Fighting an Indecent Exposure or Public Nudity Charge
Indecent exposure or public nudity may seem harmless enough, but it can carry severe consequences. In many states, such an offense can actually land someone on the sex offender registry. Arizona is one such state. In Arizona and other jurisdictions, laws regulate behavior. Statutes covering sexual violations and indecent acts seek to protect the public. Of course, those accused of crimes have a right to a defense and a presumption of innocence. Each case requires a specific review based on the circumstances and evidence.
The police and prosecutors take violations of sex crime laws seriously. The laws are intended to protect the public from harm. If someone were to grab another person in a sexual manner without his or her permission, the harm appears physical. But there are also psychological issues the victim may face. Therefore, a person guilty of such crimes could face civil litigation as well.
3 Legal Defenses Against Indecent Exposure
If a person does expose his or her genitals in the presence of another, he or she is not necessarily guilty of indecent exposure. There are three main legal defenses that people can use to defend themselves against allegations of indecent exposure or public nudity:
- If a person’s public nudity was politically motivated, a judge could rule it protected speech under the First Amendment. For example, if a protester stripped down to support clothing for the poor, the action could be protected by the U.S. Constitution.
- People can be charged with indecent exposure on private property if they knowingly expose themselves to passersby. If, however, people do so unintentionally, it will probably not constitute an offense.
- Most of the time, indecent exposure requires a sexual element. If there is no sexual or lewd motive, the charge may not hold water.
In addition to these, there are many other questions in an indecent exposure case that can help defense attorneys understand all the factors involved.
- Was the person accused of the crime adequately identified?
- If the perpetrator wore a mask or committed an indecent act from a distance, was it possible to correctly identify him or her?
- Did the police arrest the right person?
- And then there are concerns about outright false accusations made to harm someone for dubious purposes.
Contact an Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney
No one wishes to undermine a sex crime victim’s legitimate claim. However, an experienced defense attorney will look at the proverbial big picture to make sure his or her client’s rights are not violated. With mistaken identity cases, prosecuting the wrong person does not take actual criminals off the street.
Anyone facing charges for indecent exposure, public nudity, or any sex-related crime needs to take the matter seriously. The best thing to do in this situation is to consult a criminal defense attorney. Experienced defense attorneys can help their clients achieve a favorable outcome by mounting a legitimate defense, negotiate a plea bargain, and otherwise represent the accused in court.