Cleveland Public Indecency Lawyer
Public indecency accusations are embarrassing and a conviction can impact every aspect of your life. If you are facing public indecency charges in Cleveland, it’s imperative to contact a lawyer ASAP. It could all be a misunderstanding, but working with a lawyer focused on your interests may the difference between dealing with allegations before charges or filed, having the case dismissed, or reducing the charge to something more in line with the facts.
Early intervention from an experienced defense lawyer is critical, and you should look for someone with a considerable background and track record of success getting the best possible result in sex crime cases. So, if you have been arrested or accused of public indecency in Cleveland, contact attorney Daniel M. Margolis immediately.
Never try to explain the situation yourself. Contact The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC at (216) 533-9533 for a free and confidential consultation. We’ll protect your rights and fight to tell your side of the story.
What is Public Indecency?
Also referred to as indecent exposure, the charge is defined by Ohio law (Rev. Code 2907.09) as a person who “recklessly” exposes their private areas, engages in sexual conduct or masturbation in public, and engages in conduct that appears to the public that might be sexual conduct or masturbation.
Some acts that may be considered public indecency are masturbating, stripping, or streaking in a public park. So is filming someone else engaging in such an activity, including having sex or masturbating in public. The level of penalties varies depending on the act, whether the offender has a sex or criminal record, and whether minors were present. Sex offenses in Ohio are covered under Revised Code 2907, which also addresses issues like voyeurism, rape, and battery.
If convicted of indecent exposure in Ohio you face charges ranging from a fifth-degree felony to a fourth-degree misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. As an Ohio sex crime, a public indecency conviction also results in a permanent mark on your criminal record and even registration as a sex offender.
Aggravated Public Indecency
Generally, indecent exposure is a misdemeanor in Ohio, according to the state’s Rev. Code 2907.09. However, if any minors were present or witnessed the inappropriate acts – including exposing their private areas (genitals) or behaving in a sexually suggestive manner – the offender could be charged with aggravated indecent exposure, which is a felony.
In addition, if the offender has prior sex crime convictions, allegations for public indecency may raise the level of criminal charge.
Public Indecency Penalties
Most public indecency offenses in Ohio are fourth-degree misdemeanors which carry penalties of up to 30 days in jail and up to $250 in fines. But if you are a repeat offender, you could receive a higher-tier misdemeanor charge, such as up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first-degree misdemeanor.
If you expose yourself in front of a minor, you face a fifth-degree felony conviction involving six to 12 months in prison and fines of up to $2,500.
Another related sexual offense under Ohio law (Rev. Code 2907.08) is voyeurism. This involves intentionally watching others when they are nude or engaged in sexual activity. The most egregious voyeurism penalties occur when the subject is a minor.
Common Ohio voyeurism charges include:
- Trespassing “or otherwise surreptitiously” invading another person’s privacy, including spying and eavesdropping. This is a third-degree misdemeanor.
- Trespassing “or otherwise surreptitiously” invading another person’s privacy for the purpose of filming, photographing, or otherwise recording another person while they are in the nude. This is punishable as a second-degree misdemeanor.
- Secretly or surreptitiously videotaping, filming, photographing, or otherwise recording another person under or through the clothing being worn by that other person for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person. This is a first-degree misdemeanor.
- Trespassing “or otherwise surreptitiously,” for the purpose of sexual arousal or self-gratification, and invading the privacy of a minor to videotape, film, photograph, otherwise record, or spy or eavesdrop upon them while they are nude. This is a fifth-degree felony in Ohio.
Sex Offender Registration for Public Indecency
Ohio law requires sex offender registration for those convicted of public indecency in front of a minor. Registration mandates offenders to report their personal information regularly to law enforcement. This includes their employer, home address, phone number, and email address. Registered sex offenders are then added to a public database, accessible to anyone. Failure to register results in additional criminal penalties.
Ohio law has three levels sex offenders: Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III. Public indecency in front of a minor is a Tier I sex crime. Therefore offenders must check once per year for 15 years with the option to petition the court for removal after 10 years.
What Can a Sexual Battery Defense Lawyer Do?
Unfortunately, with allegations like public indecency, sometimes witnesses get confused, misunderstandings happen, and alleged victims sometimes lie.
As an experienced and meticulous defense lawyer, Daniel M. Margolis will approach your case by conducting an exhaustive investigation. If someone is making a false claim or the situation wasn’t what it appeared to be, we will present the facts. From there, we will craft the strongest possible defense strategy. We’ll fight to make sure faulty evidence is not used against you and inaccurate witnesses aren’t heard. If you are accused of public indecency, let attorney Daniel M. Margolis help clear your name.
Attorney Daniel M. Margolis has more than 20 years of experience in criminal defense and can handle every aspect of your case. From preparing a strong defense to helping you deal with the prosecution; we understand what’s on the line and how to resolve your case in the best possible way.
Call Attorney Margolis Now
There’s no time to waste and you should never try to explain things yourself if you’re accused of a sex crime like indecent exposure. To handle things the right way, call The Law Office of Daniel M. Margolis, LLC at (216) 533-9533 for a free and confidential consultation. We will explain the charges and how we can help.