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public indecency, lewd acts, Lake County criminal defense attorneyThe laws against public indecency cover a wide range of individual offenses, including sexual offenses as well as incidences of public exposure. While these types of crimes are very common, they still carry serious consequences for anyone charged, sometimes the effects of which can last for a very long time as a person may be added to the national or state registry of sexual offenders, affecting a person’s ability to find work, live in certain neighborhoods, or work in a job where children may be present.

In Illinois, public indecency is defined as (including but not limited to):

  • A public act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct; or
  • A lewd exposure (ie: flashing, public masturbation) done with the intent to arouse sexual desire in the victim.

The state legislature specifically calls out that in no situation will breast-feeding in public be considered an act of public indecency. A public place in this instance means anywhere that another person could witness or be present. It does not have to be a crowded public space: If a person exposes himself, for example, on a private street as only one other person is walking by, he or she could still be charged with public indecency. Another common type of citation for public indecency can include public urination—if, for instance, a person is out drinking and relieves himself on the street, he can be charged. This seemingly innocuous act could then stay on his record forever.

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