With Saint Patrick’s Day approaching; it is important for all to remember to be safe while celebrating the festivities. Obviously; avoid driving while intoxicated. Don’t drink too much and get into an all-out bar room brawl. Having too much fun can often come with a price. Society has rules and regulations for a reason. Charges such as public intoxication, indecent exposure, public lewdness and disorderly conduct are usually sprinkled a crossed the police blotter in major cities after large St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
But how can you get these charges? How weird is too weird? While things may seem funny at the time; what are the consequences?
- Indecent Exposure
Have you ever had to get changed in a car? In the fast-paced society that we live in; it is not uncommon to have to get changed on the road going from work to a dressy event or even a baseball game. I’ve often wondered pantyhose in hand, if I could get ticketed for this. I am somehow doubtful that saying “Your Honor! I thought it was very decent!” would be a good defense….but it sure would make for a great story. Click here for a good Minneapolis criminal defense attorney.
The actual definition of indecent exposure (and one that most officers stick to) is the intentional exposure of one’s private body parts in a public area or where most people would be offended. It is also indecent exposure to expose someone else’s parts; however that is an entirely different and worse offense as well.
So, hopefully the inadvertent flash in a parked car would not be considered intentional.
States like Minnesota can charge a person with a misdemeanor for exposing themselves. Intentional indecent exposure can very easily cause a person to have to register as a sex offender. If a citizen is offended enough, feels unsafe enough or was under aged; you better be prepared to hire an attorney. Exposing private parts can be seen as a pretense to rape or other sex offenses.
- Public Urination
I am not quite sure of how many times (or how many states for that matter) that I have had to pull off to a secluded area and relieve myself. If caught (and the officer had no mercy) the offense would be ticketed.
Many states do not have an actual public urination law. However; a drunken person urinating in public will very likely be charged with public lewdness, indecent exposure or disorderly conduct.
- Public Lewdness
There are so many people out there that, in my opinion, are lewd in public all of the time. Yet; they remain free to roam the streets; annoying all whom they encounter.
So, how weird do you have to be to get a ticket for public lewdness? Pretty lewd (or you have to REALLY annoy a police officer).
This is essentially all but exposing oneself. Making suggestive gestures, yelling sexually suggestive comments and just……being a letch. Pretty much every frat boy and college guy could be charged with lewdness at some point in his drinking career.
- Disorderly Conduct
This is a favorite of police officers. If you don’t immediately do what an officer says or give them any “back-talk” you will likely get this ticket. Because it is so loosely defined; disorderly conduct is all-encompassing. Yelling in public and causing people to get very uncomfortable will get a person a disorderly conduct ticket.
Hence; just don’t get too weird out there this St. Patrick’s day or you’ll pay for it in jail, fines and public humiliation.