If you or someone you know is facing Public Sexual Indecency charges, or you have questions about how a Criminal Defense Attorney can help you navigate the legal process, contact Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Burges McCowan for a free consultation.
In Arizona, penalties for any offenses that could be considered “Sex Crimes” are among the harshest in the nation. These charges can have a long lasting effect on your life, with repercussions including prison time, fines, probation, and mandated registry as a Sex Offender, all of which can lead to public stigma. Ensuring you have someone upholding your rights throughout the process can help you get your life back to normal as soon as possible.
What is Public Sexual Indecency?
At its heart, Public Sexual Indecency is engaging in one of the following sexual acts with another person present.
- Sexual intercourse
- Oral sexual contact
A charge of Public Sexual Indecency means you were reckless about whether or not you were observed, and whether or not someone who observed you would be alarmed or offended by the act. For example, being caught in the back seat of a car at night could be considered Public Sexual Indecency and can lead to severe consequences. Sexual Indecency to a Minor means the above took place while a person under the age of fifteen was present.
What are the penalties for Sexual Indecency?
Regardless of whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, it can have long-lasting repercussions. Sexual Indecency is a class 1 misdemeanor, except when a person under the age of fifteen was present. Then, the charge becomes a class 5 felony. Penalties for a class one misdemeanor include up to six months in jail, probation of three years, and fines of $2500 for a first offense. For a class 5 felony, the charge can carry up to 18 months in prison. If the accused has prior felony convictions for sex crimes, the penalties can increase dramatically, and carry up to fifteen (15) years in prison.
What should you do if you are charged with Public Sexual Indecency?
In Arizona, penalties for anything considered a sex crime are among the harshest in the country. Having great representation is one way that you can make sure you are set up for the best defense possible. There are a few steps you can follow if you are charged with Public Sexual Indecency to minimize the effect on your life and make sure your rights are upheld.
When arrested, you have the right to remain silent. Make sure you exercise it! Do not talk to the police about your case, and do not answer their questions. In fact, you don’t need to say anything to the police at all. Politely but firmly ask to speak to an attorney. This will end their interrogation and make sure you have someone on your side at all times. An informed Sex Crimes Attorney will help you start to get the odds balanced in your favor.
Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Burges McCowan, a former prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney Office’s Sex Crimes Unit, if you have been charged with a Sex Crime or have questions about the process. He can help.