Indecent Exposure is typically a misdemeanor offense in Colorado, unless the offender has a prior history of similar offenses, in which case it can be charged as a felony. Even though it is a misdemeanor offense, a conviction for Indecent Exposure can have severe penalties.; It is considered a sexual offense. This means that a person convicted of Indecent Exposure may have to register as a sex offender, and be required to complete sex offense probation and treatment, which is very intense and invasive compared to regular probation.
How Is Indecent Exposure Charged?
Indecent Exposure typically involves an act whereby the offender knowingly exposes his genitals to the view of another, usually for purposes of sexual gratification. It can also be charged for a public act of masturbation.
Indecent Exposure is often associated with two other charges: Public Indecency and Urinating in public.The Public Indecency statute is worded very similarly to Indecent Exposure, but it is not considered a sex offense, nor is urinating in public. However, sometimes the police can confuse these statutes and charge a person with one crime when it does not fit. For example, situations like tanning in the nude, consensual nude photography, wardrobe malfunctions and acts of public urination can sometimes get charged as indecent exposure.
Is Indecent Exposure a State Charge or a Municipal Charge?
To confuse the issue even more, often the police have a jurisdictional choice of which court to use when charging someone. They can charge a person for misdemeanor indecent exposure, which is a state level misdemeanor. Alternatively, the police can write the offender a citation to a municipal jurisdiction for indecent exposure. Depending on the municipality, this may or may not be considered a sex offense. These questions need to be answered prior to entering a plea to any offense involving indecent exposure.
This is obviously a sensitive offense, and you need a lawyer by your side to ensure you are treated fairly, especially in light of the harsh penalties that can come into play. If you or a loved one has been charged with Indecent Exposure, give us a call and we can schedule a free consultation.