The act of showing your genital areas in public is referred to as indecent exposure in Long Island. Anyone who shows their genitals in an area deemed public, it’s a crime. If someone is arrested for this, they are charged with criminal activity and face time in jail, fines, and other penalties that follow them the rest of their lives. It’s a dangerous crime to commit, and many people are falsely accused of indecent exposure in Long Island. Before you go to sentencing for this crime, it’s imperative you understand the consequences of this action and what it means for your future.
What is the Punishment for Indecent Exposure?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It helps to understand what it means to be indecent in public. A woman with a short pair of shorts and the cheeks of her bottom out of the bottom of her shorts is not indecent. A woman without a top on is not indecent. Breasts are not indecent at all in any public place. It’s the private genital areas a man or a woman shows when they remove their pants.
When someone is accused of indecent exposure the first time, it’s usually a misdemeanor crime with a smaller sentence. When someone is accused more than once for being indecent in public, the punishment for their crimes is often harsher. The second time it happens indecent exposure is typically a felony charge. If any bodily contact is made when someone is committing indecent exposure, it’s now a crime of sexual assault and the charges are more serious. The typical punishment for a first-time offender is as follows:
– Up to two years in prison
– Limited time registered as a sex offender
When someone has been arrested more than once for indecent exposure, the crime is typically considered more serious and becomes a felony. Felony convictions could result in the following:
– Up to 30 years in prison
– Lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender
The punishments for being charged with indecent exposure are serious, and that’s why so many people choose to call a criminal attorney to help with their case.
Defense Against Indecent Exposure Charges
There are several common defenses against an indecent exposure charge. A good criminal attorney helps you figure out your defense, work on your case, and takes you to court to have your charges dropped or at least reduced significantly.
Lack of Intent – If the incident wasn’t intentional, it’s difficult to prosecute someone. Anyone can walk out of the bathroom and forget to zip up their pants on a day they’re not wearing underwear. It’s also not uncommon for zippers to stop working correctly and come down on their own. Someone rushed to go from a class or work to a job or event might change their clothing in their car and not realize they’re not hidden from view. If there is proof the act wasn’t intentional, it bodes well for those who are being charged.
Lack of Recklessness – It’s considered reckless for someone to remove their pants in an effort to use the bathroom in public. A person who decides he must use the restroom in public might choose to turn a corner and go into an alley where there are no people to use the bathroom on a dumpster or wall. If they can prove they took all the precautions they could to ensure no one saw them using the bathroom, there is a good chance the charges can be dropped.
Mistake of Fact – When there is a child present when someone is charged with indecent exposure, it becomes worse for everyone. If you can prove there was a mistake of fact, you might not be convicted. For example, if you didn’t know there were children in the vehicle of a friend when you decide it would be hilarious to moon them, you can say you didn’t intend for any children to see your genitals. It was a joke that went horribly wrong.
If a couple decides they want to spend some intimate time alone, they might park their car on a deserted road or parking lot at night. They might take their clothes off in the car, but they didn’t intend for anyone to see them or what they were doing. If someone happened to see them walking their dog in the middle of the night, they might be offended. It was a mistake of fact as the couple assumed the area in which they were located was deserted.
There are many factors used to determine the appropriate punishment for someone who is being charged with indecent exposure. A good criminal attorney can help a client find a defense and all the evidence that supports it. Calling a criminal attorney is a right no one should be denied when an arrest occurs. It’s a job someone has to do, and it must be done well to defend those who need defense in a court of law.