The New York Penal Code defines exposure of a person in a similar way to public lewdness. Put simply, exposure of a person is a violation in which a person shows their intimate parts in public. Although they may sound similar, there is a slight difference between public lewdness and exposure of a person.
The main difference between these two acts is in the nature of the exposure. Public lewdness requires that a person display their intimate parts in a lewd and sexualized manner, whereas exposure of a person simply requires that a person’s intimate parts be exposed to the public. While the definition of public is fairly loose by the New York Penal Code’s standards, it’s worth noting that public can also refer to locations that are “public” despite not actually being freely available to anyone.
Examples of Exposure of a Person
Given the simplicity of the charge, all that is necessary for someone to be charged with exposure of a person is for them to have their intimate parts exposed in public. For instance, if someone exposes themselves while at work, then they could be charged with exposure of a person. If, on the other hand, a person exposed themselves at work while making suggestive motions with their body, then they could potentially be charged with public lewdness instead.
It’s also worth noting that there is another related offense, which is described by the New York Penal Code as promoting the exposure of a person. Even if someone doesn’t expose themselves, they can still be charged if they encourage someone else to openly do it instead.
Defenses Against Exposure of a Person
There are a few exceptions to exposure of a person that can potentially be used as a defense. For instance, breastfeeding is not considered to be exposure of a person and is thus exempt from these charges. Similarly, a person who exposes themselves as a part of a play or other form of entertainment can use that as justification for the act. A NYC criminal lawyer can help their client to develop a solid defense based on these possible exemptions.
Sentencing for Exposure of a Person
If someone is found guilty of exposure of a person, then there are a few possible consequences. Since exposure of a person is a violation, it could involve the person being put in jail for up to 15 days, as well as being forced to pay a fine of up to $250. Although these consequences can be problematic, a conviction for exposure of a person will not result in the guilty party having a criminal record.
Still, even if the guilty party does not risk having a criminal record from the conviction, it does not mean it’s not worth fighting the charges. By working with a legal representative, defendants can avoid having to potentially spend any amount of time in jail, or to have to pay associated court fines. While exposure of a person is not a misdemeanor or felony in and of itself, the prosecutor could potentially include other charges that do count as misdemeanors or felonies. For this reason, above all others, it’s highly recommended to have a strong defense established ahead of any court appearances. The best way to prevent an exposure of a person charge from escalating into something more serious is to present a strong defense from the beginning.
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