Articles Tagged with public indecency

https://www.chicagocriminallawyerblog.com/files/2017/01/550px-Censored_rubber_stamp.svg_-300x261.pngThe law of public indecency in Chicago is complex precisely because it touches on the interaction between personal freedom and societal norms. What some consider to be harmless exhibitionism may meet the statutory minimum for the crime of public indecency (see People v Reed). Generally speaking, society has condemned indecent exposure in public as an unacceptable occurrence that must be punished. Sometimes, however, people who are engaged in perfectly harmless activities are suddenly subjected to a complex criminal investigation under these laws. However, it must be noted that the law enforcement agencies in Chicago have used an even-handed approach in these cases.

Understanding How the Crime is Committed

The intent is important in determining whether the offense is a mere misdemeanor or whether it meets the criteria for a felony. It is not the case that indecent exposure is an infraction, although this is a widely held misconception of the law. You should not expect that you can get away with merely paying a small fine. In the worst case scenarios, you can get a substantial term of custody as well as compulsory registration on the sex offenders list. The provisions of 720 ILCS 5/11-30 set out the legal premise for the law as follows:

800px-WashingtonWells_CTA_071230Even as the USA becomes more and more liberal when it comes to human sexuality, there are certain boundaries that are not to be crossed, such as outraging public decency as defined in the Chicago law. Indecent exposure is the nightmare waiting to happen for many commuters and park patrons. Although members of the public are generally aware that indecent exposure is socially unacceptable, they rarely comprehend the seriousness of the crime until they are experiencing it firsthand. In certain situations, this crime can become a felony with all the attendant consequences. There may be a few rare cases in which the police allow the offender to get away with a slap on the wrist, but those are not the norm. Not only do the sentencing guidelines include fines, they also make reference to long jail time.

Understanding Public Indecency Charges

The basic rules for public indecency charges are set out in 720 ILCS 5/11-30. There are a few things to note from the perspective of the defending attorney. First of all, the minimum age for criminal culpability in this context is 17 years, so age verification will be a key aspect of the defense strategy when appropriate. The conduct that falls under this law is varied, but there are a few important qualifiers and indicators of what is generally considered to be indecent exposure or public indecency in a prosecutorial context:

Baseball_capThe Chicago Tribune reports that the Naperville police are offering a $1,000 reward for information about the motorist who exposed himself to a 15-year-old girl on July 15 near Prairie and Charles Avenues. Apparently the suspect, a white male in his mid-40’s to early-50’s, drove past the girl as she was riding her bike down the street, stopped a short distance in front of her, and emerged from his vehicle wearing only a baseball cap. The police note that the man covered his genitals and did not say anything as the girl biked past him. While the girl was not physically harmed, the man will still likely face a public indecency charge if the police are able to find him.

Public Indecency in Illinois

Public indecency, referred to as indecent exposure in some states, is a criminal offense in Illinois. While some people view flashing as a harmless act, exposing yourself under some circumstances can land you in a lot of legal trouble. Under Illinois law 720 ILCS 5/11-30 any person who is 17-years-old or older commits the crime of public indecency if he or she engages in either of the following acts in a public place:

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Public indecency in Chicago is a complicated and serious criminal charge. The penalties and other consequences you face will depend on the circumstances surrounding the incident. In most cases, the crime of public indecency is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. The gist of being charged with public indecency is that you exposed yourself in a public place. If you are convicted of public indecency, you face up to a year in jail, and a maximum fine of $2500. The most problematic part of being charged with public indecency is that it is considered a sex crime, and in some situations, those convicted of public indecency will have to register in Illinois as a sex offender, after serving whatever sentence is imposed by the judge. Any person who is under the age of 16 cannot be prosecuted for public indecency, although they can face charges of disorderly conduct for behavior that would be charged as public indecency in an older person.

Elements of a Public Indecency Charge