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Phoenix Indecent Exposure Attorney

Phoenix Indecent Exposure Attorney

Are you or someone you know facing criminal charges for indecent exposure in Phoenix, AZ? An experienced, local attorney who knows the laws, the local court systems, and how to successfully navigate misdemeanor or felony charges can help you protect your future. Contact Phoenix indecent exposure attorney Craig Orent today to talk about your case. Your initial case evaluation is always free at our law firm.

How Our Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help You Fight Indecent Exposure Charges

Contacting a lawyer quickly after an arrest gives your attorney the best chance of locating evidence and key witnesses. It also gives you the best chance of stopping the progression of the case before it gets going, by getting charges dismissed. The best outcome of a case is getting a charge dismissed prior to a plea or trial. Some possible grounds for dismissal include:

  • There is no probable cause to arrest
  • There is an improper criminal complaint or charging document
  • There is insufficient evidence to prove you committed the crime
  • There is no witness available to prove the defendant committed the crime. 

A criminal conviction for indecent exposure can have a serious impact on your life, reputation, and future. However, as we often tell people, “an arrest is not a conviction.” 

A criminal charge does not mean you will be convicted. You have options, choices, and decisions to make regarding how your case will be handled. One of the first, best choices you can make following an arrest is contacting a knowledgeable and reputable Phoenix criminal defense lawyer at Orent Law Offices. 

Attorney Craig Orent has more than 30 years of experience helping people facing criminal charges in Arizona. He has been recognized as a Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the Arizona State Bar, a unique designation reserved for those who have demonstrated integrity, professionalism, and a high degree of competence in their specialty. 

To learn more, contact our law office in Phoenix to set up a time to discuss the details of your indecent exposure case at no charge. 

What is Indecent Exposure?

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.), Title 13, Criminal Code, Chapter 14, defines six primary sexual offenses. Indecent exposure is one of them, along with public sexual indecency, sexual abuse, sexual conduct with a minor, sexual assault, molestation of a child

Arizona law (A.R.S. 13-1402) considers “Indecent Exposure” to be a serious offense. “Indecent Exposure” is committed when:

(1) a person exposes his or her genitals or anus, or a female exposes the areola or nipple of her breast (with the exception of breastfeeding a child); and 

(2) another person is present, and the defendant is reckless about whether the other person, as a reasonable person, would be offended or alarmed by the act. 

In other words, being naked in public is only a crime if you know or reasonably should know that there is likely someone present watching who would be offended by your actions. Acts of “mooning” or “flashing” are considered indecent exposure. 

The elements of the statute present possible defenses. For example, the “reckless” element. If you are in a gym locker room and see someone changing their clothes, it is reasonable to witness nudity, and the conduct would not be considered reckless, nor would a judge determine that the person changing their clothes intended to offend. 

Penalties for indecent exposure vary greatly, depending on a few factors: 

  • The age of the person who witnessed the exposure (specifically whether they were under 15, or over 15)
  • Prior felony convictions for indecent exposure or public sexual indecency
  • Whether there were any aggravating factors. 

While you may face time in prison and fines, the most significant consequence may be the stigma and damage to your reputation. 

Is Public Urination Indecent Exposure in Arizona?

Yes. Urinating in public is illegal in Arizona, and defendants may be charged with public nuisance or indecent exposure. Being charged with indecent exposure is the harshest and most undesirable consequence. Some cities, including Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and Glendale, have their own city ordinance laws prohibiting urinating in public. 

Never assume a criminal charge will “go away” on its own. Your attorney will need time to gather evidence, build a defense, and fight charges. Contacting a Phoenix indecent exposure attorney as soon as possible can ensure the best possible outcome. 

What are the Penalties for Indecent Exposure?

There is no such thing as a minor sex charge. You may have a lifetime criminal record if you plead guilty or are convicted of even a misdemeanor sex charge. Because Arizona does NOT allow sex offenders to have convictions set aside, it is so important to work with an attorney now to have charges dropped or penalties decreased. 

