Public nudity, like streaking across the Colorado State University campus, used to be a cute college prank. Now, nudity is demonized as police, district attorneys, judges, probation officers and sex counselors react in fear to avoid criticism for being too soft on sex offenders. As a general rule, they invoke serious sex laws which were designed to stop sexual predators and apply them to minor circumstances like Public Indecency, C.R.S. 18-7-301.
Laws designed to stop sexual predators are applied to minor crimes, such as public indecency.
Today, nudity in the view of others, even while on private property, can result in Public Indecency charges. And, with an uncomfortable frequency, charges of Indecent Exposure are also made if the suggestion is made by anyone that the nudity was intended to arouse someone’s sexual desire. Similar to living in the dark ages, men and women in Fort Collins, Loveland and Wellington must carefully avoid nudity, sexual contact or sex where it is possibly viewed by others. We see sexual offense charges resulting from nudity in backyards, cars or even inside a house with curtains partially open.
Sex Crimes are Based on Fear by Our Government
Technically, a first time Public Indecency conviction is not a Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB) sexual offense. A second or later conviction is, and requires the unreasonably harsh SOMB sex offender treatment and registration as a sex offender. Indecent Exposure, C.R.S. 18-7-302, is always a sexual offense. You may ask why our legislature made a second offense of urinating in public a sexual offense requiring a treatment program equivalent to rape or forced sex. We see all levels of government overreacting to sex crimes today – terrified of criticism from special interest groups. With reelection and job retention the most important considerations, no one can risk the political fallout of being accused of being soft on sex offenders.
Loose Fitting Clothing Could Equal a Charge for Public Indecency
We often see Public Indecency charges when a man or woman carelessly exposes themselves by wearing loose fitting clothes in a public place. Sometimes, exposure of a woman’s breasts or anyone’s buttocks, if done in a lewd manner (“lewd” is undefined), can result in a Public Indecency charge. Imagine the undefined “lewd fondling or caress of the body of another person” – this is criminalized in Colorado. Finally, an act of sexual intercourse, when capable of being viewed by the public, can give rise to this charge.
Police are trained to get the information they need to charge you with a more serious crime.
Fine Line Differences: Public Indecency vs. Indecent Exposure
A more serious alternative to Public Indecency, is Indecent Exposure. These two charges appear very similar, on the surface. Each can result from exposure of one’s genitals to the view of another person, “where such conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm.” In addition though, Indecent Exposure has the required element that the exposure occurs “with the intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of any person”. This fine line distinction is for a jury to decide. When police attempt to question you about the circumstances surrounding this crime, silence is important. Officers are trained to try and obtain statements confirming your sexual purpose by the nudity. If established, devastating consequences result for the person charged.
Lawyer Experience Does Count
For over twenty-three years, we have been fighting to save men and women from the harsh consequences of Colorado’s sex crime laws in Estes Park, Windsor, Berthoud and across Larimer County. We know how to interpret the government’s evidence and can predict how a jury will vote in given circumstances. While most first convictions for Public Indecency will not require the harsh sex offender treatment and sex offender probation – a second conviction will. If that occurs, the government and treatment providers will scrutinize: where you work, contact with any children (including your own kids), and anyplace you might want to go. Never entrust your life and future to a lawyer who works with criminal defense cases part-time. With the stakes this high, you always need an attorney whose full-time job is criminal law.
Never forget to remain silent when approached by police. You can’t talk them out of charging you. They are looking for evidence to convict you. Next, call our attorneys twenty-four-seven at 970-658-0007, or submit the “Get Help Now” form. Together, we can protect your future.