What is Indecent Exposure?
As a rule, social convention has made it commonplace for Americans to ensure that they are fully dressed when they walk out of their homes. Stated differently, Mesa residents generally do not go out in public naked or without articles of clothing on that hide from view their private body parts. This is because doing so is considered rather embarrassing for many people, but also because failing to wear clothes is a potentially illegal action.
Definition of “Indecent Exposure” or “Public Nudity” in Arizona
The definition of indecent exposure or public nudity varies a little from state to state. In Arizona, indecent exposure laws (ARS 13-1402) impose sanctions and punishments on individuals if they expose their genitals or other private parts in the presence of another person or others in public, causing them to be offended or alarmed.
The act of exposing one’s private parts generally must be intentional in order for the crime to arise, and often the defendant must have the intent to sexually gratify themselves through the exposure. Other intents, such as the offense of the alleged victim of the exposure, may serve to satisfy this portion of the crime’s elements.
Consequences of an Indecent Exposure Conviction
Being charged with sex crimes is no laughing matter. Indecent exposure may not seem like a huge deal to most people, but it can have lasting consequences. Penalties for indecent exposure in Arizona can include:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- A fine of up to $2500.00
- Probation up to 3 years (which can include classes and counseling)
- *If the person who witnessed the exposure was under 15, then this crime can be charged as a class 6 felony
A single act of indecent exposure may not, on its own, cause a person to become a life-long registered sex offender. However, subsequent arrests and convictions for indecent exposure may force an individual to include their name on the sex offender registry and have that status attached to their name for the rest of their life.
Get Experienced Legal Defense from a Criminal Defense Attorney
As such, an arrest based on indecent exposure in Arizona can have very serious and long-term consequences on an individual’s life. Fighting a claim of indecent exposure can, in some cases, cause individuals to have their charges dropped and their legal headaches resolved. Criminal defense strategies against indecent exposure and other sex crime charges will need to be considered by defendants.