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What is Public Indecency in Ohio?

What is Public Indecency According to Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.09?

Public Indecency in Ohio is defined by Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.09. Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.09, there are several situations wherein a person can violate the Public Indecency statute. Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.09 states:

(A) No person shall recklessly do any of the following, under circumstances in which the person's conduct is likely to be viewed by and affront others who are in the person's physical proximity and who are not members of the person's household:

  • Expose the person's private parts;
  • Engage in sexual conduct or masturbation;
  • Engage in conduct that to an ordinary observer would appear to be sexual conduct or masturbation.

(B) No person shall knowingly do any of the following, under circumstances in which the person's conduct is likely to be viewed by and affront another person who is in the person's physical proximity, who is a minor, and who is not the spouse of the offender :

  • Engage in masturbation;
  • Engage in sexual conduct;
  • Engage in conduct that to an ordinary observer would appear to be sexual conduct or masturbation;
  • Expose the person's private parts with the purpose of personal sexual arousal or gratification or to lure the minor into sexual activity. 

What Does This Mean?

Written more simply, Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.09 states that a person may be convicted of Public Indecency in Ohio if they, knowing that they will be viewed by public persons, exposes themselves or engages in sexual activity.

What Are The Penalties For Public Indecency in Ohio?

The penalties for Public Indecency in Ohio vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense.

  • If the offender exposes themselves, Public Indecency is generally a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of 30 days and/or a fine of up to $250. If the offender has previously been convicted of Public Indecency or if they expose themselves in front of a minor, the severity of the conviction increase, potentially up to a felony of the fifth degree, which is punishable by a term of imprisonment up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
  • If a person engages in sexual conduct or masturbation, Public Indecency is generally a misdemeanor of the third degree, which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 60 days and/or a fine of up to $500. If the offender has previously been convicted of Public Indecency or the act occurred in front of a minor, the severity of the conviction increase, potentially up to a felony of the fifth degree, which is punishable by a term of imprisonment up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
  • In addition, an offender who is convicted of Public Indecency in Ohio may be classified as a Tier I sex-offender, which requires registration every 12 months for a period of 15 years.

What To Do If You Are Accused of Public Indecency in Ohio

Being accused of Public Indecency in Ohio carries significant consequences and can have an extreme effect on one’s life, regardless of whether they are convicted or not. If you, or someone you know has been accused of Public Indecency in Ohio, it is recommended that you contact a criminal defense attorney who has specific knowledge and experience handling Public Indecency cases in Ohio. It is important to speak to an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney before speaking to anyone about the allegations, as anything you say can and will likely be used against you, even if the statement is not made to law enforcement.

An experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney will be able to discuss your case and the allegations against you, help you gather evidence that may be beneficial for your defense, give advice on how to speak and act around loved ones who know about the accusations, and make sure that you are treated properly throughout any investigation or proceeding. If you are contacted by law enforcement, it is never recommended to make a statement. Instead, be polite but respectfully decline answering any questions. Immediately, contact an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney. 

At Friedman Nemecek & Long, L.L.C., our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys have travelled all across the State of Ohio representing individuals facing criminal investigations or charges related to Public Indecency allegations. Our lawyers stay abreast of the constant changes in legislation and/or court cases to ensure that our clients receive the most comprehensive and effective representation available. If you have questions regarding such matters, or you have been subjected to, or accused of, Public Indecency or other sexual misconduct, please call the law firm of Friedman Nemecek, & Long, L.L.C., at (888) 694-4645 for an initial consultation. 

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