There are certain acts that may seem inconsequential but may ultimately lead to criminal charges, harm to a person’s reputation, and other consequences. For example, people who uncover their private parts in public may be accused of indecent exposure, which may be a felony that can result in significant penalties. If you are faced with charges that you exposed yourself in public, it is critical to retain an attorney who will offer a vigorous defense on your behalf. The Charlotte and Concord sex crime lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm have the skills and experience needed to obtain favorable outcomes in sex crime cases. If you hire us, we will work tirelessly to help you protect your rights.Indecent Exposure Charges in North Carolina
Pursuant to North Carolina law, it is unlawful for a person to deliberately expose his or her “private parts” in public and in the presence of any other individual. The statute does not define what constitutes a private part, so the courts have dictated that it refers to genitals, but it does not include a person’s buttocks or a woman’s breast. There are exceptions, though, for exposures that occur in public places if the exposure is incidental to a legal activity or aids such an activity, and for anyone who leases or otherwise permits a property that he or she controls to be used for such an act.
Indecent exposure is usually a Class 2 misdemeanor, which can result in up to 60 days of confinement. In certain cases, though, it will be classified as a more serious crime. For example, if the person who engaged in conduct that constituted indecent exposure was 18 or older, and if he or she exposed his or her private parts to a person who was under 16 years old for the purpose of gratifying or arousing sexual desire, it is a Class H felony, which is punishable by up to 39 months of imprisonment.
The law also provides that a mother may breastfeed her child in any private or public location where she is legally entitled to be, regardless of whether the mother’s nipple is exposed during the feeding. Additionally, local governments have the right to regulate where sexually oriented businesses may be operated or located.Defending Against an Indecent Exposure Charge
In most cases, the State will rely on circumstantial evidence that a person committed the crime of indecent exposure. While a person can be convicted via circumstantial evidence, the State must show that the evidence against the defendant is sufficient to find him or her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, it must be so compelling that a rational judge or juror could arrive at no conclusion other than that the defendant is guilty. Thus, if the defendant can demonstrate that the prosecution’s evidence is weak or that the witnesses presented by the State lack credibility or have an improper motive for testifying, this may result in a not guilty verdict. Furthermore, if the State is unable to prove an element of the charged offense, it should not obtain a conviction. The State must prove that the defendant acted with intent, the alleged exposure occurred in a public place, and there were witnesses to the exposure. If it cannot, the defendant should not be found guilty.Discuss Your Charges with a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney in Concord or Charlotte
Exposing yourself in public, even momentarily, can dramatically alter your life. If you are charged with indecent exposure, you should promptly consult an attorney to assess the accusations that you face. The criminal defense lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm can advise you on your options and develop a strategy that will help you pursue a favorable result under the circumstances. We often represent people charged with sex crimes in Charlotte and Concord and throughout Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties, including people in Huntersville, Pineville, Davidson, Matthews, Kannapolis, Cornelius, Midland, Mint Hill, Harrisburg, and Mount Pleasant. You can contact us at our Charlotte office at 704-405-2580 or our Concord office at 704-918-4747 or via our form online to set up a consultation.