I recently read a rather shocking article – two strangers met outside a shopping mall, and a few minutes later, they were rolling around on the ground, making out. A few more minutes led to a full-blown sexual escapade – in full public view. Obviously, this is an unusual situation, but I thought it offered a good opportunity to discuss what the consequences of having sex in a public place are in Denver, Arapahoe, and El Paso County.
Strangers Having Sex in Public: What Charges Could They Face?
It was the middle of the afternoon, at a busy shopping mall. But, the couple who had just met on the trolley decided it was as good a time as any to get intimate. The man took off all of his clothes, while the woman took off everything but her skirt. It was a shocking spectacle in full view of children and other onlookers. Obviously, their actions are illegal. So, if this had happened in Adams, Douglas, or Jefferson County, what would the couple be charged with? In my opinion as an expert criminal defense lawyer, they would likely be charged with Indecent Exposure – C.R.S. 18-7-302.
What is Indecent Exposure in Colorado?
Indecent Exposure is charged whenever a person knowingly exposes their genitals to “any person under circumstances in which such conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to the other person, with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desire of any person.” So, because the couple had sex in a public place (which is likely to cause affront and alarm), and because the man exposed his genitals, he would likely be charged with Indecent Exposure, which is a sex offense.
Public Indecency is also a Possible Charge
Another offense is related to Indecent Exposure. This is Public Indecency – C.R.S. 18-7-301. This crime is charged in similar circumstances, and specifically mentions “sexual intercourse” in a public place as a way you can be charged. Both the man and the woman could be charged with Public Indecency. So, why do I think the man would face the more serious Indecent Exposure charges? Let's take a closer look at how the system works.
District Attorneys Overcharge People: Why You Need a Lawyer
District Attorneys commonly overcharge people. Faced with the possibility of charging this couple with a petty offense (for Public Indecency), or a sexual offense misdemeanor (for Indecent Exposure), the DA will likely choose the harsher option. This is because they want defendants to plead guilty to avoid jail or prison time, and to keep the courts from getting too busy. Unfortunately, this is especially dangerous when you are charged with Indecent Exposure. This crime is a sexual offense – which means you will be required to register as a sex offender and go through sex offender treatment if you are convicted. This will have an enormous impact on your opportunities for housing and employment in the future. Don't try to handle your case on your own – work with a skilled criminal defense lawyer who will fight aggressively to get you the best possible outcome in your case so you can avoid a sex offense conviction.Request a Free Consultation