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Public indecency in Georgia: What you should know

On Behalf of | Sep 14, 2021 | Sex Crimes

What’s one of the easiest ways to end up charged with a sex crime in Georgia? It’s through an act of “public indecency.”

Indecent exposure (or public indecency) is, at its heart, a crime against moral standards. What may be virtually ignored in some free-wheeling areas could be harshly punished in others.

It’s wise to remember that Georgia is in many ways a very conservative state. You can get into serious trouble — and end up a registered sex offender — for a lot of things you may consider fairly minor mistakes.

How does Georgia law define it?

Under Georgia’s laws, the crime of public indecency occurs when any of the following acts take place in public:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • The lewd exposure of one’s sexual organs
  • Lewdly appearing in a state of partial or complete nudity
  • Lewdly caressing or indecently fondling another person’s body

Keep in mind that public places are just about anywhere outside where you have little expectation of privacy. Exactly what is considered “lewd” is often informed by each community’s morals.

First offenses are considered misdemeanors, while subsequent offenses are treated as felonies and punishable by up to five years in prison.

What sort of things can result in a public indecency charge? Here’s one example: You and your spouse are celebrating 30 years of marriage together. In a moment of brash nostalgia, you decide to park at the old “Lover’s Lane” spot like you did when you were teenagers. You get caught having sex by a patrol officer that happened to stroll by. The next thing you know, you’re facing criminal charges for a sex crime.

If you’ve made a mistake, fight back

A simple, uninformed or unintentional mistake shouldn’t be allowed to affect the rest of your life. If you’re facing public indecency charges, understanding more about the possible defenses that apply to your situation can help you decide what to do.

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