Public Sexual Indecency Lawyer

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Public Sexual Indecency Defense in Phoenix

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Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney for Public Sexual Indecency

After an arrest, it can be difficult to understand the exact charges and implications, especially if you were unaware of any illegal activity in the first place. Public sexual indecency is a criminal charge that has both criminal and social ramifications.

Sex crimes often carry a social stigma and harsh judgments, even if the charges don’t result in a conviction. As an experienced Phoenix sex crimes attorney, Belén Olmedo Guerra knows the criminal and social consequences of these charges. If you or a loved one has been accused of public sexual indecency, contact a Phoenix criminal defense attorney at Belén Law Firm right away. Our legal team has the experience and skill necessary to fight for your rights and protect your freedom. Call us today at (602) 715-0908 to schedule a free consultation.

What is Public Sexual Indecency?

Public sexual indecency involves sexual acts or contact in a place where another person is present. The penalties for this crime depend on the circumstances surrounding the incident. This law is meant to protect the public from immoral or inappropriate contact, but sometimes this law can be manipulated to punish people who were not intentionally violating the law.

Is Public Nudity a Crime in Arizona?

Indecent exposure is a crime in Arizona. If someone exposes their genitals, anus, or a female breast in a public area, they could be arrested and charged with indecent exposure. The exception to this rule is if the female breast belongs to a breastfeeding mother.

Public Sexual Indecency vs. Indecent Exposure

Public sexual indecency and indecent exposure are closely linked crimes, but they are not one and the same, though they are often pursued at the same time. Having a skilled defense team on your side can help you get the best outcomes in your case. Public sexual indecency can have more severe consequences than indecent exposure, but the circumstances surrounding the incident can result in severe penalties.

ARS §13-1403

The law goes into a little more detail about the crime of public sexual indecency. Arizona law outlines the following acts as public sexual indecency:

  • Sexual contact
  • Oral sexual contact
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Bestiality

Intentionally or knowingly engaging in one of the above acts while another person is present is a violation of this law. The statute also states that the defendant has to be reckless about whether a reasonable person would be offended by their acts.

Public Sexual Indecency Defense

Is Public Indecency a Felony or Misdemeanor?

Public sexual indecency can be considered either a misdemeanor or a felony charge depending on different factors. For a felony public indecency charge, the crime usually has to involve a minor under the age of 15. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean sexual conduct with a minor–if the person exposed to the alleged sexual indecency is a minor, the penalties could be escalated. Multiple previous offenses of public indecency or indecent exposure can also escalate these charges as well.

No matter the circumstances of your situation, the criminal defense team at Belén Law Firm can make sure you get aggressive and proactive counsel in your public sexual indecency case. 

Can You Go to Jail for Public Indecency?

A public sexual indecency charge can result in jail time and expensive fines. Jail time for public indecency depends on the details of your case and any prior offenses. It also depends on the age of the person who witnessed the act, and if such other person would be reasonably offended by the act. If such person was a minor, the charges could be increased to a felony violation. An attorney-client relationship with an experienced attorney from Belén Law Firm can help you preserve your rights and fight to avoid jail time. 

Arizona Public Sexual Indecency Penalties

A Class 1 misdemeanor conviction of public sexual indecency can result in up to six months in prison, up to a $2,500 fine, and/or three years of probation. If more than one person witnessed the act, the charges multiply and the penalties would be consecutive. This means that if three people witnessed the act, you could face up to 18 months in jail and up to a $7,500 fine. 

If the witness was a person under the age of 15 years old, the prosecution can pursue a Class 5 felony charge. A felony violation can result in up to two and a half years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. As with a misdemeanor charge, if there are multiple witnesses, the consequences could run consecutively.  

Enhanced Consequences

Specific circumstances may lead prosecutors and local law enforcement to pursue enhanced charges against you. A person with two or more historical prior felony convictions of this crime can face increased charges. If the case involves a minor under the age of 15, the penalties are significantly more severe. A third felony conviction of this crime can result in a loss of probation and a mandatory prison sentence of 6 to 15 years.  

Long-Term Consequences of Public Indecency Charges

Sexual indecency charges and other sexual offenses can have a drastic effect on your life. In addition to facing jail time and fines, someone charged with public sexual indecency in Arizona faces other consequences as well. Your reputation and social standing in your community can be rocked by even the allegation of public indecency. Members of your community may ostracize you and cause distress for you and your family. You may not be the only one to suffer, either. Your family members may face the same backlash and harsh treatment from the community for your alleged actions, as well. 

Even a conviction with no jail time can leave lasting consequences. If you manage to avoid jail time and fines, you may still be forced to add your name to the sex offender registry. Sex offender registration can cause severe consequences for your employment opportunities, education opportunities, and can even dictate where you can and can’t live. 

That’s why the Phoenix criminal defense lawyers at Belén Law Firm work quickly and aggressively to fight these charges. We know how much is at stake. 

Defenses to Public Indecency Charges

A simple mistake shouldn’t have a lasting effect on the rest of your life, especially if you didn’t know you were doing anything illegal. A skilled criminal defense attorney like Belén can fight to get the charges reduced or dropped using a few different strategies and defenses.

Part of A.R.S. §13-1403 states that a person is in violation of the law if the person engaged in the sexual acts and acted with reckless disregard. A married couple who takes special care to park on a dimly lit street with no traffic before giving in to the heat of the moment is not acting with reckless disregard for other people.

Your defense team can also argue that the act was not offensive to a reasonable person. If the couple from the above scenario was parked in a vacant, dimly lit parking lot and approached by a police officer, it could be argued that the police officer was not acting as a reasonable person.

No matter the circumstances surrounding your case, Belén Olmedo Guerra will perform a thorough investigation into every legal avenue to get the charges dismissed or dropped.

Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney for Public Sexual Indecency

Facing criminal charges in Arizona is no joke. Arizona often enforces harsh penalties, even for first-time offenders. If you’ve been arrested for public sexual indecency in Arizona, call the award-winning legal team at Belén Law Firm today. Our team is available 24/7, because we know arrests don’t stick to a 9-5 schedule. Call us today to schedule a free consultation at (602) 715-0908 and allow us to fight aggressively for your freedom.

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