It is illegal for a person to do anything sexual in public without caring for the emotional impact on the witnesses. In Arizona, the court severely punishes the crime of public sexual indecency, especially when the person who witnesses the act is under 15 years old. However, someone accused of this crime can avoid a conviction and its penalties by proving their innocence to the judge.
What is public sexual indecency?
The courts in Arizona punish the crime of public sexual indecency severely. A person commits this crime if they do any of the following in front of another person that could be offended by that situation:
- Touch another person’s private parts
- Force another person to touch their private parts
- Have sex in public
- Have oral sex in front of others
If a person does any of those actions in front of an adult, they can get a conviction for a Class 1 misdemeanor. The sentence for a Class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona includes a term of up to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. Nonetheless, these penalties are harsher if the person who witnesses the sexual act is less than 15 years old.
Performing a sexual act in the presence of a person under 15 years old is not a misdemeanor but a Class 5 felony in Arizona. In this case, the conviction can include a sentence of up to 2.5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $150,000.
The right of defense
If you have a charge for public sexual indecency, you must know that not everything is lost. A criminal charge does not necessarily lead to a conviction, and you may still avoid the penalties by proving your innocence to the court. The court could drop or lessen your charges if you prove that you tried to be discreet or thought there was no one else around you when you did it. You have the right to defend yourself, and you can fight for your freedom in court.