If you or someone you know is facing charges of indecent liberties with a minor in Virginia, it is crucial to understand the gravity of the situation. This offense is a felony and carries severe penalties if you are convicted.
However, it is essential to remember that being charged with a crime does not automatically mean you will be found guilty—even if you believe you committed the crime. By seeking representation from an experienced Manassas criminal defense lawyer, you can safeguard your rights and mount a strong defense.
What Is the Crime of Indecent Liberties With a Minor?
Indecent liberties with a minor is a serious offense in Virginia. Under Virginia Code § 18.2-370. This crime occurs when a person 18 years old or older engages in specific sexual acts with a child under 15 years old knowingly, intentionally, and with lascivious intent.
These acts would be considered indecent liberties if the minor is under 15 years old:
- Exposing the sexual or genital parts to a minor or proposing that the child expose their sexual or genital parts to the accused
- Proposing that the child feel or fondle their own or the accused’s sexual or genital parts or proposing that the accused feel or fondle the sexual or genital parts of the minor
- Proposing that the child engage in sexual intercourse, anal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, or anilingus
- Enticing, alluring, persuading, or inviting a minor to enter a house, room, vehicle, or another place to commit one of the sexual acts listed above
What Are the Penalties for Indecent Liberties of a Minor?
The penalties can be severe if you are convicted of indecent liberties with a minor. They become even harsher if this is a second offense. In addition, you could face the long-term consequences of a permanent criminal record and be required to register as a sex offender on Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry. The potential punishments can vary depending on whether it's your first or second offense.
First Indecent Liberties With a Minor Offense
If this is your first offense, you would be charged with a Class 5 felony. You could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $2,500.
Second Indecent Liberties With a Minor Offense
The offense will be a Class 4 felony if this is your second conviction for indecent liberties with a minor. The punishment can include being sentenced to prison for up to 10 years and a fine of up to $100,000.