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Arrested for Indecent Exposure

Arrested for Indecent Exposure

SKU: 8.21
  • Advice

    We would never suggest that you discuss anything other than confirming your name and address with the police. If they can twist your words to get a conviction, whether it was accurate or not, the resultant conviction and potential court case could be devastating to you and your family. Instead, simply ask for legal representation, they cannot continue to ask you questions until your representative is present.


    What is Indecent Exposure

    Indecent exposure is defined as the act of intentionally exposing one’s genitals to cause alarm or distress to another. As it is an act of ‘specific intent’, it must be demonstrated that it was done intentionally. Therefore, indecent exposure cannot be committed accidentally under UK law. For instance, if someone was witnessed whilst simply relieving himself then he could not be charged with indecent exposure unless he displayed himself with malicious intent. Anyone who commits an act of obscenity in public can also be charged with ‘outraging public decency’. These are behaviours that are deemed to be lewd, obscene or disgusting, such as purposefully displaying one’s genitals in public. Outraging public decency is punishable by unlimited imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.


    An example of indecent exposure

    A woman is walking home and a man jumps in front of her and exposes his genitals to her. This causes both shock and distress to the woman who was not expecting this unsolicited encounter. In this example, there was clear intent.


    If you are a victim of indecent exposure

    If you have been offended by the action then we would recommend that you report the incident by calling 999 or visit the nearest Police station. You should describe the person, such as their age, gender, height, complexion, distinguishing features, etc. The Police may then decide to investigate the matter. You may be appointed a Police officer as liaison. If you feel that you need further support, several charities provide help for individuals who suffered a traumatic event or incident. 


    If accused of the offence

    Typically, there will have been an incident report made by the victim. This will be followed by an investigation by Police officers. If they feel that they have sufficient evidence then you may be arrested. In such situations, you have a right to inform someone of your arrest. More importantly, you have a right to access free independent legal services when you request them. If this is ever in doubt, inform the police officer that you are allowed help under Section 58(1) of the Police and Crime Evidence Act 1984. Moreover, if you are eventually interviewed in the absence of legal services, you should remember that you neither have to answer the question posed to you nor can you be compelled to do so. You can simply choose to stay silent. It is worth noting that once you request legal representation, you cannot be interviewed until you have access to suitable representation. Also, if you are already being interviewed after indicating that you did not require legal advice, once you request for it, even during the interview, the Police will have to postpone the interview until you have been given the advice.


    Whilst in custody you have certain rights:

    • To get legal advice;
    • To tell someone where they are;
    • To get medical help, and to see a copy of the rules the Police must follow (Codes of Practice).


    The danger of using duty solicitors

    If you cannot afford legal representation, you will be offered free and independent legal advice, however, you should not assume that the duty solicitor appointed for you will keep your details private, after all, they have the same paymaster and the solicitor will be extremely familiar (and thereby friendly) with the Police officers and not want to cause them any inconvenience. In our opinion, this creates a dangerous situation as regards legal confidentiality. Our representatives are truly independent and would not disclose any part of your conversation with them to the police. If you are seeking alternative legal help, we strongly suggest you use a private solicitor and do not rely on the duty solicitor for reasons already stated.


    Appointing ourselves, or other professionals will frustrate them and they will try to politely deny you this right, beware phrases such as: -

    • “There is no need – it's just an initial chat”
    • “We just need you to answer a few questions”
    • “If you help us now, we won't progress the matter to court”
    • “If you go legal and delay things the court won’t like it”


    These interviews are often recorded, and their findings can form part of a criminal investigation against you. Simply saying “sorry” infers that you knowingly (and therefore deliberately) did something you knew was wrong.The Police are very skilled at phrasing questions to get the answers they want, ones that will secure a nice quick and clean conviction with minimal fuss and paperwork. If you are happy to help them in this way then fine, if not then we suggest you ask for repesentation. As mentioned above if you want to create a mild frustration then use the duty solicitor and hope that they have some inmpartiality left in them, if you want to defend your position then appoint ourselves or an impartial solicitor.


    If your accuser is a minor, the situation will be worse. At Lestons we know that children lie to get attention, one lie usually spirals into a larger one and the lies grow. Sadly, not all children are innocent in their actions and use the Police to “get back” at someone, usually for the smallest of reasons. We would always seek to examine any evidence and statements to seek out discrepancies in their story. If there is no doubt of your guilt (for instance there is CCTV evidence), or you have been tricked into a confession then the Police would seek to include aggravating factors to maximize your sentence, longer sentences please the Police as they play to their ego.


    How we can help

    Lestons should be appointed at earliest opportunity, getting representation after you have already given (or been tricked into) a confession (or terms that may be interpreted as such) causes a multitude of problems. To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link.


    At Lestons we still believe (against what seems to be the appearing norm) that a person is innocent until proven guilty and would represent you on that basis. If there is overwhelming evidence (such as several witnesses or CCTV coverage) then we would seek to mitigate a shorter sentence, with associated privacy notices to prevent public disclosure of your details. Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team and to act as your point of contact.

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