What Are the Penalties for Public Indecency in Ohio?


There are times we need to be mindful of the way we act in public, particularly when it comes to matters of decency. This can be hard to do when you are inebriated or caught in a moment of passion. We understand how easy it is to make mistakes. However, if you are not careful, public indecency charges can come with a price.

In order to comprehend the penalties associated with the act of public exposure, you must first understand the violation itself. Ohio court considers public indecency as a reckless offense. You can be charged if you commit any of the following:

  • Exposing your private parts in public
  • Having sex or masturbating in public
  • Committing actions that look like sex or masturbation
  • Exposing your private parts in order to arouse or lure a minor

If an individual is caught engaging in any of the listed activities, they can be charged with public indecency, which is a sex crime. The charges range from a fourth degree misdemeanor to a fifth degree felony. If convicted, you may have to pay fines, serve jail time, and in some cases, register as a sex offender. You may be wondering what these transgressions specifically entail.

The penalties of misdemeanors and felonies include:

  • Fifth degree felony: Fines up to $2,500 and 6-12 months in jail
  • First degree misdemeanor: Fines up to $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail
  • Second degree misdemeanor: Fines up to $750 and up to 90 days in jail
  • Third degree misdemeanor: Fines up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail
  • Fourth degree misdemeanor: Fines up to $250 and up to 30 days
  • Fifth degree misdemeanor: Fines up to $150 and no jail time

A conviction of any sort can be detrimental to your future and your personal record. Charges of public indecency hold even more seriousness. If you have been charged for indecent exposure or conduct, contact our Columbus sex crime attorneys immediately. We have experience fighting cases such as these and can help you. Call today for a case review.