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While indecent exposure may not sound like a serious crime, some acts CAN land you on the Sex Offender registry. As a result it's best to consult an attorney if you're facing charges.
An act is “indecent” when it does not conform to generally accepted standards of what is appropriate and proper. There are many ways that someone can do something indecent, but not all of those activities are necessarily criminal. Even when an indecent act is criminal in nature, there are still degrees and dividing lines as to what kind of behavior poses a threat to the general public or the morals of society at large.
Indecent exposure is not the same as public indecency. Lawmakers have been stern in their attempts to both criminalize the activities but also distinguish them. In 2011, the Oklahoma Legislature amended the indecent exposure statute to explicitly state that the two crimes are distinct. While both actions can lead to negative repercussions, a conviction for indecent exposure carries much greater penalties than a conviction for public indecency. Again, it's worth consulting with a qualified lawyer to ensure there is less chance of serious punishment.
Any individual who lewdly exposes their “person” or genitals in any public place will be charged with indecent exposure. Moreover, the term “public” is further described as a place where there are people present to be offended by the nudity. Most people think of a flasher when the term comes to mind, but that is only one way to violate the statute.
Aside from exposing genitalia for the purpose of sexual gratification, one can also be charged with indecent exposure for exposing genitalia during sexual gratification. This includes publicly exposing one’s person during masturbation and through sexual intercourse.
Anyone convicted of indented exposure will face a minimum of thirty (30) days in county jail up to ten (10) years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.00.
Moreover, indecent exposure is a level one sex offense in Oklahoma. That categorization means that lawmakers believe it is a low-level offense, and that offenders present a low risk of recidivism and danger to the public. A level one sex offense requires fifteen (15) years registration on the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry. As you can see this punishment makes it worthwhile to at least discuss your case with a lawyer.
It took decades, but Oklahoma finally realized the lack of sense associated with ruining the lives of people who simply urinate in public. There is a significant distinction between a person exposing their genitals in public for the purposes of sexual gratification and those exposing their genitalia in public solely for the purpose of relieving themselves of excess liquid waste.
Public urination most often happens when a person is intoxicated. Plenty of cases where individuals urinated in public began at a bar. Moreover, many examples of public urination occur at bars and taverns as well. While voluntary intoxication is not an excuse or justification for a crime, it does mitigate the situation to a certain extent if the accused is able to show the bad decision is one they would not have made but for the fact they were intoxicated.
Granted, urinating in public is still against the law; however, it is no longer a felony offense. The crime is referenced in Oklahoma’s “Acts Resulting in Gross Injury” statute. The statute notes that the crime is a misdemeanor, but it does not provide for a specific punishment range. As such, anyone convicted of the offense could only face, at most, one (1) years in county jail in addition to any applicable fines and costs.
Unlike those convicted of indecent exposure, individuals convicted of urinating in public are not subject to registration under the Sex Offenders Registration Act.
If you or a loved one has been charged with indecent exposure, talk to the defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C. We can help you determine the best path to minimize the repercussions you will face. Contact us today to speak to an experienced defense lawyer.