For most people, one of the worst thing about being arrested and charged with a criminal offense is the feeling of helplessness. That feeling of helplessness, in turn, usually stems from the lack of information provided to the defendant when he/she is initially arrested. Sometimes the arresting officer doesn’t even tell the arrestee what charges will be filed. Knowing what you are charged with, however, doesn’t always resolve everything if you don’t know anything about the offense. For example, if you have been charged with indecent exposure, your first question will likely be “Hoe is indecent exposure defined in Nebraska?” followed closely by “What are the penalties for indecent exposure in Nebraska?”
To begin with, in the State of Nebraska the relevant offense is “public indecency”, not indecent exposure. Public indecency is governed by Nebraska Revised Statute 28-806 which reads as follows:
A person, eighteen years of age or over, commits public indecency if such person performs or procures, or assists any other person to perform, in a public place and where the conduct may reasonably be expected to be viewed by members of the public:
a) An act of sexual penetration; or
b) An exposure of the genitals of the body done with intent to affront or alarm any person; or
c) A lewd fondling or caressing of the body of another person of the same or opposite sex.
The “public” aspect of public indecency is very important. For a defendant to be convicted the act in question must have occurred not only in a public place but where members of the public were likely to be watching. Moreover, even an act in public might not qualify if the defendant did not commit the act with the intent to “affront or alarm.” Contrary to what many people are led to believe, an act such as urinating in public – while rude and disrespectful – may not meet the definition of public indecency unless the defendant acted with the intent to “affront or alarm” another person. On the other hand, “public displays of affection” could lead to charge of public indecency as it could be considered “a lewd fondling or caressing of the body of another person.”
Public indecency is charged as a Class II misdemeanor in the State of Nebraska. If convicted, you could be sentenced to up to six months in jail and/or up to a $1000 fine.
If you have been charged with public indecency, or any other criminal offense, in Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
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