What Is The Punishment For Indecent Exposure?
If you have been accused or charged with indecent exposure, it is important to understand what makes it a sexual offence, how it is prosecuted in a court of law and the punishment for indecent exposure in the UK.
Just as important is to know that you have a right to legal representation as soon as you are accused of indecent exposure or taken in for questioning regarding the offence.
A solicitor with experience in sexual offences will ensure that you are receiving expert legal advice and support from the moment you face an accusation.
What Constitutes Indecent Exposure?
Indecent exposure is the offence of intentionally exposing the genitals with the specific intent of making a viewer(s) alarmed or distressed. The Sexual Offences Act of 2003 does make a distinction between naturism, nudity and indecent exposure. Prosecutors look for indications of a sexual nature in the nudity or if there was any intention to cause alarm, distress or harassment. Urinating or accidentally exposing the genitals does not constitute indecent exposure.
Indecent exposure is differentiated from the more serious crime of Public Indecency, which is when someone does anything that is lewd, obscene or disgusting in public ‘which is shocking to reasonable people’.
The offences carry different punishments, and a sexual offences lawyer will make efforts to ensure that a defendant is not unfairly charged for the more serious crime.
What Is the Punishment for Indecent Exposure in the UK?
Indecent exposure, if tried at a Crown Court, carries a maximum punishment of two years in prison. However, most indecent exposure cases are tried in Magistrate’s Court, where the defendant will receive a summary conviction – carrying a maximum of six months in prison, a fine or both. A court may decide that community service and / or a fine is sufficient punishment. Your name may also be added to the sex offenders’ register.
If a person is found guilty of Public Indecency, however, there is no maximum prison term.
Do the Police Give Cautions for Indecent Exposure?
Yes, police give cautions for indecent exposure based on the circumstances and on past criminal behaviour.
What Should I Do If I Am Arrested for Indecent Exposure?
Call a lawyer. It is always advisable to contact a lawyer as soon as you have been arrested, and before you make any statements to the police. A lawyer with experience in this field with ensure that you don’t say anything that may negatively impact your defence.
What Are the Applicable Defences Against Indecent Exposure?
There are many factors which can affect the seriousness of the indecent exposure and the extent of the punishment.
The seriousness of the offence (and the punishment) may be greater according to the age of the victim, whether any threatening behaviour was used, or coercion to keep quiet, and factors around race, sexual orientation or disability. On the other hand, mitigating factors such as showing remorse, the age of the offender or whether they have learning disabilities can help the defence case.
Other defences may include: being threatened by someone unless you exposed yourself, being too drunk or drugged to control your actions, or having a mental illness.
An experienced sexual offences lawyer will help to negotiate these complexities, giving a defendant the best chance of a fair defence if they have been accused of indecent exposure.
What If I’ve Been Falsely Accused of Indecent Exposure?
A lawyer will help to build a case for your innocence if you have been falsely accused of indecent exposure. This may involve compiling evidence, witness statements and character references, as well as examining the reliability of the witness.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Is Indecent Exposure Proven?
Evidence relies on victim and eyewitness statements, CCTV or video footage and social media. Proving intention to cause distress or harm can be difficult, and the prosecution may take into account the accused’s version of events – so having a lawyer support you before any statements are made is very useful.
How Long Does Indecent Exposure Stay on your Record?
If you have been convicted of indecent exposure, you may be required to sign the Sex Offenders Record, and your name will remain on it for five years. It will be up to the court to decide whether to give you a criminal record.
How Can DPP Law’s Sexual Offence Solicitors Help?
It’s extremely important that you seek legal advice and representation if you are facing a sexual offence allegation. Do not try to face the criminal justice system alone. DPP Law is a team of highly experienced sexual offence solicitors who will work tirelessly on your defence from day one. If you are facing an indecent exposure allegation, contact us here as soon as possible.
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