by Mike Jacobs
Public Indecency is a serious crime in Georgia. It is imperative that you retain a qualified attorney immediately if you have been charged with public indecency.
O.C.G.A. § 16-6-8(a) defines public indecency as follows:
A person commits the offense of public indecency when he or she performs any of the following acts in a public place:
- An act of sexual intercourse
- A lewd exposure of the sexual organs
- A lewd exposure in a state of partial or complete nudity; or
- A lewd caress or indecent fondling of the body of another person.
A public place means any place where the conduct involved may be reasonably be expected to be viewed by people other than members of the accused’s family or household.
Under O.C.G.A. 16-1-3(15), a public place is any place where the conduct involved may reasonably be expected to be viewed by someone other than immediately family members. In fact, the residence of the accused may be considered a public place if the person performs the lewd act in front of a window or someplace where he intends the public to see it.
Lewd has been defined as any gross indecency so notorious as to tend to corrupt community morals. The act is one in which it represents a moving away from some form of community morality norms towards amorality, immorality or obscenity which in the final analysis within community standards as to particular acts, as to acceptability or unacceptability, is best left to a jury for determination. The statute does not require that some person be embarrassed, offended or otherwise outraged by the lewd act.
The intent of the accused is relevant in a prosecution for public indecency.
The offense of public indecency is not a crime against the person. The person viewing the lewd act is a witness and not a victim of the crime.
The United States Supreme Court has held that the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression does not prevent the State of Georgia from enforcing its public indecency laws.
The punishment for public indecency is up to 1 year in prison. If it is a 3rd or subsequent violation, then the punishment is 1 to 5 years imprisonment. Also, the accused may be required to register as a sex offender under O.C.G.A. §42-1-12.
It is imperative that you do not talk to the police if you are accused of public indecency. Only speak to a qualified attorney so that you can properly defend yourself.
I would be happy to meet with you any time for a free consultation to discuss your case, your rights and your defenses to these allegations.
Call me at 404-581-0999 and let’s schedule a time to meet and discuss your case.
It is your life, your criminal record and you deserve the best representation possible.