Have you Been Charged with Public Indecency in Georgia?
Public indecency is the intentional exposure of one's private parts in public. There are laws prohibiting this behavior throughout the country, but each state has their own distinctions. The Law Office of Richard Lawson and his team of Georgia Criminal Lawyers have over 50 combined years of experience and are here to assist you with your case. A charge is not the same as a conviction, but it is imperative to seek representation from the very beginning.
Georgia Law on Public Indecency
Georgia Law O.C.G.A. § 16-6-8 states that a person commits the offense of public indecency when he or she performs any of the following four acts in a public place:
- An act of sexual intercourse;
- A lewd exposure of the sexual organs;
- A lewd appearance in a state of partial or complete nudity; or
- A lewd caress or indecent fondling of the body of another person
Public place shall include jails and correctional institutions of the state and political subdivisions.
Georgia Case Law on Public Indecency
Evidence that the defendant urinated on the ground in a shopping center parking lot is sufficient to support a conviction of making a lewd appearance in a state of partial nudity in a public place. Clark v. State, 169 Ga. App. 535, (1984).
Defendant's conviction for public indecency was affirmed, as defendant would come home from work, take off his clothes, and become exposed in front of a window “just to get a thrill.” Hester v. State, 164 Ga. App. 871 (1982). The Court said that even though the act was committed in a private residence, it was still public indecency because his window could easily be seen from a nearby highway. Therefore, he was convicted of public indecency.
The Court has found that a shopping center parking lot is clearly a public place within the meaning of the statute. State v. Chrisopoulos, 198 Ga. App. 876, (1991).
Penalty for Public Indecency
A person convicted of public indecency shall be punished as a misdemeanor for the first and second conviction.
A third conviction will result in a felony conviction and a prison term between one and five years.
Defenses to Public Indecency
It was an accident: An example of accidental indecent exposure is when a man goes to a public swimming pool and jumps off the diving board and comes up without their swim trunks on. They didn't intend to be exposed and attempted to fix the exposure immediately.
Mistaken Identity: If it was dark out or the defendant's face was not seen well, then your Attorney will try to convince the court that you were not the perpetration.
What are not Defenses
I did not think anyone would see: If the exposure was in an area where the defendant could have reasonably expected someone would see, then this is not a defense.
I was in my home, which is a private residence: As seen in the case above, even if the defendant is in their residence, but they stood in front of an open window where it was likely others could see, then this is not a defense.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Let our experience in defending those accused help build your best defense. The legal system is not designed for self-service. Call our office today and let us work for you!