Public Indecency Lawyer in Cincinnati, OH
The laws against disorderly conduct and public indecency were meant to uphold a minimum level of dignity and morality in public areas. Unfortunately, these laws end up ensnaring many well-meaning citizens who may have been caught in an awkward moment. For example, if a police officer observes you urinating in a public area when you simply couldn’t find a restroom, you could end up facing criminal charges.
Few things are as embarrassing as getting charged with indecent exposure. Fortunately, you may be able to avoid all or some of the consequences of a conviction if you act fast and retain the services of a Cincinnati public indecency lawyer today. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we will deploy all of our resources towards the defense of your charges.
If you want to learn more about how we can help, call (513) 338-1890 now for a free and confidential consultation.
How Does Ohio Law Define Public Indecency?
Section 2907.09 of the Ohio Code lays out several definitions and penalty ranges for the crime of public indecency. The most basic form of public indecency involves recklessly doing things that might offend people around you (besides members of your household), which includes:
- Exposing your private parts
- Masturbating or having sex
- Doing anything that an ordinary person would consider as sexual conduct
When you act with recklessness, it doesn’t mean you intended to expose yourself. Instead, it means that you acted very carelessly and with complete disregard of whether you might offend other people. For example, you might be committing reckless public indecency if you urinate in a park in a place where it is likely that people might see you and be offended.
The sentence you might receive for reckless exposure will depend on how many prior convictions you have, and whether any minors could have been exposed to your allegedly indecent behavior. Most public indecency offenses are considered misdemeanors of the fourth degree punishable by up to 30 days in jail and up to $250 in fines. Some repeat offenders who expose themselves to minors might receive a fifth-degree felony conviction involving six to 12 months in prison and fines of up to $2,500.
For Willful or Intentional Indecent Conduct, the Penalties Are Even Higher
The more serious category of public indecency involves knowingly performing the inappropriate conduct listed above, in a manner that will likely offend a minor who is neither your spouse nor a member of your immediate family. To be guilty of this category of offense, there must be evidence that you willfully or intentionally offended someone.
At a minimum, this offense is a third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and $500 in fines. But when there is evidence that you intended to offend or to get sexual satisfaction from your conduct, you may face more serious charges up to a felony of the fifth degree, carrying a possible sentence of six to 12 months in prison and fines of up to $2,500.
No matter the level of public indecency with which you get convicted, you will face more than just fines and possible jail time. Your conviction may also involve:
- Paying court costs and attorney’s fees
- Performing community service
- Registering as a tier I sex offender
- Restricted employment and/or educational opportunities because of your criminal record
- Revoked right to own or possess firearms, if you get convicted of a felony
- Inability to qualify for certain professional licenses
- Possible deportation, if you’re an immigrant
Delivering an Effective Defense to Your Public Indecency Charges
Owing to the harsh consequences resulting from a conviction, you should think twice before pleading guilty to public indecency. The prosecutor may try to convince you that the deal they are offering you is your best chance. But with an experienced Cincinnati criminal defense attorney by your side, you may be able to defeat the charges altogether, or at least negotiate a better plea arrangement.
Importantly, the prosecutor can only convict you for public indecency if they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you recklessly or knowingly exposed yourself. In other words, if your lawyer can demonstrate that you at least attempted to hide, there is a very good chance that you will avoid a conviction.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we understand that promptness, discretion, and aggressive advocacy are the keys to achieving a positive resolution to our clients’ public indecency cases. With a Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer by your side, you can face the criminal justice system with confidence.
For further details about how we can specifically address the defense of your case, call us today at (513) 338-1890 for a free and confidential consultation.