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Public Indecency

Generally, public indecency is a misdemeanor.  However, if the person has previously been convicted of three cases of public indecency, subsequent charges may be brought as felonies.  The misdemeanor is punishable by up to twelve months, a $1,000 fine, or both.  Felony level offenses carry 1 to 5 years in prison.  

Public indecency occurs when the person performs certain acts in a public place:

  1. an act of sexual intercourse
  2. a lewd exposure of the sexual organs
  3. a lewd appearance in a state of partial or complete nudity or
  4. a lewd caress or indecent fondling of the body of another person.

Interestingly, intercourse in a public place does not qualify one for felony treatment.

Public place includes jails and penal and correctional institutions of the state and its political subdivisions.

Public place has also been given some pretty broad interpretations by the courts.


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