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Coxwell & Associates Public Indecency

Public Indecency

Crimes associated with public morals and decency in Mississippi typically have to do with people who willingly expose their private parts in public places or where there are people present. Indecent exposure is the intentional, willful and lewd exposure of genitals in an area where there is likely to be an unsuspecting audience. In most cases, this type of charge is a misdemeanor. For frequent offenders, it can be a felony. If you or a loved one is facing any type of charge associated with public morals or decency, you need to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case, because a conviction can have severe and long-lasting impacts to your life, wellbeing and reputation.

Crimes Against Public Morals and Decency in Mississippi

Crimes against public morals and decency in Mississippi are found under Miss. Code Annotated 97-29-31 and 97-35-11. Indecent Exposure, § 97-29-31, is defined as a crime where a person willfully and lewdly exposes his person or private parts in a public place or in any area where other people are resent. It can also involve a person who gets somebody else involved in exposing himself or herself to others. In most cases, the first two indecent exposure convictions are misdemeanors, and any following convictions are felonies.

Penalties of Indecent Exposure in Mississippi

Indecent exposure in Mississippi is in penalized in a three-strikes fashion. For a first conviction, you’re looking at a misdemeanor, and you could be facing up to $500 in fines and up to six months in jail. If a second conviction happens, that is also likely to be a misdemeanor with up to $1,000 in fines and up to one year in jail. If convicted of a third charge of indecent exposure in Mississippi, you’re looking at a felony on your record and up to $5,000 in fines and up to five years in a correctional facility.

The Stigma of Public Indecency 

If you’re convicted of any type of crime associated with public morals and decency, you could be facing a lifelong impact of the stigma associated with such crimes. Nobody wants to give a job or rent a house to somebody who has a known record of exposing himself or herself. This type of reputation and stigma can follow you to jobs and new towns. The most important part of fighting the stigma and potential career and reputation ruining implications of an indecent exposure conviction is getting in touch with a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.

What About Unintentional Exposure? 

Nobody should go to jail over an accidental or unintentional exposure. A conviction of indecent exposure involves the element of intent. You must willingly and intentionally expose yourself in order to be convicted of indecent exposure. A wardrobe malfunction or some other type of unintentional exposure needs to be taken into account if you’re facing indecent exposure charges. Additionally, it should also be noted that women who are breast-feeding are not subject to charges associated with public indecency or indecent exposure in Mississippi.

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