Indecent exposure is a misdemeanor crime in the state of New York. Although not ranked as the most serious of crimes in the state, indecent exposure can have significantly negative consequences if a person is convicted on such a charge.
Definition of Indecent Exposure in New York
In the state of New York, indecent exposure is defined as a person appearing in a public place and exposing private or intimate parts of his or her body, according to Cornell Law School. A charge of indecent exposure does not require an individual to engage in any type of lewd act. Rather, the mere exposure of intimate body parts is sufficient to be charged with indecent exposure in New York.
A male can be charged with indecent exposure when he exposes his genital area. A female can be charged with indecent exposure when she exposes her genital area or her breast below the top of the areola. The one exception associated with the exposure of a woman’s breast is if she is breastfeeding.
Promotion of Indecent Exposure
As associated, but separate, crime is promotion of indecent exposure. Promotion of indecent exposure occurs when an individual knowingly maintains, owns, manages, conducts or operates a pubic premises at which a person exposes his or her private or intimate body parts.
Penalties for Indecent Exposure in New York
Indecent exposure is classified as a misdemeanor, pursuant to the New York Penal Code. A person found guilty of indecent exposure faces the prospect of 15 days in jail and a fine of up to $250, or both. A person who promotes indecent exposure can also face the same penalty.
If a person is convicted not only of indecent exposure, put public lewdness, the penalty becomes up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $500, or both. A person who promotes public lewdness can also face the same type of sentence.
Defenses to Public Exposure in New York
A skilled, experienced Staten Island indecent exposure lawyer can raise a number of different defenses in this type of criminal prosecution. One defense centers on the alleged exposure being unintentional. For example, if a woman’s breasts were exposed, but the exposure was not intentional and she was not actually aware of it at the moment, a valid defense might be made to a charge of indecent exposure.
On a related noted, breastfeeding would be a valid defense to indecent exposure, as set forth in New York Law. In addition, if alleged exposure was part of some sort of public performance or art exhibit, that may also prove to be a valid defense to indecent exposure under New York state law.
If a person is suffering from some sort of mental disease or defect, a defense stemming from that type of issue could be mounted in an indecent exposure case. This type of defense is likely to require expert testimony from a mental health professional.
Another defense to indecent exposure is a contention that the defendant was not in a public place when the alleged exposure occurred. The law does require that the exposure of intimate body parts occur in what the statute describes as a “public place.”
In many cases, an experienced Staten Island indecent exposure lawyer attempts to negotiate a plea agreement for a client. In some instances, this can involve a plea to some other type of charge, including something along the lines of disorderly conduct. This type of agreement works to remove the stigma of being convicted of indecent exposure. Reaching a plea agreement of this nature is more likely in a situation in which a person has not previously been charged with this type of crime.
In addition to New York state law, local communities may also maintain ordinances pertaining to indecent exposure. These ordinances can be more restrictive than what is contained in New York state statutes. For example, a local ordinance could prohibit nudity in plays or other legitimate types of entertainment or art. As a consequence, a person or organization intent on staging a production involving nudity needs to make sure that both state law and local ordinances are examines in preparing for such a show.
Retain a Skilled, Experienced Staten Island Indecent Exposure Lawyer
Retaining an experienced Staten Island indecent exposure lawyer is a crucial step in protecting a person’s legal rights. The process of retaining legal representation begins with an initial consultation.
At an initial consultation, a person charged with indecent exposure is able to obtain a comprehensive evaluation of his or her case. This evaluation includes a look at possible defenses available in the case. A person charged with indecent exposure also is able to ask questions about his or her case. There typically is no charge for an initial consultation in an indecent exposure case.
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