Arizona Public Sexual Indecency - ARS 13-1403 / Indecent Exposure ARS 13-1402
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Charges of Indecent Exposure and Public Sexual Indecency
Sex crimes are some that carry the most amount of stigma in the state of Arizona. Indecent exposure and public sexual indecency are some of the most common.
Both have misdemeanor and felony charges associated with them, and they may require registration on the sex offender list.
Whether you receive a misdemeanor or felony does not matter. What you should know, however, is that your reputation will likely face damages with either. Seek out the help of a sex crimes defense attorney at Colburn Hintze Maletta who can provide you with the assistance you need. They will be with you every step of the way.
Sexual Indecency – ARS 13-1403
Public sexual indecency only occurs when there is another party present under ARS 13-1403. There should be evidence of reckless behavior in that there is a lack of care about the feelings of the victim.
Acts that classify as indecency include:
- Sexual contact
- Oral sexual contact
- Sexual intercourse
Overall, you cannot perform any sexual act in the public sector. It does not matter if there is another consenting, adult party engaged in the behavior with you. Any of the above behaviors could receive a charge of a class one misdemeanor. This classification is only if the observing individuals were adults, however. If either person is a minor, then much more serious consequences can happen.
Sexual Indecency to a Minor
Sexual indecency in front of a minor is a class five felony rather than a misdemeanor. The child would be under the age of 15 for this charge. The same acts as above count as indecent behavior, including:
- Sexual contact
- Oral sexual actions
- Intercourse of any kind
There must be proof of recklessness for you to face penalties for this crime, no matter the victim. A lack of evidence of rash decision-making can be a verifiable defense your attorney can pursue.
Example of Sexual Indecency in Arizona
If two adults go on a date and begin to engage in sexual intercourse in a restaurant, they will likely face a class one misdemeanor. If there are children present in the locality, it changes to a class five felony.
What is considered Sexual Contact in Arizona?
When considering the list of acts that count towards public indecency, you may wonder what the first one, sexual contact, is.
ARS 13-1401 defines this behavior as touching or manipulating the genitals, the anus, or the breast.
The act can occur with an object rather than a human body part too. You must understand that in some localities, sexual contact may seem normal. A defense attorney for sexual contact could prove you were in an adult nightclub, for instance, where a sensual act or sexual contact could be provoked by the other party.
Public Indecency Consequences
Penalties vary when charged with a crime under ARS 13-1403. They are dependent on whether the act was a misdemeanor or felony and on the perpetrator’s record. Misdemeanors Remember, a class one misdemeanor for public indecency occurs when the observers are adults. Potential penalties include:
- Up to 6 months of jail time
- $2,500 fine
First-Offense Felonies – Felonies for public indecency involve the presence of a minor in the audience who is under the age of 15. The penalties are much harsher for the class five felony.
- 6 months to 2.5 years in prison
Second-Offense Felonies – For a second offense, even for a different crime, you will likely receive prison time. Consequences include:
- 1 to 3.75 years in prison
Third-Offense Felonies – Third offenses face the harshest sentencing. If you have no prior sex crimes on your record, consequences may include:
- 3 to 7.5 years of jail time
When facing a third offense with two previous records of sex crimes, you will receive the worst penalties. Sentencing is much longer.
- 6 to 15 years of prison
Effective Defenses to Public Indecency
No Offensive Act – For public indecency to stand, you have to offend someone. Your public indecency defense attorney, as mentioned above, will consider the context of where the act took place.
Lack of Recklessness – As a defendant, you must also prove that you were reckless in your sexual act for a conviction. If a police officer turned the corner and caught you engaging in the behavior with no one else around, there is a lack of sufficient evidence for the crime. You were likely in an attempt to engage in a sexual act with your significant other quickly, hoping there was no one else around.
Indecent Exposure in Arizona – ARS 13-1402
Indecent exposure is a crime under statute ARS 13-1402. This crime occurs when the perpetrator shows any of the below body parts to another person recklessly. So long as the victim is over 15 years old, this act is a class one misdemeanor. The same is true if there are no previous convictions.
- Nipple and areola on the breast
Again, like with public indecency, the victim would feel offended. It is important to note, however, that breastfeeding is not a crime.
Indecent Exposure to a Minor
Exposure of one’s sexualized body parts to a minor is a class six felony. The victim would be under the age of 15. The body parts shown are the same, including:
- Breast nipples and areolas
How Prior Convictions Can Increase Penalties
If you expose any of the above body parts with a prior conviction on your record, you will also face a harsher charge. The act is a class six felony, for instance, when you have previous engagements in this crime. When you have previous convictions of sexual assault on your record, you will face a class three felony after an exposure charge. ARS 13-1406 defines the limits of this other crime.
Finally, if you have at least two prior convictions for felonies, you will face a charge of a class three felony. Again, the victim must be under the age of 15.
Penalties for the Class Six Felony
Class six felonies occur when you expose yourself to an adult after at least two previous convictions. The same charge occurs after this act happens with a minor under 15 years old for the first time. Penalties include:
- 4 months to 2 years in prison
Penalties for Class Three Felonies
Class three felonies occur when you have prior convictions of sexual assault. The charge also comes when you have two previous instances of facing a felony due to exposure. Consequences are:
- At least 6 to 15 years in prison
Class One Misdemeanor Penalties
Class one misdemeanors for sexual exposure occur with first-time convictions with a victim who is over 15 years old. These least severe penalties include:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Up to 3 years of probation
- $2,500 fine
Defenses for an Indecent Exposure Charge
When charged with ARS 13-1402, a defense attorney can help you with your case. Many of the same defenses for public indecency exist with exposure-related crimes.
Lack of Offense
First, your attorney can try to prove that the victims did not find offense. This defense will only work if the crime is against an adult. Again, the law team will examine the act’s context, including one’s presence in a sex shop.
Lack of Reckless Behavior
An attorney can also try to prove that you did not engage in the act recklessly. If you wanted to change clothes quickly in a dark alley without anyone seeing you, for instance, you could have a possible defense. If an undercover police officer suddenly came up to you while switching outfits, you should not face a charge.
Contact a Sex Crimes Defense Attorney Immediately
After receiving a charge for a sex crime, you may worry about what to do next. A defense attorney can help you understand the statutes surrounding the actions you took part in, finding a defense that could work for your specific circumstance.
Whether you exposed yourself or engaged in public indecency, your lawyers can help determine if you intended for anyone to see and the location of the behavior.
The sex crime attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta have countlessly defended and won criminal cases of sexual indecency and indecent exposure for their clients. Call us immediately at (602) 825-2500 to discuss this during a free consultation.
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