Skokie Public Indecency Defense Attorney

Representation for Those Charged with Public Indecency in Illinois

While public indecency seems like a relatively minor offense, the consequences can be extremely serious. Any offense that is sexual in nature has the potential to be extremely embarrassing and can have negative repercussions for your relationships and your employment. Charges of public indecency tend to by widely reported by the media—as with any sexual offense—making it very difficult to keep the matter private. Public indecency is a Class A misdemeanor, with a potential sentence of jail time, however for those accused of the crime who have no prior criminal history, a more likely outcome would be probation and a sex offender evaluation.

In some situations, public indecency can be charged as a felony, making it that much more important that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side from start to finish. The Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. have defended many clients charged with sexual offenses. Attorney Gebhardt understands that you are likely embarrassed and anxious about your future and will work zealously to defend your rights. Our Lake County criminal attorney will fight your criminal charges by arguing you did not commit the acts you have been charged with or that if you did commit the acts, they were not conducted in a public place under the strict definition of the statute.

What Constitutes an Act of Public Indecency?

Under Illinois law, public indecency occurs when one of these two acts occurs in a public place:

  • Lewd exposure of the body with the intend to arouse sexual desire; or
  • An act of sexual penetration or other sexual conduct.

As you can see, these two acts are fairly broad and can encompass many a variety of conduct. Further, the charges of public indecency can be based on an individual police officer’s subjective view of the issue. As an example, one law enforcement officer may believe that public urination should be charged as public indecency, while another may not. While breastfeeding in public is hardly considered public indecency, there are police officers who chose to arrest a woman for doing just that. There is also some ambiguity regarding the definition of a “public place.” Illinois statute defines a public place as any place conduct may reasonably be expected to be viewed by others. The broad language of the statute and the subjective nature of the charges can be a double-edged sword, making it easier to defend the charges, but also easier to be charged and convicted of the crime.

Penalties for Public Indecency

Under Illinois law public indecency is considered a Class A misdemeanor, carrying the potential of jail time for up to one year and a fine as large as $2,500. Should you be convicted of public indecency three or more times, the charges will escalate to a Class 4 felony. Even if it is your first charge for public indecency, if the act of indecency was performed within 500 feet of an elementary school with children present, the charges will be enhanced to a Class 4 felony. A conviction for a Class 4 felony is much harsher, with the potential for significant prison time and hefty fines. In most cases, the sentence will not be this extreme, however it is important that you understand how seriously the state of Illinois takes charges of public indecency.

How a Lawyer Can Help with Your Charges 

Without the representation of a highly skilled sex offense attorney, you are highly unlikely to obtain a dismissal of your charges of public indecency. Attorney Matthew R. Gebhardt will ensure the state presents sufficient evidence to fully prove the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt and will challenge elements of that evidence. Due to the extreme social stigma attached to all crimes of a sexual nature, our Northbrook criminal attorney believes strongly in fighting the charges in court rather than accepting a plea. For respectful, knowledgeable representation, contact Matthew R. Gebhart at 773-898-8745 or 847-239-4703 for a free consultation.