Recently, a man in Lakewood was arrested after a woman reported he exposed himself by standing on a street corner with his pants down and his shirt pulled up as she drove by. Whether it was done as a joke or if the man intended to shock or got some type of sexual arousal by showing himself off, will have to be decided by the Jefferson County District Attorney. There are two possible charges that could be filed for his alleged actions: Public Indecency (CRS 18-7-301) or Indecent Exposure (CRS 18-7-302).
Public Indecency and Indecent Exposure share many of the same attributes in Denver, Arapahoe, or Adams County, but they are prosecuted very differently. They both involve showing off the genitals or other parts of the body in public places where people are expected to be clothed. The difference in these crimes is the intent the police in Aurora, Centennial, and Greenwood Village and District Attorneys believe the person had in exposing themselves. This is very subjective. If prosecutors feel the intent of the person was to “sexually arouse or alarm” others, they will be charged with the sex crime of Indecent Exposure which will result in them having to register as a sex offender. If the District Attorney feels the person “lewdly” exposed themselves, then they will face the charge of Public Indecency.
These subtle distinctions in the law could result in someone being required to register as a sex offender and complete sex offender treatment. If this is the case, the convicted offender will have many restrictions placed on them and may face housing challenges, job loss, and be restricted in many other areas which will hurt their quality of life. Be aware that District Attorneys in Larimer, Douglas, and Weld County frequently over charge to give defendants a crime to plead down to. Many times, they will scare good people into a plea bargain by presenting them with a charge of Indecent Exposure when in reality the crime committed should only be charged as Public Indecency. An experienced criminal defense attorney will know the difference and will not be intimidated by an overzealous District Attorney.
If police contact you regarding a Public Indecency or Indecent Exposure charge, take these accusations very seriously and be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the O'Malley Law Office at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.
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