What’s Indecent Exposure?

Indecent exposure is lewd sexual acts and nudity occurring in the public eye with specific intent. It is often confused with a lesser charge of public indecency but is far more serious. Indecent exposure includes exposure of one’s genitals to others or masturbating in public with the explicit intent of alarming or causing affront to others as a form of sexual arousal. Indecent exposure is considered a serious offense under Colorado law, leading to intense and life-altering consequences if convicted.

Colorado Indecent Exposure Explained

Colorado law defines indecent exposure as knowingly exposing one’s genitals to others with the purpose of causing alarm, causing affront, or arousing/satisfying the sexual desire of self or another. Furthermore, masturbation performed in front of others or in an area that others will most likely see the act is also considered indecent exposure. This even includes acts of masturbation that are done externally or that are simulated. Masturbation is defined by the law as any act of rubbing, touching, or self-stimulation of genitals that occurs in a public area, causing affront or alarm to others.

What Are the Penalties for a Colorado Indecent Exposure Conviction?

If you face charges for indecent exposure the court system will take into consideration your prior criminal history when handing out sentencing. In general, indecent exposure is considered to be a Class 1 Misdemeanor under Colorado law. While this is the general rule, there are exceptions to the rule. If you have two or more past convictions for indecent exposure, your charges will likely be elevated to a Class 6 Felony.

For indecent exposure as a Class 1 Misdemeanor, consequences will be a fine reaching, as much as $5,000 and up to 18 months spent behind bars. These may not be the only penalties you face.  The courts are likely to order other penalties such as probation and counseling.

If these consequences were not already serious enough, such a conviction will also require you to register as a Colorado sex offender. Such consequences can smear your good name and lead to life-long consequences. You will be required to have your name added to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s sex offender registry. The one saving grace to this process is that a first-time offense is typically tried as a misdemeanor. Often times, a misdemeanor indecent exposure will not be accessible to the public when conducting a search. Beware, multiple offenses will not leave you so lucky as the public will be able to search you and access information exposing you as a registered sex offender.

Furthermore, such a conviction will bring more shame on the perpetrator requiring them to register with the police or sheriff closest to where they live. They will be forced to provide much personal information, such as their fingerprints, instant messaging or chat room names, DOB, place of work, address, email address, and a photograph. This will be a life-long process that must be redone every five years within a 5-day window of the offender’s birthday. Anytime the offender moves or is working for a facility of higher education re-registration will be required.

With so much at stake, you can’t afford to hope for the best. It is imperative for your good name and future that you seek competent, experienced legal counsel to defend your case!