Indecent Liberties with a Minor
Sex crimes are considered some of the most serious offenses under the law, especially when a child is involved in an alleged crime. Even the mere allegation of a sex crime involving a child can permanently ruin one’s reputation.
A conviction for the crime of taking indecent liberties with a minor carries the potential for serious punishment and long-lasting collateral consequences such as having to register as a sex offender. If you are facing these serious charges, you need experienced legal representation to help you protect your reputation and freedom.
Let a sex crime attorney from Kurtz & Blum help. We’re in your corner. Since 1998, our firm has worked tirelessly to defend the rights and interests of our clients. Our legal team brings over 50 years of combined legal experience to each of our client’s cases.
When you hire a Raleigh criminal lawyer from Kurtz & Blum, you don’t just get one attorney on your case. Our attorneys take a collaborative approach to each client’s case, with each member of our team bringing their diverse experience to the table to develop innovative legal strategies and solutions for our clients.
Contact our firm today for a case evaluation to discuss your rights and options to defend yourself against charges of indecent liberties with a minor.
What Are Indecent Liberties with a Child?
In North Carolina, the criminal offense of taking indecent liberties with a child is codified in G.S. §14-202.1, which classifies the offense as a Class F felony. The statute says that a person, 16 years old or older, can be found guilty of taking indecent liberties with a child if the individual:
- “Willfully takes or attempts to take any immoral, improper, or indecent liberties with any child” under the age of 16 years to arouse or gratify sexual desire, or
- “Willfully commits or attempts to commit any lewd or lascivious act” with a child or with any part of a child under the age of 16 years.
The language of the statute was purposely kept vague to criminalize a wide range of sexual behaviors committed against a child victim. However, the conduct prohibited by the statute generally involves the offender demonstrating some sort of sexual desire towards the child victim.
How You Can Be Charged with a Sex Crime
Under North Carolina’s criminal statutes, taking indecent liberties with a minor usually involves an offender 16 years of age or older and a victim five or more years younger than the offender.
However, the law also criminalizes a child taking indecent liberties with another child. A person under the age of 16 who is at least three years older than the victim can be charged with taking indecent liberties with a child. In this case, the offense is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries less harsh penalties than the standard offense.
North Carolina law also specifically prohibits educational professionals and school employees from taking indecent liberties with a student. The statute applies to teachers, coaches, school safety officers, school personnel in positions of authority, and school administrators.
Potential Penalties for Indecent Liberties with a Child
If you are convicted of taking indecent liberties with a child in North Carolina, you are likely facing sentencing under a Class F felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 59 months imprisonment. In addition, the court also has the authority to impose fines as part of a sentence. However, in North Carolina, the sentence can be decreased or increased based on the presence of any aggravating or mitigating factors. We are often able to get our clients probationary sentences even if they are convicted. We make it our mission to eliminate or reduce negative consequences related to this type of charge.
In addition to the potential of a jail or prison sentence and fines, you will also have to register as a sex offender. A conviction for taking indecent liberties with a minor carries a possible 30-year term of sex offender registration, although you may have the opportunity to terminate your registration requirements after ten years.
A conviction for a Class 1 misdemeanor can result in up to 120 days in jail.
What to Do If You Are Charged with Indecent Liberties with a Minor
If you have been arrested and charged with taking indecent liberties with a minor, you should immediately exercise your right to remain silent. Police and prosecutors default to believing a child who makes an accusation of a sex crime. Don’t let investigators try to convince you that you can help your case by talking to the police or answering their questions. You will only end up giving them information they can use to prosecute you.
Instead, tell the police that you want to exercise your right to speak to an attorney. By speaking with an attorney as soon as possible after you’ve been charged, you can give your lawyer the opportunity to investigate the underlying facts of your charges and to begin developing a defense strategy to fight your charges.
How Kurtz & Blum Can Help
When facing charges for taking indecent liberties with a minor, let a Raleigh criminal lawyer from Kurtz & Blum help by:
- Taking the time to listen to your side of the story and understand your needs, goals, and concerns
- Conducting a thorough review of the underlying facts and circumstances and the police investigation
- Identifying evidence that is potentially helpful to your defense
- Identifying potential procedural mistakes that can be used in your defense strategy
- Aggressively negotiating for dismissal or reduction of charges where we can show the state’s evidence does not support your original charges
- Providing you with an honest assessment of your case and your chances at trial
- Negotiating a favorable outcome with the prosecution when going to trial doesn’t represent the best option for you
If you believe that you are under suspicion of taking indecent liberties with a minor, call or contact Kurtz & Blum, PLLC right away for a confidential consultation with a child sex crime lawyer. Let us explain how our firm can help you prepare a defense to your charges to protect your rights, freedom, and future.