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Posted on March 23, 2024 in Arizona Law

Indecent Exposure Laws in Arizona

Indecent exposure is a criminal offense. It involves intentionally exposing private body parts in public. If you are charged with and convicted of indecent exposure, you could face severe criminal penalties. Aggravating factors could also increase the punishment you receive for a conviction if they are present.

How Does Arizona Define Indecent Exposure?

Arizona Revised Statute §13-1402 defines the criminal offense of indecent exposure. You can be charged with indecent exposure if you:

  • Expose your anus or genitals (or a female exposes her areola or nipple);
  • When another person is present; and,
  • You are reckless in considering whether your actions will offend or alarm a reasonable person.

The law does not apply to mothers who are breastfeeding. It also does not apply if you are not acting with the intent to alarm or offend someone. For example, changing clothes in a locker room would not be indecent exposure. Someone in the room may expect to see nudity as people change clothes.

However, if you streak through a store or urinate in public, you do so without regard to offending or alarming someone. Those actions could be considered indecent exposure.

Phoenix specifically makes urinating on public crosswalks, sidewalks, parks, buses, highways, paths, and other public places unlawful. Many cities in Arizona have laws that make public urination illegal.

What Factors Are Considered Aggravating Factors of Indecent Exposure in Phoenix, AZ?

An aggravating factor is a circumstance or fact that increases the severity of a criminal offense. Examples of aggravating factors in an indecent exposure case include:

  • You are a public servant
  • You had an accomplice
  • The victim has a disability or is 65 years old or older
  • You threatened to inflict serious physical injury
  • You used a deadly weapon
  • The indecent exposure was committed in a child’s presence

Aggravating factors increase the penalty a judge imposes if you are found guilty of indecent exposure or you plead guilty. Instead of serving six months in jail, you could serve several years in prison.

What Are the Penalties for an Indecent Exposure Conviction in Phoenix, AZ?

The judge considers several factors when determining the sentence for indecent exposure. Factors that impact sentencing include, but are not limited to:

  • Your criminal history of prior sex offenses or indecent exposure
  • The age of the person who witnessed the indecent exposure
  • Whether your case involves aggravating factors

Generally, you are charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor if the person who witnessed the indecent exposure is 15 years old or older. The judge may sentence you to serve up to six months in jail, pay a maximum fine of $2,500, and serve up to three years of probation.

When the victim of indecent exposure is under 15 years old or if you have two or more indecent exposure convictions, you can be charged with a Class 6 felony. The criminal penalties increase to a maximum fine of $150,000, up to 5.75 years in state prison, and probation for up to three years.

You may also be required to register as a sex offender if you are convicted of indecent exposure. Defendants are required to register with the sex offender registry if they have three or more indecent exposure violations or two or more violations when the victim is under 15 years old.

Are There Defenses to Indecent Exposure Charges in Phoenix, AZ?

Indecent exposure charges should be taken seriously. In addition to criminal penalties, the collateral consequences could also be severe. Indecent exposure convictions can impact child custody cases, job applications, and living arrangements.

A Phoenix sex crimes lawyer investigates the charges against you to determine possible defenses. Potential defenses to indecent exposure charges include:

  • Accidental exposure (you did not intend to expose yourself)
  • You did not expose your private parts to someone
  • Lack of evidence that you committed indecent exposure
  • You were unaware that someone was present who could witness your actions
  • Lack of intent to cause offense or alarm
  • Your actions were not reckless
  • False accusations
  • Violations of your constitutional rights

Contact the Criminal Defense Lawyers at Orent Law Offices In Phoenix To Get Legal Assistance Today

Have you been charged with indecent exposure? If so, a Phoenix criminal defense attorney is the best source of information regarding your legal rights.

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorney Craig Orent. Give us a call at (480) 656-7301 or visit our law office at 11811 N Tatum Blvd UNIT 3031, Phoenix, AZ 85028. We offer a free case evaluation, so get the help you deserve today.

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