Nassau County Indecent Exposure

N.Y. Pen. Law § 245.01

Indecent exposure is the term used to describe the act of exposing sexual or intimate parts in public. In New York Penal Law indecent exposure is called "exposure of a person." N.Y. Pen. Law § 245.01. It is neither a felony nor a misdemeanor. It is a violation. A violation is defined as offense for which the term of imprisonment cannot exceed 15 days. In other words a violation is considered a very minor offense. Exposure of a person involves exposing your intimate parts in public. It is distinguishable from the crime of public lewdness in that public lewdness requires some sort of lewd act, whereas exposure of a person requires the mere displaying of intimate parts in public. The exposure of a person statute does not explicitly define the term "public." However, the courts have found the following places to be public: a park, subway station, bus, train, library, public restroom. This list is, of course, not complete. A public place can even be a parked car if the car is parked in place where people passing by are likely to be able to see inside. However, like the charge of public lewdness, a charge of exposure of a person is often attached to additional more serious charges, such as sex crime charges. Thus, if you are accused of exposure of a person, you should immediately contact an experienced Nassau County Indecent Exposure Lawyer who will aggressively represent you from the beginning of your case until its resolution.

Indecent Exposure and Sex Crime Charges

If you are charged with indecent exposure you may also face other charges, some of which may be misdemeanors or felonies. Public lewdness, sexual abuse and forcible touching are charges that commonly accompany an exposure of a person charge.

Exposure of a Person. You will be charged with exposure of a person if you expose your private or intimate parts, such as your the penis, buttocks, breasts, or vagina in a public place. In the case of exposing breasts, exposure must be below the top of the areola. N.Y. Pen. Law § 245.01. In People v. Orimogunje, 2012 NY Slip Op 22055 (2012), defendant Lawrence Orimogunje was charged exposing his penis on a public bus, while in People v Gowdy, 2013 NY Slip Op 50263(U) (2013), the defendant Vernon Gowdy exposed himself in an office cubicle. Breastfeeding in public is not considered exposure of a person. Another exception is if the exposure is part of show, play, or other type of entertainment. However, there may be local ordinances banning such exposure even if it is part of a show, play, or other type of entertainment.

Public Lewdness. Public lewdness involves intentionally exposing your private parts, such as the penis, buttocks, breasts or vagina in public in a manner that is lewd or licentious. It is a Class B misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 245.00. In People v. Singh, 2015 NY Slip Op 50504(U) (April 3, 2015), defendant Jagtar Singh plead guilty to public lewdness after being arrested for exposing his intimate parts in the presence of other people on a public street.

Forcible Touching. Forcible touching involves touching another person's intimate parts for sexual gratification or to degrade or abuse. It is a Class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.52. For example, in People v. Soto, 192 Misc.2d 161, 167 (2002), the defendant was charged with forcible touching after he placed his fingers on a woman's vagina through her clothing while they were riding the subway.

Sexual Abuse. There are three degrees of severity of a charge of sexual abuse. You will be charged with sexual abuse in the third degree if you subject another person to sexual contact without that person's consent. It is a Class B misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.55. Sexual contact is defined as touching another person's intimate parts in order to receive sexual gratification. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.00(3). You will be charged with sexual abuse in the second degree if the sexual contact is nonconsensual because the other person is less than 14 years old or is incapable of consent for any other reason. It is a Class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.60. Sexual abuse in the first degree is the most severe sex abuse charge. You will face this charge if the sexual contact is with a person who is physically helpless or with a person who is less than 11 years old. In addition, you will face the charge of sexual abuse in the first degree if you are at least 21 years old and the victim is less than 12 years old. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.65.

What happens during arraignment?

If you are arrested for exposure of a person, after initial processing in the local police precinct you will likely be issued a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT). A DAT is a notice to appear in court for your arraignment hearing. N.Y. CPL. Law § 150.10. It will state that you have been charged with exposure of a person, as well as the day, time and place that you must appear in court. DATs are issued at the discretion of the arresting officer, and are typically only given if the charge is a violation, misdemeanor and in some cases Class E felonies. If you are issued a DAT, you will avoid having to go to Central Booking while you await your arraignment. On the other hand, if you are charged with sexual abuse in the first degree, you will not be given a DAT. You will be taken to Central Booking where you will remain for several hours until your arraignment.

When the prosecutor prepares for your arraignment, he or she will have the opportunity to review the facts of your case, the evidence and your criminal background. Based on that information, the prosecutor may determine that different or additional charges against you are warranted. At your arraignment you will find out the exact charges against you. You will also find out whether or not you will be required to post bail, and be told when you will have to again appear in court. You are required to appear at every court date. If you fail to appear, the judge may issue a bench warrant for your arrest.

Several hearings and meetings with the prosecutor may occur prior to the trial. The prosecutor may offer you a plea agreement that would require you to plead guilty to fewer charges or lesser charges, and as a result the your potential sentence would be lighter than if you were convicted at trial. It is up to you to decide if you want to go to trial, or if you prefer to accept a plea deal.

What is the penalty for indecent exposure?

The sentence you will face for an indecent exposure conviction or a sex crime conviction varies depending on the charge.

Indecent Exposure. This is a violation. If convicted the possible sentence is up to 15 days in jail. Your sentence could also involve paying a fine of up to $250. A conviction for a violation will not result in a criminal record.

Public Lewdness. As a Class B misdemeanor, if convicted you face up to 3 months in jail. Your sentence could also include probation for 3 years and a fine of up to $500.

Forcible Touching. As a Class A misdemeanor, if convicted you face up to 1 year in jail. Your sentence could also include probation for 6 years and a fine of up to $1,000. You will have to register as a sex offender.

Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree. As a Class B misdemeanor, if convicted you face up to 3 months in jail. Your sentence could also include probation for 10 years and a fine of up to $500. You will have to register as a sex offender.

Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree. As a Class A misdemeanor, if convicted you face up to 1 year in jail. Your sentence could also include probation for 6 years and a fine of up to $1,000. You will have to register as a sex offender.

Sexual Abuse in the First Degree. As a Class D felony, if convicted you face up to 7 years in prison. Your sentence could also include probation for 6 years and a fine of up to $5,000. You will have to register as a sex offender.

If you are sentenced to probation, you will have to follow several strict rules referred to as Conditions of Probation. In addition to refraining from committing another crime, you may be required to agree to a curfew, stay away from disreputable people or places, have a job or diligently look for a job, submit to warrantless searches, submit to drug testing or complete a drug education program, or wear an electronic monitor. You will be required to report to your probation officer on a regular basis. If you violate your probation you may be sent to prison.

A conviction of most sex crimes will earn you the designation as a registered sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act. Upon conviction or release from prison you will be required to register your name, home address, email address, screen names and various other information with law enforcement who will maintain the information in a special database. You will have to verify your address and provide updated photos at regular intervals. If it is determined that you present a high risk of re-offending, your information will be made public so that anyone will be able to go online and learn that you are a registered sex offender. You will be required to register for at least 20 years, and maybe for the rest of your life.

While a charge of indecent exposure is merely a violation, beware that the prosecutor may find other offenses to charge you with, including felony sex crimes that could land you in prison. Not only might you end up on prison and have a criminal record, you may end up being a registered sex offender, a designation that could stay with you for 20 or more years. If you are charged with exposure of a person, you should immediately consult an experienced Nassau County Indecent Exposure Lawyer. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who are accused of indecent exposure, lewd acts, as well as sex crimes such as forcible touching and sexual abuse. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of sex crimes in the following locations:

CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529)