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FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND INDECENT ACT CHARGES IN BRAMPTON.  416-DEFENCE.

Being charged with a criminal offence can be a confusing and upsetting experience. Serious consequences result from a criminal conviction and the negative implications of a criminal record can affect all aspects of an individual’s life. Being charged with an indecent act in Peel Region can lead to serious consequences. Our Firm has experience assisting clients who have been charged with an indecent act or indecent exposure in Peel Region and have obtained favourable results.

The offence of Indecent Act is outlined in section 173(1) of the Criminal Code. The Code does not give a precise definition of what an indecent act is but does provide some guidelines. The act must be committed in a public place and in the presence of other individuals, or in any place with the intent to offend any other individual. Since no list of specific acts is provided, that determination will be left to the finder of fact. Generally, those charged with committing an indecent act are accused of committing a sexual act in public, however non-sexual behaviours may also be considered indecent acts in certain circumstances.

For the purposes of this offence, a public place is defined as any place to which the public has access as of right or by invitation, either express or implied. It is important to note that an act done inside one’s home that is visible to individual’s outside is not considered a public place.

In 2017, the Firm secured the withdrawal of an indecent act charge in R v. M.R. [2017]. In that case, the defendant, who was an exotic photographer, was accused of exposing himself to a client during a photoshoot. Utilizing forensic evidence, the Firm was able to prove that the allegations had been fabricated.

In March of 2018, the Firm defended a prominent businessman accused of exposing himself in a parking lot in R. v. A.T. [2018]. The Firm worked with medical experts to prove that the complainant had fabricated the allegations.

To gain a conviction for an indecent act offence, the Crown must prove all elements of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt. The Crown must prove that the accused was the individual who performed the indecent act as alleged, that the act was performed in a public place and that the act was performed in the presence of other individuals. Alternatively, the Crown must prove that the act was performed with the intent to offend or insult any other individual, even if it was not performed in a public place.

Having a complete understanding of the Elements of the Criminal Offence, Your Rights and the Consequences associated with a Criminal Record is necessary before any legal decisions are made.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Possible Penalties for Committing an Indecent Act in Brampton?
What Other Consequences are Associated with an Indecent Act Conviction?
What is Indecent Exposure?
How Does the Crown Prove Indecent Exposure?
How to Defend an Indecent Act or Indecent Exposure Charge?
What are the Penalties for Indecent Exposure?

Additional Resources

Assault
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Domestic Abuse
First Offenders
Immigration Consequences
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening

What are the Possible Penalties for Committing an Indecent Act in Brampton?

Indecent act is a hybrid offence, meaning the Crown may determine how to proceed depending on the nature and severity of the particular offence. In less serious cases the Crown will proceed summarily and in more serious cases they will elect to proceed by indictment. If the Crown proceeds summarily, the maximum penalty that may be imposed on the accused upon conviction is six months’ imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine. If the Crown proceeds by indictment, the maximum penalty the accused will face is two years’ imprisonment.

When determining the correct sentence, the judge will weigh various relevant aggravating and mitigating factors related to the offence and the accused. Some of these factors include; the accused’s criminal history, their youthfulness, personal characteristics of the accused, the nature of the act committed, personal characteristics of the victim, the factors leading up to the offence, the context in which the offence occurred and any other factor the judge deems relevant.

Having experienced counsel from the outset of your criminal proceedings can ensure the best possible outcome. Our Firm can assist in negotiating a favourable deal with the Crown or provide the best strategy for trial to ensure you receive a favourable outcome.

What Other Consequences are Associated with an Indecent Act Conviction?

An individual convicted of committing an indecent act will likely experience negative consequences in addition to any criminal sanctions imposed on them by the Court. A conviction for an indecent act will result in a criminal record which can have negative implications on various aspects of an individual’s life. An individual with a criminal record may have difficulty attaining employment or may be terminated from their current place of employment as a result of the charge(s). A criminal record may also make it difficult for an individual to volunteer or work with vulnerable populations such as children or the elderly. A criminal record may make it difficult to travel to various parts of the world, especially to the United States who may limit travel to anyone with a criminal record. There may also be a stigma attached to having been convicted of committing an indecent act.

