INDECENT EXPOSURE

Being charged with any sex crime, probably more than any other type of offense, leads many people to assume you are guilty. This is because sex crimes such as indecent exposure have a negative stigma. Indecent exposure can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony and may require placement on the Arizona sex offender registry, if convicted. Regardless of the type of charge you are facing, you need an experienced sex crimes lawyer by your side from the start.

Indecent Exposure

WHAT IS INDECENT EXPOSURE?

Indecent exposure pursuant to ARS 13 1402 occurs if a man or women exposes their:

  • Genitals
  • Anus; or
  • Areola or nipple of the breast

to another person and they are reckless concerning whether the other person would be alarmed or offended by the acts.

SIDE NOTE: Indecent exposure does not include breast feeding.

INDECENT EXPOSURE – MISDEMEANOR

Generally speaking, indecent exposure is a misdemeanor as a first offense, provided the exposure is to a person at least fifteen years of age.

INDECENT EXPOSURE – FELONY

There are several situations in which the offense is a felony under Arizona law. These situations are as follows:

  • Exposing yourself to person who is under the age of 15 (Indecent Exposure to a Child) – Class 6 Felony.
  • Exposing yourself to person who is 15 or more years of age if you have two or more prior convictions for the same offense – Class 6 Felony; or
  • Felony indecent exposure if you have a previously convicted of sexual assault under ARS 13-1406 – Class 3 Felony; or
  • Felony indecent exposure if you two or more prior felony indecent exposure convictions – Class 3 Felony.

While the wording of the law appears relatively simple, the circumstances under which you are alleged to have been unclothed will have a major effect on whether the nudity in question rises to the level of a criminal offense.

arizona sex offender registry

INDECENT EXPOSURE PENALTY – MISDEMEANOR

Exposure to age 15 or older with no Priors – Class 1 Misdemeanor

  • A fine (not to exceed $2,500);
  • Anywhere from 0 days to 6 months jail;
  • Restitution – repayment of the item or services stolen;
  • Probation (up to 3 years);
  • Possible classes.

INDECENT EXPOSURE PENALTY – FELONY

Exposure to Age 15 or Older with Two or More Priors – Class 6 Felony

  • Probation; or
  • Between four months and a maximum of 2 years in prison.

Exposure to a Child Under 15 – Class 6 Felony

  • Probation; or
  • Between four months and a maximum of 2 years in prison.

Exposure with a Sex Assault Prior – Class 3 Felony

  • A minimum of 6 years in prison and up to a maximum of 15 years in prison

Exposure with Two or More Felony Exposure Priors – Class 3 Felony

  • A minimum of 6 years in prison and up to a maximum of 15 years in prison

ARIZONA SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY

Pursuant to ARS 13 3821, there are two situations in which a person convicted of an exposure charge will be placed on the Arizona sex offender registry.

  • A conviction for a second or subsequent indecent exposure or public sexual indecency charge involving a minor under the age of 15;
  • A conviction of a third indecent exposure charge, regardless of the age of the victim.

Sex offender registration can also be required by the judge if you are convicted of a sexual offense under chapter 14 of title 13 (including indecent exposure), and the judge determines that the crime was sexually motivated pursuant to ARS 13-118.

indecent exposure to a child

INDECENT EXPOSURE DEFNESES

There are various defenses to a charge, and the applicability of one or more of these defenses will depend upon the specifics of your case. That said, those looking to learn how to beat an exposure charge should review the common defenses below.

As is the case with most sex crimes, a stigma and assumption of guilt can often accompany an arrest. However, it is important to remember that it is not your obligation to prove your innocence – in fact the State has the burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Coerced Confessions

Most sex crimes cases often depend on a confession by the accused. Many times, these confessions are obtained only after intense interrogations. As such, attacking the reliability of a confession is paramount to a solid defense strategy.

Witness Credibility

Many times, cases involve a witness unknown to the defendant, sometimes even the prostitute. Establishing and eroding the credibility of an eyewitness or victim’s testimony is an essential a part of an effective defense.

Lack of Physical Evidence

There may be no physical evidence which means that the entire case could hinge on the testimony of a witness which may be a complete fabrication of the truth.

Mistaken Identity

Mistaken identity can take many forms. However, if the prosecution names you as the defendant based on eyewitness identification, then you will want to look into attacking the eyewitness’s testimony.

Eyewitness testimony has been shown to be one of the most unreliable types of evidence. Other times a suggestive photo lineup can be used to identify you which leads to mistaken identity issues.

Mere Presence

If you were just present when a crime was being committed, even if you knew that a crime was being committed, then you should raise a mere presence defense. If you were merely in the presence of a known prostitute, or the area in which solicitation is known to occur, then you did not have any criminal intent and did not take part in the crime.

PUBLIC SEXUAL INDECENCY VS INDECENT EXPOSURE

While the crimes are fairly similar and have similar penalties, they are very separate crimes. Indecent exposure involves showing private regions to others in a reckless or knowing manner. This crime would most commonly be associated with the crime of flashing.

Public sexual indecency on the other hand involves knowingly or recklessly engaging in sex acts in public. This crime would most commonly be associated with the act of having sex in public.

sex crimes lawyer

SEX CRIMES LAWYER IN PHOENIX

The various sex crimes, both in how they are defined, and in the penalties that may be applicable, are often confusing to those charged. In addition to the complexity of the individual crimes, the charges themselves carry a huge stigma in society. However, just because someone has been charged with a sex crime does not mean they will be convicted.

If you or a loved one is facing an indecent exposure charge, get the help you need by hiring an experienced sex crimes lawyer. Contact our office for a free consultation and learn what a sex crimes lawyer can do for your case of the case of a loved one.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)


1Is indecent exposure a felony?
Generally, no. However, there are several situations in which indecent exposure is a felony. They are as follows such as exposing yourself to someone under the age of 15 or after your second misdemeanor indecent exposure conviction.

2Can you be charged with indecent exposure in your own home?
Possibly. Under ARS 13 1402, you must be reckless concerning whether the other person would be alarmed or offended by the acts. If the person was looking into your window it is unlikely that it would be reasonable to assume you were reckless.If, however, a person was flashing people passing by or exposing themselves to others within the home, then they can and probably would be charged with incident exposure.

3What is indecent exposure?
Indecent exposure pursuant to ARS 13 1402 occurs if a man or women exposes their genitals; anus; or areola or nipple of the breast to another person and they are reckless concerning whether the other person would be alarmed or offended by the acts. It should be notes that indecent exposure does not include breast feeding.

4Is breastfeeding considered indecent exposure?
No. Under Arizona law, pursuant to ARS 13 1402, breastfeeding is specially excluded from criminality.