Have you been accused of taking indecent liberties with a child in North Carolina? Simply the accusation is distressing, but a conviction could destroy your life. You deserve the best defense possible to clear your name and protect your reputation.
A Charlotte child sex crimes lawyer is ready to help. You don’t have time to waste when your freedom is on the line. Call Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, to discuss your defense strategy today. Call (980) 237-4579 for a free consultation.
How a Defense Lawyer Helps You
You want to protect your reputation, family, job, and freedom. A criminal defense lawyer helps you seek the best possible outcome when facing child sex crime charges. Our legal team at Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, understands your fear and anxiety.
While public defenders perform a valuable service, you deserve an attorney with the knowledge and qualifications who can give your defense the attention it deserves.
A criminal defense lawyer can:
- Review the charges against you
- Inform you of the severity of the charges you’re up against
- Gather witnesses and expert testimony
- Obtain forensic evidence to support your innocence
- Refute or seek to suppress the prosecutor’s evidence
- Protect and defend your rights
Why You Should Get Legal Counsel Now
The sooner you call Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, the sooner we can start to minimize the impact of being accused or charged with indecent liberties with a child.
We can represent you at your first court appearance, where we could argue for:
- Charges to be dismissed due to lack of evidence
- Low bail or no bail so you may return home instead of jail
You might avoid the publicity and stress of a trial if your attorney negotiates an acceptable plea deal. Our legal team advises you of all your options so that you may make an informed decision. No matter what you choose, you want to give yourself and your attorney plenty of time to work out the details.
Build a Compelling Indecent Liberties Defense
Should you decide not to seek or accept a plea bargain, a North Carolina sex crimes attorney prepares a compelling case for your acquittal.
To get an acquittal, your attorney will need to prove to the court that you are not guilty. The burden of proof is on the state’s prosecutor, who must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Your defense lawyer will do everything possible to raise this doubt in the minds of the jury. But in cases like these, your attorney will often need to work harder to prove your innocence.
Potential Defenses to Indecent Liberties with a Minor
In child sex crime cases such as indecent liberties with a minor or child molestation, the most common defense is showing that the child is:
- Being inappropriately influenced by adults
These are not the only possible ways to defend your case.
Other compelling defense strategies for your trial include:
- The minor’s age
- The minor’s awareness of age
- Whether there is a behavior disorder present
- Witness credibility issues
- Witness identification issues
After analyzing the specific details of your case, your attorney will be able to give you a better idea of which defense strategy is most appropriate for you.
Indecent Liberties with a Child in North Carolina
There are three different types of charges related to indecent liberties with a child. These include:
- Adults taking indecent liberties with a child
- Children taking indecent liberties with another child
- Teachers taking indecent liberties with students
Each of these is a separate crime that carries its penalties. Let’s look at each one in greater detail.
What’s Considered Indecent Liberties with a Child
North Carolina’s indecent liberties statutes are vague, allowing different interpretations depending on the judge or jury.
Indecent liberties with a child is defined as:
- Willfully take or attempt to take indecent or immoral actions with a minor under the age of sixteen to arouse or gratify sexual desire
- Willfully to commit or attempt to commit lewd acts on or with the body of a minor under the age of sixteen
An individual aged 16 or older and who is at least five years older than the minor victim may be charged with indecent liberties with a child.
Indecent Liberties May Not Include Sexual or Physical Contact
For the case to proceed, the state must show that indecent liberties with a child occurred. Prosecutors need to establish that the actions in question were sexual, lewd, or lascivious. The act must demonstrate offensive sexual desire toward a child.
Some of these types of cases involve touching the genitals or sexual body parts of a minor. Other cases have no physical or sexual contact. You could be convicted for engaging in graphic sexual chats with children under 16 years of age. There have also been people convicted after touching themselves in the presence of a minor.
Children Taking Indecent Liberties With Another Child
With the rise of social media and smartphones for minors, it is not unusual for children to be involved with the law after taking, sending, or receiving suggestive photos of minors. The age of the defendant will determine how severe the penalties could be.
For example, if you are a 15-year-old boy who sent out naked pictures of your ex-girlfriend, you could be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. But if you are a 17-year-old in the same situation, you could be charged with a Class F felony instead.
Teachers Taking Indecent Liberties With a Child
Teachers, principals, coaches, and other educational professionals can be charged with indecent liberties with a child. Taking indecent liberties with a student in a school environment is a Class I felony charge under North Carolina law. For this charge to proceed, the teacher or educator must be a minimum of four years older than the minor victim.
Penalties for Indecent Liberties with a Child
The penalties that you will face will depend on the type of child sex crime. For example, indecent liberties with a child crimes are Class F felonies. In North Carolina, this is punishable by up to fifty-nine months in prison.
But you could also face other criminal penalties, including:
- Registration as a sex offender
- Community service
- Completion of drug or alcohol rehab
- GPS monitoring
- House arrest
- Loss of gun rights
- Child custody issues
- Inability to find or keep a job
- Failure to find safe and affordable housing
- Suspension or revocation of professional licenses
These are only a few of the various penalties you could be facing. Your entire life could be changed forever if the jury doesn’t find you not guilty. It would be best if you acted quickly to defend yourself. Your freedom and your reputation are on the line.