What Is Public Indecency in Illinois?

Updated on 06/15/2022 / Under

Most of the people that live in Chicago have an idea of what public indecency also known as public indecency is but most of them are not aware of how serious a crime it can be. Most individuals will have one thing in common and that is that they should not expose themselves publicly. Even so, in the case that they have to answer for public indecency in Illinois, they will need the best legal representation in town so they can fight the criminal charge that they are facing.  

Most people are often surprised when they find out that depending on the situation indecent t exposure can be considered a felony or a misdemeanor. There are individuals that think that indecent exposure is a minor crime that can be brushed off by paying a simple fine but oftentimes they are mistaken.

An indecent exposure crime can result in getting jail time and as well having to pay a significant amount of money in terms of fines. For this reason, it is advisable for you or a loved one to communicate with an experienced defense attorney from Chicago as soon as possible so you can have a chance at fighting the criminal charge.  For you to be able to fight a criminal charge you need to understand its implication. So, what is public indecency in Illinois?

What Illinois Considers Public Indecency

You do not have to be naked in Illinois for you to be accused and charged with public indecency. You can be fully clothed and still be found guilty of the crime. There are two ways in which public indecency can occur and that is nudity in public with either sexual intent or sex acts in public. This applies if the individual is either clothed or unclothed.

When a person is being prosecuted for public indecency it is the job of state to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused conducted themselves inappropriately in public. The definition of a public place is a place where other individuals are expected to view the accused actions. The accused will have an opportunity to make an argument showing that there were reasonable expectations for privacy in the case where the facts of a particular case allow it.

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The public indecency statute was drafted by the legislature. When they were drafting the statute they made an exemption. For example, breastfeeding does not qualify as public indecency. Even so, it is still open to debate whether breastfeeding a baby can be classified as public indecency.

Any act of sexual conduct or sexual penetration done in public is falls under the public indecency category. The terms of public indecency can be seen in 720 ILCS 5/11-0.1. Touching or fondling directly or on top of clothing is seen as sexual conduct. Sexual penetration on the other hand is inclusive of any touching between sex organs, an object or the mouth.

Explaining the Laws on Public Indecency in Illinois

According to Illinois state laws it is a criminal offense to expose oneself in public. As stated earlier the crime is knows as public indecency. Getting convicted of the crime attracts penalties such as one year in jail and paying of a maximum fine of $2500.

What is most important to note is that a public indecency criminal charge is taken as a sex offense. What this means is that if found guilty the defendant can be registered as a sex offender.

Public indecency is found in the Illinois Criminal Code at 720 ILCS 5/11-30. The statute provides that the crime of public indecency applies people who are 17 years old and above. Any person who is 16 years old or younger is immune from prosecution for public indecency.

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To find the public indecency code in Illinois you can look at it from 720 ILCS 5/11-30. The statute states that the crime of public indecency is applicable to people that are 17 years and above. A person that is either 16 years of age or below cannot face prosecution for the crime of public indecency.  

Even so the courts of Illinois have been allowed to prosecute minors if they participate in disorderly conduct according to 720 ILCS 5/26-1. They will be prosecuted on the same kind of conduct that an adult will be charged and convicted of and that is public indecency. Most of the times disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor offense. As a result of getting convicted you can spend around 30 to m64 days in jail and you will incur a criminal fine amounting from $1500 up to $2500.

Here are some of the circumstances that can result in a person that is 17 years or above to be charged with public indecency;

  • Exposure of their bodies in a lewd manner with the intention of arousing or satisfying sexual desires in public.
  • Performing the act of sexual conduct or sexual penetration in a public space.

How to Fight a Public Indecency Charge

The consequences of a public indecency charge are severe. Even as this is the case you should understand that getting arrested for public indecency does not mean that you are going to e convicted for the crime. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney will improve your chances of getting a favorable outcome on your case.  

When it comes to a public indecency arrest there are a variety of different subjective elements and most of the times it is left up to the discretion of the arresting officer to determine if an act if public indecency was actually committed.

What is public indecency in Illinois?

The prosecution has then to take up the task of proving if the conduct of the defendant was either lewd or indecent in order for them to have them convicted. The language that is used in law is intentionally broad and this makes it hard to define factors that would result in some behaviors being obscene. It is possible for the attorney that you have hired to be able to argue the case and prove that the manner in which you conducted yourself was not intended to be in any way sexual.

It is as well not easy to define what a public area encompasses. You attorney can try to prove that the location where the ordeal occurred lies outside the legal definition public. This can turn out to be an effective defense strategy. How you choose to fight the public indecency charge will all depend on the factors surrounding your situation.

Learn More: Benefits of a Lawyer vs. Public Defender

Fighting back is the best option you have. Aside from the fact that public indecency conviction comes with a big social stigma a conviction as well carries with it serious consequences. For you to have a fighting chance and get a more favorable outcome you should consult and hire the services of a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer.

We Can Help You Face a Public Indecency Charge

It can be frightening to have to deal with a public indecency charge most people do not know what to do and they are not sure if there is a way out.  The worst thing you can do is to try and fight your own legal battle. We know your situation because we have represented clients that have been in the same situation just like you are and have helped them find a favorable solution. You are not alone our team and you don’t have be let our tea, fight for you. We are always ready. We have a committed team ready to offer you the best legal representation you need to defend. We are just a call away. Contact Ktenas Law Chicago Criminal Law Firm today!