On July 1st, 2010, there were very significant changes made by the Colorado Legislature to the Indecent Exposure and Public Indecency statutes. For years prior to the change, there was great confusion on the part of law enforcement and the legal community as to whether a certain act by a defendant would fall into one category or another. For example, if person was caught urinating in public, they could possibly could have been charged with either offense depending on the facts of the case. If charged with indecent exposure, that person would have been required to register as a sex offender and complete sexual offense specific treatment and therapy, and even have the possibility of jail for up to 2 years for the simple act of public urination.
Realizing these issues, the legislature took this issue up in 2010 and made attempts to clarify the laws. The classifications and penalties for each offense have not changed, but their definitions have. As a result, as of July 1, 2010, Colorado Revised Statutes 18-7-301 and 18-7-302 now attempt to correct this confusion and prevent public urination from falling into the category of a sexual offense.
Hopefully the legislature’s move here will provide a bit more consistency as to how these laws are applied. If you need help navigating the legal process you should look into our Indecent Exposure Practice.
Former District Attorney Colin McCallin is a Denver criminal lawyer and co-founder of Hebets & McCallin, P.C.
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