The crime of taking indecent liberties with a child is outlined in North Carolina General Statute (NCGS) §14-202.1. The law states that you can be charged and convicted of taking indecent liberties with a child if, being at least 16 years old and at least five years older than the child victim, you either:
- Willfully take or attempt to take immoral or indecent actions with any child under the age of 16 to arouse or gratify a sexual desire, or
- Willfully commit or attempt to commit lewd acts upon or with the body or any member of the body of a child who is under the age of 16 years
This offense is considered a class F felony in North Carolina.
There are also two other laws regarding indecent liberties:
- Indecent Liberties Between Children (NCGS §14-202.2) – You can be charged with this offense if you are under the age of 16 and take indecent liberties with a child. This is a class 1 misdemeanor.
- Indecent Liberties with a Student (NCGS §14-202.4) – If you are a teacher, administrator, coach or another school employee, and you have any sexual contact with a student at your school, you may face charges for taking indecent liberties with a student. This is a Class I felony.
What Does It Mean To Take Indecent Liberties with a Child?
The wording of North Carolina’s indecent liberties statute is confusing to many. What are immoral, improper, or indecent liberties? You likely have heard the crime may involve lewd or lascivious acts, but what does that mean? The crime of indecent liberties includes a broad range of behavior, which is why the statute is not more specific.
Indecent liberties involve intentional acts that are sexual, lewd, or lascivious in nature, which means the acts are committed for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire. While the intentional acts may involve physical touching of the minor’s body, physical touching is not a requirement to commit the crime of taking indecent liberties with a minor. For example, if you engage in immoral or improper sexual communication with a minor, that is enough to face potential charges for taking indecent liberties with a minor. Further, you do not have to actually complete the criminal conduct. Under the law, you can also be charged with taking indecent liberties with a minor for attempting to engage in the criminal act. Using the same example above, if an individual attempts to engage in immoral or improper sexual communication with a minor, and the minor does not engage in the communication, the adult’s attempt could result in criminal charges.
If you are under investigation for, or have been charged with taking indecent liberties with a child, call a Charlotte sex crimes lawyer at Randall & Stump, PLLC as soon as possible. (980) 237-4579.