For many, going on a vacation means taking a break from reality, or taking time to relax. For others, it means doing something wild or thrilling. At least that's what a group of tourists seemingly wanted after stripping naked for a photograph. According to the news story, the four tourists got naked to pose for a picture on top of a mountain before getting arrested. If this incident occurred in Jefferson County or anywhere else in Colorado, these individuals would face charges of Indecent Exposure and Public Indecency. Let's take a closer look into these crimes and see why.
What is Indecent Exposure in Denver?“
A person commits Indecent Exposure, C.R.S. 18-7-302:
- If he or she knowingly exposes his or her genitals to the view of any person under circumstances in which such conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to the other person with the intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of any person;
- If he or she knowingly performs an act of masturbation in a manner which exposes the act to the view of any person under circumstances in which such conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to the other person.”
The individuals in this story were naked, so it's likely they were knowingly exposing their genitals to the view of others, which may have caused alarm. However, they were posing for a photograph, so it's unlikely that they were trying to cause sexual arousal in others by being naked. If these individuals were our clients, we could work towards a lesser charge of Public Indecency, C.R.S. 18-7-301, by proving they weren't trying to sexually arouse others or intending to be in the view of others.
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What is Public Indecency in Douglas and Arapahoe County?“
Any person who performs any of the following in a public place or where the conduct may reasonably be expected to be viewed by members of the public commits Public Indecency, C.R.S. 18-7-301:
- An act of sexual intercourse; or
- (Deleted by amendment, L. 2012, (HB 10-1334), ch. 359, p. 1707, &1, effective August 11, 2010.)
- A lewd exposure of an intimate part as defined by section 18-3-401 (2) of the body, not including the genitals, done with intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of any person; or
- A lewd fondling or caress of the body of another person; or
- A knowing exposure of the person's genitals to the view of a person under circumstances in which such conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to the other person.”
Even though the definition of Public Indecency also talks about exposing one's genitals to cause sexual arousal, it also includes additional contexts. For example, “e” refers to someone knowingly exposing his or her genitals to the view of others, which could likely cause alarm. This is a more fitting scenario for the tourists, and something we could present as a more reasonable charge before a jury. Public Indecency is a class 1 petty offense, which is subject to up to 6 months in the Adams County Jail. This is a much lesser consequence than that of Indecent Exposure, which is a class 1 misdemeanor and punishable by 6 to 18 months in jail. It wouldn't be fair for these individuals to face the elevated penalties if their conduct didn't fit the definition of Indecent Exposure.
Why You Need the Best Denver Criminal Defense Attorneys
Public Indecency is a petty offense, while Indecent Exposure is a misdemeanor sex offense. However, Public Indecency can be charged as a more serious misdemeanor offense if someone has two convictions of the same charge. Indecent Exposure and Public Indecency (if it's a misdemeanor offense) also require those convicted to register as a sex offender and obtain treatment from the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board. The sex offender label and treatment by this board are harsh and restricting. These consequences may be avoided if you involve an experienced criminal defense lawyer early in your case. We work hard to get our clients' cases dismissed and fight aggressively to protect their rights. Contact the lawyers at the O'Malley Law Office today for a free initial consultation.
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If you or a loved one has been charged with Indecent Exposure or Public Indecency, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O'Malley Law Office at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.Request a Free Consultation
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