A charge for public indecency is a serious offense in Arizona. Under Arizona law, an individual can be charged with two distinct crimes relating to public indecency: indecent exposure and public sexual indecency. Being charged with either of these crimes carries repercussions that extend well beyond the legal system. Criminal charges for indecency carry serious consequences may affect your personal and professional relationships. When police make allegations of sexual misconduct, such as public indecency, family and friends often jump to conclusions, failing to embrace the principle of the presumption of innocence. If you were charged speak to a public indecency lawyer as soon as possible.
At the Blischak Law Firm, we believe that anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty and will aggressively defend you against public indecency charges. Our attorneys have experience working for law enforcement agencies and prosecutorial offices, which gives us insight into how law enforcement and the prosecutor will approach your case.
We use our prior experience to stay one step ahead of the prosecution in defending your case to ensure that you get the outcome that you deserve. If you have been accused of public indecency in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, or the surrounding area, please contact our criminal defense lawyers to set up a free consultation.
What is Public Indecency Under Arizona Law?
Public indecency is a blanket term for two individual indecency charges: indecent exposure and public sexual indecency. Indecent exposure is the lesser of the two crimes, although it should be considered just as serious. To be found guilty of indecent exposure, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The individual exposed his or her genitals or anus, or if a woman, that she exposed the areola or nipple of her breast or breasts and another person was present, and the individual was reckless about whether the other person, as a reasonable person, would be offended or alarmed by the act.
However, there is an exception to public indecency for breastfeeding mothers. If a mother is breastfeeding and exposes the areola or nipple of her breast while breastfeeding, she is not guilty of the crime of indecent exposure.
Similarly, to be found guilty of public sexual indecency, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
The individual intentionally or knowingly engaged in any of the following acts, and another person was present, and the individual was reckless about whether such other person, as a reasonable person, would be offended or alarmed by the act:
- An act of sexual contact;
- An act of oral sexual contact;
- An act of sexual intercourse; or,
- An act of bestiality.
Regardless of which public indecency crime you are charged with, the consequences for a conviction are severe and should not be taken lightly.
What are the Penalties for Public Indecency in Arizona?
Under Arizona law, public indecency can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. In criminal law, misdemeanor crimes are lesser crimes compared to felony crimes, although they should also be treated as equally serious. For public indecency, an individual may be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor, a class 6 felony, or a class 3 felony.
The base charge for indecent exposure is a class 1 misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of up to six months imprisonment, fines of up to $2500, and three years of probation. However, indecent exposure may be charged as a class 6 felony if the individual has two or more prior convictions for indecent exposure or public sexual indecency. Additionally, the charge may be further aggravated to a class 3 felony if the two prior convictions involve minors under fifteen years of age. A class 6 felony carries penalties of up to two-years imprisonment and fines of up to $2000. Finally, a class 3 felony carries a minimum prison sentence of 8 years in addition to hefty fines.
For public sexual indecency, an individual is charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. However, an individual is charged with a class 5 felony if having committed the act where the witness was a minor under 15 years of age. Under Arizona law, a class 5 felony carries a minimum of 8 years imprisonment in addition to fines.
The repercussions for public indecency go well beyond criminal penalties. Even allegations of public indecency can cause issues with relationships, families, and your professional life. A conviction will exacerbate those issues, potentially barring you from certain employment such as being a teacher.
Contact Our Experienced Public Indecency Lawyer in Phoenix
At the Blischak Law Firm, we understand the strain caused by allegations of public indecency. Over the years, we have helped numerous individuals throughout Arizona reclaim their life following allegations of public indecency. If you have been accused of public indecency, whether indecent exposure or public sexual indecency, please contact our offices today for a free consultation. The sooner we hear from you, the sooner we can help.
The Blischak Law Firm serves clients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, and throughout the State of Arizona.