In addition to the negative consequences associated with having a criminal record, an individual convicted of an indecent act may also be ordered to register as a sex offender. Those convicted of a designated sexually based offence will be required to register with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA). In cases involving an indecent act charge, if the Crown can prove that the accused committed the indecent act with the intent to commit one of the designated sexual offences listed in section 490.011 of the Criminal Code, the Court will order the individual to register under SOIRA. The designated offences include; sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, sexual exploitation, incest, child pornography, exposure, sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm and aggravated sexual assault.

What is Indecent Exposure?

Section 173(2) of the Criminal Code outlines the offence of indecent exposure, which is quite similar to indecent act. Criminal exposure refers to situations where an individual exposes his or her sexual organs, for a sexual purpose, to an individual under the age of sixteen. The exposure need not occur in public and can even occur in situations where the accused was not physically present with the child at the time the exposure occurred. An example of this would be an adult individual who exposes him or herself to a child over the internet.

How Does the Crown Prove Indecent Exposure?

To prove an accused is guilty of committing the offence of indecent exposure, the Crown must prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The Crown must prove that the accused exposed his or her genital organs for a sexual purpose and in the presence of someone under the age of sixteen. The Crown must also prove that the accused knew the individual was under the age of sixteen or at the very least was reckless as to that fact.

How to Defend an Indecent Act or Indecent Exposure Charge?

Formulating the best defence for your particular charge(s) will depend on the allegations and the facts surrounding the case. Each case requires a defence and strategy that is unique in order to obtain the best possible outcome.

In some situations, experienced counsel will be able to negotiate with the Crown to have an indecent exposure charge lowered to an indecent act offence. This will reduce the maximum penalties involved with a conviction and will remove any mandatory minimum prison sentence.

In situations where this strategy is not viable, an accused individual may be able to argue that they lacked the necessary intent. The defence may argue that the accused could not have foreseen that they would have encountered another individual while they were exposed and had no intent to be observed by another individual. The defence may also argue that the place in which the individual was exposed was not a public place.

The best strategy for each case will depend largely on the facts of the case. Our Firm has experience negotiating the best possible deals for our clients charged with indecent exposure in Peel Region and have resolved many cases without a criminal record for our clients.

What are the Penalties for Indecent Exposure?

Since indecent exposure involves an individual exposing their sexual organs to an individual under the age of sixteen, it is a more serious offence than an indecent act. Indecent exposure is also a hybrid offence, meaning the Crown may elect to proceed summarily or by indictment. If the Crown proceeds summarily, the minimum penalty the accused will face is a maximum of six months’ imprisonment. If the Crown proceeds by indictment, the maximum penalty will be two years’ imprisonment.

In addition to the sentence imposed on the accused, the accused will also be required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registry Act (SOIRA) for a minimum of ten years.

Quick Facts

What is an Indecent Act?

An individual is guilty of the offence of indecent act when they commit an indecent act, in a public place or in the presence of one or more other people, or with the intention of offending another person. The Criminal Code does not provide a list of acts that have been deemed indecent, this will be decided on a case by case basis by the Court.

What is the Punishment for Indecent Act?

Indecent act is considered a sexual offence in Canada. It is quite common for the Crown to advocate for a custodial sentence for those convicted of indecent act. Individuals who are convicted will also be required in many cases to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act and submit a sample of their DNA to the police to be kept on record.

What is Indecent Exposure?

An individual is guilty of the offence of indecent exposure when they expose their sexual organs to a person who is under the age of sixteen, for a sexual purpose. Indecent exposure is considered a sexual offence in Canada and is aggressively prosecuted.

What is the Punishment for Indecent Exposure?

Indecent exposure is a serious sexual offence against children and as a result is prosecuted very aggressively in Ontario. Indecent exposure is a hybrid offence meaning the Crown has considerable discretion regarding the maximum penalty that may be imposed on the accused. There are mandatory minimum penalties associated with indecent exposure convictions that range from thirty days to three months.

How to Drop Indecent Act Charges?

Indecent act charges are often laid against adults engaging in sexual behavior in public. In some situations, the defendant may be able to argue that they had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the location they were in and did not expect any other individual to witness their act. In other situations, a more robust defence will be required.

Can you Travel with an Indecent Act Record?

Having any criminal record can make travel outside of Canada difficult. This is especially true with a conviction for a sexual offence. Many counties including the United States refuse entry to those with a criminal history.

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