Prison Time and Fines For Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure to a person 15 years or older is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by:

  • A fine of up to $2,500 
  • Probation for up to 3 years (counseling/classes may be mandatory)
  • Between zero days to up to 6 months in jail. 

Indecent exposure becomes much more serious if the victim (person exposed to) is under the age of 15, because the crime will be a class 6 felony. Indecent exposure to a person under 15 years of age is a Class 6 felony, with a first conviction punishable by 

  • Fines up to $150,000
  • The presumptive term for a Class 6 felony is one year in prison. The aggravated term is two years in prison. Prior felony convictions greatly increase jail time. 

The consequences of sex crimes reach far beyond jail time and fines. Having to relive and retell the incident every time you want to move or apply for a job is stressful and less than ideal. If you are not convicted, you can put your past behind you and not have to worry about criminal background checks decades from now, or disclosing your long-ago past. 

Aggravating Factors

Aggravating factors are facts or circumstances that increase the severity of a criminal act, and increase penalties and jail time. Potential aggravating factors in an indecent exposure charge may include: 

  • You were a public servant (government official) at the time of the act
  • The act was committed as a hate crime
  • The victim was 65 years of age or older
  • You also threatened or actually caused serious physical injury
  • You exposed yourself while taking or damaging property
  • You have a prior felony conviction on your record
  • You used or threatened to use a deadly weapon. 

If any aggravating factors were involved in your case, it is vital to work with an attorney who understands the gravity of these cases. It is up to the presiding judge to decide if aggravating factors will be imposed. Your attorney can present the argument that mitigating factors were involved, and whether or not the crime involved a victim. 

Sex Offender Registration 

If you are convicted of indecent exposure as first time offender, you do not have to register as a sex offender.

The defendant will have to register as a sex offender if convicted of a second or subsequent incident of indecent exposure to someone under age 15, or a third or subsequent offense of indecent exposure (including urinating in public). This can present challenges in finding a job, housing, or spending time around children. If you are facing a sex crime charge, do not delay in speaking with an attorney as soon as possible. 

Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, an experienced lawyer can help you fight for the best possible outcome.

Defenses to Indecent Exposure in Arizona 

Indecent exposure is an intentional act where other people are around. If you were at a lake, changing out of your bathing suit into your clothes, and accidentally dropped your towel for a brief moment, you probably wouldn’t be charged with indecent exposure, as there was no intent to offend. Your attorney may ask you the following questions to understand your circumstances and build your defense: 

  • Did you feel concern for other people around when the incident occured? 
  • Did you know the ages of people nearby?
  • Did you know anyone else was around?
  • Were you sick, or out of your right mind for any reason?
  • Were you intending to expose yourself? 
  • Were you intending to offend?
  • Were you sober or intoxicated?
  • Was the exposure completely or partially accidental, such as a clothing or bathing suit malfunction?
  • Was the exposure invited or encouraged in some real or perceived way?

Defenses can be built around the charges, or how police handled the investigation. Some possible defenses to indecent exposure charges in Arizona include: 

  • You did not expose yourself 
  • You did not intend to expose yourself
  • You were not reckless in your actions 
  • You were not in a public place 
  • You did not realize another person was able to witness your conduct 
  • The police denied your rights to an attorney. 

It is important to hire a lawyer who understands available defenses. If it is not possible for charges to be dropped, an aggressive lawyer will pivot and argue for charges to be reduced. For example, an attorney could help get a charge of indecent exposure reduced to public intoxication or disorderly conduct (non sex crimes). Although every case is different, these reduced charges often come with zero days in jail. 

Experienced Phoenix Indecent Exposure Lawyer Available For a Free Consultation

If you are facing indecent exposure charges, we can help you stay out of jail and do everything possible to avoid the life-changing consequences of a criminal conviction of a sex crime, including registering as a sex offender. We’ve helped many clients in your same position. We know what you’re going through and we are here to help. 

Criminal charges often feel overwhelming and stressful, but you have choices, and you don’t have to face your charges alone. Call Craig Orent today to arrange a free case evaluation and see how our experience, knowledge, and resources can help you. We will listen to your story, explain possible defense strategies, discuss your options, and answer your questions.