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When is Indecent Exposure Truly Indecent? C.R.S. 18-7-302

With the warm summer weather, the line between cool clothing and unlawful sexual exposure becomes more difficult to define in Denver, Jefferson and Arapahoe County. Indecent Exposure occurs when a person knowingly exposes their genitals in a manner where it is likely to cause affront or alarm to another and with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desire of any person, or 2) knowingly masturbates in a manner which exposes the act to another when likely to cause affront or alarm. C.R.S. 18-7-302. This crime is a sexual offense and is a class 1 misdemeanor. If a person has two prior convictions for Indecent Exposure in Douglas or Adams County, the third will amount to a class 6 felony. When a crime is a sexual offense, upon conviction the defendant must register as a sex offender and complete sex offender treatment under the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board, "SOMB".

There is a close cousin to Indecent Exposure called Public Indecency, C.R.S. 18-7-301. A person commits this crime if they are: 1) lewdly exposing an intimate part of the body (not including genitals) with intent to arouse or satisfy sexual desire, 2) engaging in an act of sexual intercourse in public view, 3) doing a lewd fondling or caress of the body of another, 4) making a knowing exposure of one's genitals to the view of another where likely to cause affront or alarm. The statute does not define the word "lewd", so we are left to guess as to its meaning. Fortunately, Public Indecency does not give rise to a sexual offense as does Indecent Exposure in Weld and Larimer County. This distinction is critically important, since a person convicted here will not be labeled a sex offender.

Common to warm summer months, people skinny dip or wear revealing clothing. Without the intent to cause affront or alarm, they are arrested for exposing themselves. In these circumstances, there will be legal maneuvering to remove the offense from a "sexual offense" classification. With serious repercussions to one's life, it is critical that our clients remain silent. Without knowing the fine-line distinctions between legal and illegal conduct, any statements or answers to police questions can result in a conviction.

If you are contacted by police for any type of sexual offense or a crime involving Indecent Exposure or Public Indecency, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call our experienced lawyers at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

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