Being charged with a sex crime like indecent exposure can abruptly change your life in a truly frightening way. You will face embarrassment, condemnation, the sudden presence of the police and you may even have to spend time in jail. If you are charged with indecent exposure, you need to retain an attorney with experience in sex crimes as soon as possible.
What You Need To Know About Indecent Exposure
In Pennsylvania, indecent exposure occurs when an individual exposes their genitals in a public place, or any place where there will be people who might be offended, affronted or alarmed.
- Indecent exposure is a misdemeanor in the second degree. You can be sentenced to up to two years in prison.
- If the offender exposes themselves to someone less than 16, they will be charged with a first degree misdemeanor and can face up to five years in prison.
What To Do If You Are Charged
Do not anger the arresting officer unnecessarily. The police will make the decisions about your charges and especially in sex crimes there may be several choices that they can make that are of varying severity.
You will probably be held in jail overnight. At this stage, do not discuss what happened with the police or claim your innocence.
- As with most criminal charges, you should not talk to the police or prosecutors without your attorney by your side. What you say can be taken out of context and used against you.
- The police will not keep confidential any information you give them. They will tell the claimant what you said and your words may be used against you in court.
- If the police question you, tell them you want a lawyer and politely refuse to answer their questions.
What Your Lawyer Can Do
Your attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine if there is evidence for all you have been accused of.
- The exposure might have been accidental. Your attorney will probe for evidence to prove your lack of intent.
- If it is a you-said/they-said situation, where the only evidence against you is an accusation, you will be in a stronger position.
- You may not have known your actions would offend or alarm the people who were present.
- You may have believed you were not in a public place. For example, you might have been naked in your home and not aware that you would be seen through the windows.
- Your lawyer will make every effort to discredit any evidence.
Your lawyer will be looking at every avenue that can help you, so it’s important that you give them all of the information that can support your case. Make sure that you give your attorney the names of any supporting witnesses.
How A Lawyer Will Help
When you are up against an indecent exposure charge, even before your first hearing you will be facing a determined prosecutor and community condemnation. You need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and work with you to determine your best course of action.
Pennsylvania Indecent Exposure Law
Indecent exposure is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18, Chapter 31. Read the code here.
Questions? Contact us today.
Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to show that the charges should be dismissed. If it’s in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.