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New York Indecent Exposure Lawyer

In the New York Penal Code, indecent exposure is referred to as "exposure of a person" (N.Y. Pen. Law § 245.01). It's not classified as a felony or a misdemeanor but as a violation. This charge involves exposing intimate body parts in public, including the penis, buttocks, breasts (below the top of the areola), or vagina. Unlike public lewdness, which requires a lewd act, exposure of a person only necessitates displaying intimate parts in public. However, individuals accused of indecent exposure often face additional, more serious charges, which could be misdemeanors or felonies. If you're facing accusations of indecent exposure, seek representation from an experienced New York indecent exposure lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Indecent Exposure and Additional Sex Crime Charges

For an exposure offense to be a violation, it must occur in public. Although "public" isn't precisely defined in the statute, it typically includes places like parks, subway stations, buses, trains, libraries, and public restrooms. In cases such as People v. Orimogunje, 35 Misc. 3d 639 (N.Y. Crim. Ct. 2012) and People v. Gowdy, 2013 NY Slip Op 50263(U), defendants were charged with exposing themselves in various public settings, including buses and office cubicles. Even a parked car can be considered a public place if visible to passersby.

In People v. Orimogunje, the defendant was noticed sitting on a public bus with his legs open and his penis exposed. He was charged with violating N.Y. Penal Law § 245.01, Exposure of a Person. The defendant challenged the charge, arguing that the state did not state facts to support the charge. The court rejected the defendant’s position, noting that if an exception outlined in the statute you applied, it was up to the defendant to raise them.

In In People v Gowdy, the defendant was convicted for indecent exposure based on being observed exposing himself in an office cubicle, which was open and visible to the entrance area of an office where numerous employees had daily access.

Being charged with indecent exposure often leads to other offenses, some of which are more serious. These can include public lewdness, sexual abuse, forcible touching, and more. It's crucial to consult a skilled New York indecent exposure lawyer whenever facing a sex crime charge, as seemingly minor violations can escalate into significant legal issues.

Defense to an Indecent Exposure Charge

Defenses to a charge of indecent exposure in New York can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Indecent exposure involves intentionally exposing one's genitals in a public place where others are present and likely to be offended or alarmed. While being accused of indecent exposure can be serious, there are several potential defenses that individuals may explore with the assistance of an experienced New York indecent exposure lawyer.

  • Statutory defense. Individuals accused of indecent exposure may assert statutory defenses provided under New York law. These defenses include situations where the exposure was for the purpose of breastfeeding an infant, occurred in a restroom or other designated facility for changing clothes, or took place in a private dwelling where it could not be observed by others. Defendants may also argue that the exposure occurred during a performance, exhibition, or show that is exempt from prosecution under the law.
  • Mistaken identity. In cases where the alleged incident occurred in a crowded or busy area, it may be challenging for witnesses to accurately identify the individual responsible for the alleged indecent exposure. An accused individual may argue that they were not the person who committed the offense and present evidence to support their claim.
  • Lack of intent. In order to be convicted of indecent exposure, the prosecution must prove that the accused acted intentionally. If the exposure was accidental or involuntary, the accused may argue that they did not have the requisite intent to commit the offense.
  • Insufficient evidence. The defense may challenge the prosecution's evidence, including witness testimony or physical evidence. For example, if there are inconsistencies in the witnesses' accounts or if there is insufficient evidence to prove the accused's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the defense may argue for the charges to be dismissed.

Overall, defending against a charge of indecent exposure in New York requires a thorough understanding of the law and the ability to develop a strong defense strategy. Consulting with a knowledgeable indecent exposure attorney in New York can help defendants explore their options and work towards the best possible outcome for their case.

Consequences for Indecent Exposure

As a violation, indecent exposure carries penalties of up to 15 days in jail and a fine of up to $250. A violation conviction won't result in a criminal record. However, if facing additional misdemeanor or felony charges, you could face more severe penalties, including imprisonment and sex offender registration. Understanding the implications of sex offender registration requires consultation with an experienced indecent exposure attorney serving New York.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

While an indecent exposure charge is a violation, it could lead to more serious allegations, potentially resulting in imprisonment and sex offender registration. If accused of exposure of a person, seeking immediate legal counsel is essential. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates for a free consultation to discuss your case and receive expert representation. We serve clients across various New York jurisdictions, including Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County. Call us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.