Raleigh Lewd Conduct and Indecent Exposure Lawyers
Being arrested for any crime can tarnish your reputation and result in professional and personal setbacks. However, being arrested and convicted of lewd conduct and indecent exposure can also be particularly embarrassing. Don’t let a mistake or misunderstanding haunt you for the rest of your life.
If you have been charged with lewd conduct and indecent exposure in Raleigh or surrounding areas of North Carolina, you need a skilled legal advocate on your side who will help you to understand your defense options. At Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, our Raleigh lewd conduct lawyers are available to talk about your situation and go over your next steps. Call us today.
North Carolina Indecent Exposure Laws
Under North Carolina law, indecent exposure is defined as when an individual willfully exposes the “private parts of his or her person in any public place and in the presence of any other person or persons.” The law continues to read that there are, of course, exceptions for “those places designated for public purpose where the same sex exposure is incidental to a permitted activity … ”
“Private parts,” as referred to in the law, mean male or female genitalia. Breasts and buttocks are not considered to be “private parts.” In fact, the same section of law cited above even continues to read that a woman may breastfeed in any private or public location in which she is otherwise authorized to be.
At Kurtz & Blum, PLLC, our respected criminal defense lawyers provide representation for those who have been charged with indecent exposure, as well as those facing accusations of other lewd acts and behaviors.
Penalties for Indecent Exposure & Lewd Conduct in NC
There are numerous factors that determine how an indecent exposure/lewd conduct crime is penalized.
Class 2 misdemeanor. The majority of indecent exposure crimes are classified as Class 2 misdemeanor offenses. Indecent exposure crimes that fall into this category include:
- Knowingly exposing oneself in a public place
- Exposing oneself for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire
- Exposing oneself in a private place to someone in a public place
Additionally, a person who is 18 years of age or older who exposes himself or herself, willingly, in a private place to someone who is under 16 is also guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
A Class 2 misdemeanor conviction in North Carolina carries a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 30 days of probation if the defendant has no prior convictions. The defendant may also face a community service sentence. The penalties grow more serious for defendants with prior convictions.
Class H felony. There is one incident in which indecent exposure can be charged as a Class H felony in North Carolina. If a person who is over the age of 18 knowingly exposes himself or herself to someone who is 16 years of age or younger in a public place for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire, the offender will face Class H felony charges.
Aggravated indecent exposure ─ a Class H felony conviction ─ is punished more harshly in the state. According to the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission, a Class H felony carries a maximum incarceration period of 39 months (less than this if a person does not have any prior convictions). A Class H felony conviction may also require the convicted person to register as a sex offender for life.
Common Defenses for Indecent Exposure and Lewd Conduct
If you are facing indecent exposure or other lewd conduct-related charges, a Raleigh lewd conduct lawyer can help you to understand the various defense options available to you and build a strong defense strategy. While the defense that you use will be dependent upon the circumstances of your case, some potential defenses include:
- Lack of intent. In some cases, you may be able to argue that the indecent exposure was an accidental consequence of something else. For example, if a homeless person is attempting to change clothes in a relatively modest manner, but another person sees, it is very possible that the individual was not intentionally or willingly exposing himself or herself.
- Lack of sexual gratification. Remember that the offense can be more serious if indecent exposure is done for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire. The burden of proof to establish this purpose is on the prosecution. You may be able to claim that there is no evidence of sexual gratification.
- Lack of a public area. Remember, a person cannot be charged with indecent exposure, with few exceptions, unless he or she is in a public area at the time that the exposure takes place.
- Lack of another person. In order for a person to be convicted of indecent exposure, there must be evidence that not only did they expose themselves, but that they exposed themselves to another person. If no one else was present at the time of exposure, then no crime has been committed.
- Intoxication, illness, or disability. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, intoxication, illness, or disability may be used as a defense or a mitigating factor in the sentence handed down by the court.
How Our Lewd Conduct Lawyers Can Help
When you choose our Raleigh lewd conduct attorneys and indecent exposure lawyers, we will get to work on your case immediately. We can help by:
- Explaining to you the charges you are facing and the potential consequences you face if convicted
- Exploring all potential defense options
- Reviewing all evidence that the prosecution has against you
- Filing motions to have evidence suppressed whenever possible
- Reviewing the circumstances of your arrest to determine whether procedural mistakes were made
- Arguing to have charges reduced or dropped
- Negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution
- Defending you in a trial, if necessary
Contact Our Indecent Exposure Attorneys Today
Being charged with an indecent exposure or other lewd conduct crime can be unsettling, and a conviction could have a serious impact on your future. If you are facing criminal charges, don’t take the risk of representing yourself throughout your criminal case. Instead, call our indecent exposure attorneys at Kurtz & Blum, PLLC.