What Happens After Being Charged with Indecent Exposure?
Thousands of people are accused of indecent exposure every day for many various reasons. If you were one of them, you are probably feeling a bit embarrassed and wondering what will happen to your future – will you have to go to court? Will you need to stand trial? Will you be found guilty? Will you go to jail?
The penalties for an indecent exposure conviction in Pennsylvania are typically a second-degree misdemeanor, which is a fine of $5,000 and up to two years in prison, not to mention a criminal record for life. If the victim of the crime was under the age of 16, this increases to a first-degree misdemeanor.
Having a criminal record with a sex crime means that it could show up in basic background checks by employers, landlords, loan officers, and a college admissions office – a conviction could severely limit opportunities for the future.
Many people start to envision the worst-case scenario, but until you are convicted, you still have the option of fighting the charges and defending your freedom.
An Arrest is Not a Conviction
Being charged with indecent exposure or public indecency does not mean you will be convicted. Until you are found guilty, you are innocent in the eyes of the law.
There are many possible defenses to indecent exposure charges and an experienced sex crime attorney can help you prepare a defense strategy for the best possible outcome.
The Pittsburgh sex crime attorneys at Ketchel Law are well-versed at defending people accused of indecent assault. We are successful in winning tough cases throughout Western Pennsylvania. We give our clients personal attention and are there every step of the way to answer your questions and prepare your case for a hearing or trial.
What is Indecent Exposure?
Simply defined, indecent exposure is showing your genitals in public with the intent to offend, affront or alarm.
This could be due to flashing, streaking, mooning, or a sex act (such as masturbation) or public intercourse or sex acts with another consenting adult. It could also mean being naked in your own home if the windows/doors enable exposure to neighbors.
It does not mean urinating in public, which is considered “open lewdness” or a “lewd act”. It does not mean a mother breastfeeding. It does not mean showing your underwear.
The Pennsylvania Code of Law Defines Indecent Exposure as:
(a) Offense defined.–A person commits indecent exposure if that person exposes his or her genitals in any public place or in any place where there are present other persons under circumstances in which he or she knows or should know that this conduct is likely to offend, affront or alarm.
(b) Grading.–If the person knows or should have known that any of the persons present are less than 16 years of age, indecent exposure under subsection (a) is a misdemeanor of the first degree. Otherwise, indecent exposure under subsection (a) is a misdemeanor of the second degree.
The Difference Between Open Lewdness and Indecent Exposure
Open lewdness is sometimes confused with Indecent Exposure. However, the two laws differ.
Indecent exposure involves the exposure of one’s genitals in a public place, or any place where people are present and the conduct is likely to offend.
Open lewdness is typically sexual intent in nature and does not require exposure of genitals or for the lewd act to be in a public place – only that the behavior was likely to be observed by others.
Defenses to Indecent Exposure in Pennsylvania
There are many defenses against indecent exposure charges, such as:
- Lack of criminal intent;
- Mistaken identity;
- Lack of knowledge that the act would offend;
- No crime actually occurred (false accusation), and;
An experienced sex crime attorney can help you build a strong case aimed at protecting your rights and your reputation.
How Ketchel Law Can Help Fight Your Sex Crime Charges
At Ketchel Law, we understand that not everyone accused of a crime is guilty of a crime. There are two sides to every story. We will take your case very seriously and work toward having your charges significantly reduced or your case dismissed.
We will fully investigate all aspects of your case, examining all angles and gathering testimony and witnesses on your behalf. We will build a strong case for you and make every attempt to discredit the alleged victim’s testimony.
It is our goal to have your case dismissed and charges reduced.
If you have been charged with indecent exposure in Western Pennsylvania call the Pittsburgh Sex Crime Lawyers at Ketchel Law today.
We offer free legal consultations to anyone charged with a crime. Call us today to find out how we can help defend your rights.
Learn more about Ketchel Law and Sex Crime Laws in Pennsylvania:
- Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyers
- Consequences of a Sex Crime in Pennsylvania
- Defenses to Sex Crimes in Pennsylvania
- Indecent Assault
- Open Lewdness Charges
- Sexual Assault Charges
- Statutory Sexual Assault Charges
- Rape Charges
- Involuntary Deviant Sexual Intercourse Charges
- Online Solicitation of a Minor Charges
- Child Pornography Charges
- National Sex Offender Registry Laws
- Failure to Register as a Sex Offender
Learn more about Ketchel Law:
- Criminal Attorneys Pittsburgh
- Federal Sex Crime Attorneys
- Attorney Justin J. Ketchel
- Our Client Testimonials
- View Our Case History / Results