ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Can you be arrested for public indecency if you’re sunbathing nude on your own property? Or, if you’re naked in your own house with the window open and a neighbor sees you?
According to Illinois law, public indecency is always considered a sex crime, and there are two forms of public indecency that are against the law. One is having sex with another person in public. The other “a lewd exposure of the body done with the intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of the person.”
Breastfeeding is not considered public indecency.
However, yes, you can be charged with indecent exposure in your own house or your own property if the intent of the act is to arouse sexual desire with the intention of being seen by others.
Conversely, you do not have to be naked in order to be charged with public indecency if the intent is to arouse someone’s sexual desire.
According to David Friedberg, a Chicago criminal lawyer, a person charged with a crime of public indecency while in their own home has a better shot at defense if they can argue that they didn’t realize they were visible to the public.
You can also be charged with public indecency for sex inside a car, with an emphasis on whether or not unwilling people can witness the act. But if you are in a public place with little chance that someone could see you, experts say that you may be able to win the case.
Being convicted of public indecency could result in a sentence of one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.
Persons younger than 16 are immune from prosecution for public indecency. Instead, a juvenile would likely get a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct for the same behavior.