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18-7-302 CRS – Indecent Exposure – Colorado Law & Penalties

Posted on April 26, 2024 in

Under Colorado law, it is illegal for any person to expose themselves, specifically their genitals, to any other person without that party’s specific and explicit consent. This falls under 18-7-302 CRS – Indecent Exposure laws. A Lakewood criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of James L. Finegan, P.C., can help you fight these charges.

Understanding Indecent Exposure Laws in Colorado

Under CRS § 18-7-302, public indecency is illegal in any form. This includes simulated touching, stimulating, or rubbing of the genitals or the pubic area with the objective of sexual gratification or arousal. This includes any type of act, whether the pubic area is covered or exposed. This includes masturbating in public.

The law takes into consideration the location as well as the type of indecent exposure, including intent, to determine what type of consequences a person may face. However, if you are found to be responsible for violating this law, there are numerous penalties that you could face as a direct result.

The prosecutor will need to prove that you were acting in a way that violates the law. You may be found guilty if:

  • You knowingly exposed yourself.
  • You knew or could have assumed someone would see you.
  • You did it as a way to cause alarm or to be bothersome to another person
  • The act was done as a result of sexual desire of any person

Penalties Under Colorado Indecent Exposure Laws

Colorado law places indecent exposure as a class 1 misdemeanor. That means that if a person is convicted of breaking this law, they could face up to 364 days in jail. They may also have to pay a $1,000 fine. Depending on the circumstances in the case, you may also be required to register as a sex offender with the state.

In situations where you have been charged with and convicted of indecent exposure or a similar type of offense in Colorado, you could be charged with a class 6 felony, which extends the length of time in jail and adds fines.

Even with these penalties being limited in some situations, the most critical reason not to be convicted of a crime like this is the requirement to be added to the sex offender list. Once you are added to that list – which is public – it can make it hard for you to find a place to live, get a job, or be around other people with children.

Fight with the Help of a Criminal Defense Attorney

There are many situations where indecent exposure was not intentional or was, in some way, misunderstood. Proving that becomes a challenge in many situations. That is why it can be critical to work with a criminal defense attorney who has experience in this particular area of the law. You will need to prove to the court that you did not commit the crime or that you did not intend to harm anyone in the process.

Because indecent exposure laws in Colorado are so severe, it is critical that you work with a criminal defense attorney who may be able to create a case to minimize your long-term risks of the most severe penalties.