Public indecency charges can result in Jefferson County, Colorado when someone exposes their intimate body parts or participates in sexual acts in public. Even caressing another person in view of others can lead to an accusation of public indecency. Body parts such as the breasts, butt, anus, or pubic area being displayed in public often apply to public indecency. While holding hands, hugging, or kissing in public isn’t considered public indecency, an action like rubbing another person’s crotch is considered overtly sexual enough to offend someone. Seeking legal help from an experienced attorney is crucial when facing public indecency charges in Colorado.
Colorado’s Public Indecency Law
CRS 18-7-301 addresses public indecency in Lakewood, Arvada, and Golden. A person commits this crime in Jefferson County if they:
- have sex in public,
- expose an intimate body part to arouse or satisfy sexual desire,
- expose their genitals causing affront or alarm,
- lewdly fondling or caress someone
It is important to be aware that if the genital exposure was meant to arouse or satisfy sexual desire, the more severe charge of indecent exposure applies. This is critical to cases because the situation can escalate from a petty offense to a class 1 misdemeanor based on this small detail. Scaring or offending another person by exposing your genitals is a petty offense. Public places include any location that a member of the public can access including schools, amusement parks, parks, playgrounds, and building common areas.
Consequences of Public Indecency Conviction in Colorado
As a first offense of public indecency, this crime is a class 1 petty offense. Conviction can result in up to 6 months in county jail and $500 in fines. However, the situation becomes more difficult with prior convictions of crimes related to public indecency. A second offense of this nature is a class 1 misdemeanor and can lead to a year and a half in county jail and up to $5,000 in fines. While public indecency doesn’t require sex offender registration, a second conviction within 5 years does. And, a third or subsequent public indecency crime requires sex offender registration as well.
Jefferson County Criminal Defense Lawyers
A charge of public indecency in Lakewood, Arvada, or Golden should be taken seriously. Just because you’ve been charged doesn’t mean you’re guilty. You have a right to fight these charges and the best way to do so is with a strategic defense attorney working on your behalf. Perhaps the exposure was an accident, you didn’t show intimate parts or genitals, or it wasn’t likely to cause affront or alarm. Nevertheless, contact our office for a free initial consultation. We will carefully look over your public indecency case and recommend next steps in your defense.
If you or someone you know has been charged with public indecency in Colorado, be smart. Contact the highly rated criminal defense attorneys of O’Malley and Sawyer, LLC at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.
Photo by: Katie Salerno