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New York Indecent Exposure Lawyer

Indecent exposure is a criminal offense that falls under the New York Penal Law, specifically § 245.01. It involves the intentional exposure of one's private parts in a public place under circumstances likely to be observed by others who would be offended or alarmed. It is not a felony or a misdemeanor, but a violation. However, indecent exposure is often a charge that accompanies criminal charges that can result in significant fines, jail time, and a criminal record. If you have been accused of indecent exposure, contact an experienced New York sex crimes lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates to discuss your case. It’s critical to make sure you have experienced representation to ensure you legal rights are protected.

What is Indecent Exposure?

New York Penal Law § 245.01, indecent exposure involves exposing one’s intimate parts in public. Intimate parts include penis, buttocks, breasts (below the top of the areola), or vagina. 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. However, like the charge of public lewdness, a charge of exposure of a person is often attached to additional more serious charges they may be misdemeanors or felonies.

For the exposure to be a violation, it must be in public. Public is not specifically defined in the statute, but has been found to include a park, subway station, bus, train, library, public restroom. In People v. Orimogunje, 2012 NY Slip Op 22055 (2012), defendant Lawrence Orimogunje was charged exposing his penis on a public bus. In People v Gowdy, 2013 NY Slip Op 50263(U), the defendant Vernon Gowdy exposed himself in an office cubicle. 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.

Indecent Exposure and Additional Sex Crime Charges

If you are charged with indecent exposure you may also face other charges, some of which may be misdemeanors or felonies. In both People v Gowdy and People v. Younes, 2010 NY Slip Op 52280(U) (2010), the defendants were charged with exposure of a person as well as public lewdness. Sexual abuse and forcible touching are also charges that commonly accompany an exposure of a person charge. Any time a defendant faces a sex crime charge, it’s important to contact an experienced New York indecent exposure lawyer. What may seem like a “no big deal” violation could turn out to be a much bigger issue. Potential additional charges included:

  • 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
  • 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.
  • Sexual abuse. There are multiple sexual abuse criminal charges with varying degrees of severity. In general, sexual abuse is defined as the act of subjecting another person to sexual contact without their consent.
Consequences for Indecent Exposure

If you are suspected of exposure of a person, 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.

Because exposure of the person is a violation and a crime, the penalty is up to 15 days in jail and a fine of up to $250. A conviction for a violation will not result in a criminal record. However, if you are also charged with an offense that is not a violation but a misdemeanor or felony, you could face significant jail time and may have to register as a sex offender. To learn what sex offender registration entails, discuss your case with an experienced indecent exposure attorney in New York.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

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 indecent exposure attorney serving New York. Contact us Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Westchester County, and Suffolk County.

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