What is an indecent liberties charge?
Depending upon the specific facts of the case, there are several different criminal charges that involve “indecent liberties.” Each of these crimes falls under Article 26 of North Carolina Criminal Law, which includes “offenses against public morality and decency.”
In general, indecent liberties charges are sex crimes that can be charged either a misdemeanor or felony offenses depending upon the details of the case. Statutory law in North Carolina recognizes three different types of indecent liberties charges:
- taking indecent liberties with children,
- indecent liberties between children, and;
- taking indecent liberties with a student.
We will provide you with more information about each of these charges, the elements of the crime, and the potential penalties.
Taking Indecent Liberties with Children (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-202.1)
In North Carolina, there is a statutory law defined as “taking indecent liberties with children.” Generally speaking, under the language of the statute (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-202.1), there are two different ways in which a person can be alleged to have committed this crime.
If a person is 16 and at least five years older than the child in question, the person can be guilty of taking indecent liberties with children if he or she does one of the following according to the statute:
- Takes indecent liberties with any child for the purpose of arousing sexual desire; or
- Commits lewd or lascivious act upon a child under the age of 16.
This crime is punishable as a Class F felony offense.
Indecent Liberties Between Children (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-202.2)
When either of the offenses listed above is committed by a person who is under the age of 16, then that person can be charged with “indecent liberties between children” (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-202.2).
A conviction of indecent liberties between children is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor offense.
Taking Indecent Liberties With a Student (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-202.4)
In some situations where sexual contact occurs between a teacher or school administrator and a student, the teacher or administrator can be charged with “taking indecent liberties with a student” (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-202.4).
More specifically, the statute clarifies that if the defendant is a school personnel member in a position of authority and is at least four years older than the victim, and takes indecent liberties with a victim who is a student, the defendant is guilty of a Class I felony.
Consent is not a defense to a charge of “taking indecent liberties with a student.” Indecent liberties are defined in the same way they are under the statutory language of “taking indecent liberties with children,” but this charge typically involves a defendant who is a teacher or other school official.
Contact a North Carolina Indecent Liberties Defense Attorney
If you are facing indecent liberties charges, it is extremely important to work with a criminal defense attorney in Raleigh who can help with your case. These are serious charges that can result either in misdemeanor or felony penalties. Contact Tarlton & Polk to get started.