In Arizona, indecent exposure is a serious charge that can result in probation, hefty fines, additional classes and counseling, and possible jail time. According to A.R.S. §13-1402, a person may be charged with indecent exposure if they expose their genitalia, anus, or breasts to another person without prior consent and in a way that alarms or offends the other person. While indecent exposure is fairly straightforward, there are some exclusions to this law. For example, a breastfeeding mother would not be charged with indecent exposure while feeding her child.
If you have been charged with indecent exposure in Arizona, you will need experienced legal counsel on your side. At JacksonWhite Law, you can trust our Peoria indecent exposure lawyers to give informed advice about your case and a strong legal defense.
Indecent Exposure Laws in Peoria
To be charged with indecent exposure in Arizona, a person must have exposed themselves in the presence of another. When most people think of indecent exposure, they picture a “flasher” who exposes a private area in order to shock or surprise his or her victim. However, indecent exposure can also include other scenarios, such as a person who inadvertently allows another person to see them nude while in a consensual sexual act or while changing their clothes.
Oftentimes, indecent exposure is confused with public lewdness. While both crimes can involve nudity in public, public lewdness is typically considered a more serious offense and may involve publicly engaging in sexual conduct that is only acceptable in private. An example may be someone caught masturbating in public or a couple having intercourse in a vehicle in the middle of the day while parked on a residential street. In either case, an observer may be offended resulting in a criminal charge and penalties.
Indecent Exposure Penalties in Peoria
Depending on the unique circumstances of the crime, a person who commits indecent exposure may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. A class 1 misdemeanor charge typically comes with a penalty of probation and between zero and six months in jail. The alleged offender may also have to pay a fine of up to $2,500, as well as an additional 84 percent surcharge and probation for up to three years. Counseling or classes may be required as part of probation.
The age of the witness to the crime plays a direct role in the punishment. If the witness was age 15 or older, the alleged offender will face a class 1 misdemeanor. However, if the witness was under 15 years old, the crime is charged as a class 6 felony. The penalty for a first offense class 6 felony is probation with up to one year in jail, four months of prison, or two years of incarceration.
If the person convicted of indecent exposure has had one prior felony conviction, then the alleged offender may serve between nine months and two-and-three-quarters years in prison. If the alleged offender has two prior felony convictions, then he or she may serve between two-and-one-quarter to five-and-three-quarters years of incarceration. If the prior convictions involved minors who were under 15 years of age, the term of imprisonment may be extended to up to 15 years of incarceration.
Defenses for Indecent Exposure in Peoria
Building a defense for an indecent exposure crime is not always easy. To be convicted of this crime, the prosecutor must prove that you were “reckless” in offending the witness. This means that if you walk into a public restroom and see another male using a urinal, you do not have the right to be offended as it is reasonable to witness some degree of nudity in a public men’s restroom. This differs from a purposeful act of indecent exposure, such as people having sex in public or engaging in public urination.
The primary defense used in indecent exposure cases is to prove that a reasonable witness should not feel offended or alarmed after being present to the act. In addition, you must prove that you were not acting in reckless behavior. For example, if you were charged with public urination and were seen by a witness, but you were trying to hide the fact that you were urinating, you could argue that you were not being reckless. In some cases, a defense attorney may take advantage of procedural errors discovered in the prosecution.
JacksonWhite Law in Peoria, Arizona
If you have been charged with indecent exposure, do not wait around for the charges to go away. It is imperative to speak with an experienced Peoria criminal defense lawyer to determine where you stand. Call JacksonWhite Law today to discuss your case with our highly-qualified and reputable criminal defense team.
Call the Peoria JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.
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