There are many North Carolina laws that define and prohibit sex crimes involving children. Depending on the allegations, you could face charges of forcible rape, statutory rape, statutory sexual offense, or indecent liberties with a minor. Certain crimes 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 sexual contact. For any sex crime, especially those involving children, you will face a lengthy term of imprisonment, sex offender registration, and other collateral consequences.
If you have been charged with engaging in unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Charlotte, NC, call a sex crimes lawyer at Randall & Stump, PLLC. We are here to thoroughly investigate the allegations and determine your strongest possible defenses. We will fight hard to obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today at (980) 237-4579 to schedule a free and confidential evaluation of your case.
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. It 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
- 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 involves lascivious intent, 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 it reveals an offensive sexual desire. The intentional conduct may involve the sexual or genital parts or female breasts of the minor party. Or, the intentional conduct may involve you creating contact between your genitals and the minor party.
Additionally, indecent liberties do not have to include touching. In the past, courts have found sexually graphic conversations and masturbating in a child’s presence break the law.
If you have been wrongly charged with taking indecent liberties with a child, call a Charlotte sex crimes lawyer at Randall & Stump, PLLC as soon as possible.
Penalties for Indecent Liberties with a Child
If you are convicted of class F felony, you can expect to 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 41 months in prison.
If you were charged and convicted with a class I felony, then you face lower ranges of imprisonment. A prison term for this felony level is between three months and one year.
Sex Offender Registration
Another harsh penalty for taking indecent liberties with a minor is sex offender registration. Because this is considered a sexually violent offense, you will be required to register as a sex offender. 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.