A charge of indecent exposure or public lewdness could have long-term consequences for the person charged. Not only is the accused facing jail time, but he or she has to deal with the possible embarrassment of being charged with this particular crime. If you are facing indecent exposure, here is what you need to know.
Should You Fight the Charge?
Some people believe that plea bargaining with the prosecutor and accepting the punishment is the best way to handle an indecent exposure charge. In some cases, it is the best move. However, there are some instances in which fighting the charge might be best.
Depending on the state in which you live, there is a possibility that you might be required to register as a sex offender after the conviction. If that is the case, registry could have an impact on every aspect of your life, including where you live and work.
The registry is available to the public in every state, which means that anyone can find out you are listed. As a result, you could become the target of people who are less than thrilled to have a registered offender in their neighborhood.
What Is Your Defense?
Defending yourself against an indecent exposure charge is challenging, but not impossible. There are several factors your attorney will weigh when determining what defense to use in your case.
For instance, the location of the incident is very important. You cannot face an indecent exposure charge if the incident occurred in a private place. But it is possible for there to be a disagreement on whether or not the location was private or public.
If the incident occurred in your backyard and there was a privacy fence that should have blocked the view, your attorney could argue that anyone who witnessed the incident was violating your privacy instead.
Another factor that could play a role in your case is whether or not the exposure was intentional. Using the previous example, if you were in your backyard swimming in the nude and was charged with indecent exposure, your attorney could argue that you were not intentionally exposing yourself to others. The fact that you had a privacy fence helps to back up the argument that you were not trying to expose yourself to others.
Due to the nature of an indecent exposure charge, it is important that you work with an attorney who experienced in handling sex crimes. A sex crime attorney can evaluate your case details and decide which argument will work best.