Being charged with a crime is one of the scariest situations someone can be in. All criminal charges come with some potentially severe consequences and one of the most severe categories of crimes, are sex crimes. Indecent liberties is a sex crime that is often charged in North Carolina criminal courts. What should someone do when they are charged with indecent liberties? In this blog we will discuss it. Like all our blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only and not intended as substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.
What does it mean to be charged with indecent liberties?
In North Carolina, under General Statute 14-202.1 indecent liberties occurs when someone “Willfully takes or attempts to take any immoral, improper, or indecent liberties with any child of either sex under the age of 16 years for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire; or willfully commits or attempts to commit any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body or any part or member of the body of any child of either sex under the age of 16 years.”
When your average person thinks the term “child molestation” what they are commonly thinking of is the crime that would be categorized as indecent liberties under North Carolina Law.
The consequences of being charged with indecent liberties
Statutory is a Class F felony and follows the North Carolina Felony sentencing guidelines. Additionally, conviction of this crime requires sex offender registration. When someone is charged with indecent liberties before the case is resolved the pending charge can show up on criminal background checks. These are just a few of the collateral consequences that the defendant must be concerned about.
Defense when charged with indecent liberties
When charged with indecent liberties, the defendant should seek immediate legal representation. Like all other criminal cases there is only three ways this can end; a dismissal, a guilty plea, or a trial.
When defending someone charged with indecent liberties, the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegations are very important. While there are no affirmative defenses that are commonly used when someone is charged with indecent liberties, the defense still has the hold the government to their burden. This can be done through cross examination of witnesses in a trial, challenging the admissibility of certain evidence, and making sure the defendant receives Due Process.
Like all criminal matters the defendant has the presumption of innocence and he is innocent until proven guilty.