FIRST OFFENDER? DEFEND INDECENT ACT CHARGES IN GUELPH.  1-866-DEFENCE.

Indecent act and indecent exposure are both considered sexual offences in Canada. Sexual offences, especially those involving children, are investigated and prosecuted vigorously across the country. Additionally, some of those convicted will be required to register as a sex offender. Due to the serious consequences that may result from a conviction for indecent act or indecent exposure in Guelph, it is important to contact and consult experienced legal counsel as soon as possible.

Donich Law has experience defending an array of individuals charged with both indecent act and indecent exposure, including those who have been wrongfully accused, and routinely achieve positive results for our clients. We have experience negotiating with Crown counsel to achieve favourable plea deals where appropriate and will advocate for our client’s rights and litigate matters where appropriate.

In 2018, the Firm secured the withdrawal of an indecent act charge against a prominent businessman who was accused of exposing himself in front of strangers in a parking lot in R. v. A. T. [2018]. The Firm employed a medical expert to present evidence to show that the allegations could not have occurred as the complainant stated, proving the allegations had been fabricated.

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

If you have been charged with indecent act or indecent exposure in Guelph, Donich Law can assist you in navigating the criminal justice system. We will advocate for your rights and ensure all defences are explored to help you achieve the best outcome for your set of circumstances.

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 is an Indecent Act?
What is Indecent Exposure?
How to Beat an Indecent Act Charge in Guelph?
How to Beat an Indecent Exposure Charge in Guelph?
What are the Maximum Penalties for an Indecent Act Charge in Guelph?
What are the Maximum Penalties for an Indecent Exposure Charge in Guelph?

Additional Resources

Assault
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Children’s Aid Society
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Domestic Abuse
First Offenders
Immigration Consequences
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening
Elements of a Crime
Your Rights

What is an Indecent Act?

The criminal offence of indecent act is outlined in section 173(1) of the Criminal Code. The Code states that a person has committed indecent act when they willfully commit an indecent act in a public place or in the presence of one or more other people, or in any other place with the intention to offend any person. The Criminal Code does not provide a list of offences that are considered indecent. Rather, this will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Most often, individuals are charged with an indecent act for exposing themselves in public to strangers or for engaging in sexual activity in public or in the presence of other individuals.

What is Indecent Exposure?

The criminal offence of indecent exposure is outlined in section 173(2) of the Criminal Code. The Code states that an individual has committed indecent exposure when they expose their sexual organs, for a sexual purpose, to a person under the age of sixteen. The exposure may occur in public or in private and the adult and minor are not required to be in each other’s presence at the time of the exposure. An example would include an adult exposing their genitals to a minor over the internet. Further, the exposure must be for a sexual purpose, meaning the accused must have received some sexual gratification from it.

How to Beat an Indecent Act Charge in Guelph?

The best defence for any indecent act charge will depend largely on the facts of the case, the allegations being made and the evidence in the possession of the Crown. As with any criminal offence in Canada, a defendant is under no obligation to present evidence to the Court to support their innocence. If the Crown does not possess enough evidence or fails to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused will not be convicted. If, however, the Crown does have sufficient evidence to suggest that the accused is guilty, it is often prudent to present some evidence to bolster a defence.

Generally, the best defences to beat an indecent act charge in Guelph include arguing that there was no exposure, arguing that the act was not committed in front of others or arguing that the accused lacked the intent to offend.

In some cases, it may be possible for an accused to argue that the part of their body that was exposed was not indecent. For example, if the complainant stated that the accused was nude, but in fact the accused was wearing underwear, they may present evidence of this to the Court to bolster this defence.

In other cases, an accused may be able to argue that they did not expect to encounter any other people in the location they were in. To gain a conviction the Crown must prove that the accused willfully committed an indecent act. If, however, the accused did not intend for anyone to witness the act, they may be able to beat the charge.

Finally, an individual charged with indecent act may argue that they lacked the necessary intent to be guilty of the offence. To gain a conviction in certain indecent act cases, the Crown must prove that the accused committed an indecent act with the intent to offend another person. If the accused did not intend to offend another person, they may present evidence to the Court bolstering this defence.

The best defence for any indecent act charge will depend on the evidence in the possession of the Crown and will be unique to the case. Donich Law can assist you in developing the best defence to attack the evidence being used against you.

How to Beat an Indecent Exposure Charge in Guelph?

The best defence to an indecent exposure charge will depend on the allegations being made and the evidence in the possession of the Crown. Common defences to indecent exposure in Guelph include arguing that the exposure was not for a sexual purpose or that the part of the body exposed was not indecent.

In some cases, it may be possible for an accused to argue that they did not have a sexual purpose for the exposure. For example, if an adult was changing in front of their minor child, they may expose themselves but not for a sexual purpose. In these situations, the adult would not be guilty of an offence.

Additionally, an accused may argue that they did not expose their genitals. Witnesses are often mistaken regarding what they have witnessed. If an accused can present evidence to the Court showing that they did not expose their genitals in front of a minor, they may be able to beat the charges.

What are the Maximum Penalties for an Indecent Act Charge in Guelph?

Indecent act is considered a sexual offence in Canada. As a result, the sanctions for those who are convicted can be quite serious. Indecent act is a hybrid offence. This allows the Crown to elect to proceed either summarily or by indictment. This election will determine the maximum penalty that may be imposed on the accused.

In cases involving more serious allegations, the Crown will proceed by indictment. In these cases, the maximum penalty that accused will face is two years in prison. In cases involving less serious allegations, the Crown will proceed summarily, and the accused will face a maximum of two years less a day in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

In addition, an individual who is convicted of indecent act may also be required to register as a sex offender. If the indecent act committed was sexual in nature, the Crown may make submissions to the Court on sentencing outlining why the accused should be required to register. If the Court agrees, they will issue a SOIRA order and the accused will be required to register as a sex offender.

What are the Maximum Penalties for an Indecent Exposure in Guelph?

Indecent exposure is a very serious sexual offence. Like all sexual offences involving children, the criminal sanctions that accompany a conviction can be serious. Indecent exposure is a hybrid offence, which allows the Crown to elect to procced either summarily or by indictment. This election will influence the maximum penalties that may be imposed.

In cases involving more minor allegations, the Crown will proceed summarily, and the accused will face a maximum of two years less a day in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. In cases involving more serious allegations, the Crown will proceed by indictment and the accused will face a maximum of two years in prison. In addition, those convicted of indecent exposure will be required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act, on a mandatory basis.

As a result of the very serious sanctions that can result from an indecent act or indecent exposure conviction, it is important to contact and consult with qualified legal counsel as soon as possible to ensure all of your rights are protected.

Quick Facts

What is the Difference Between Indecent Act and Indecent Exposure?

An individual is guilty of indecent act when they willfully commit an indecent act in public, in front of other people, or in any other place with the intent to offend another person. Indecent exposure on the other hand, occurs when an individual exposes their sexual organs to a minor, for a sexual purpose. An indecent act generally occurs in public while indecent exposure can occur anywhere. Further, indecent act generally involves individuals over the age of sixteen. If an individual exposes themselves to an individual under sixteen they will be charged with indecent exposure.

In Indecent Exposure a Sexual Offence?

Yes. Indecent exposure in contained in the section of the Criminal Code that outlines all sexual offences in Canada. Further, it is a sexual offence involving children. Those who are convicted of indecent exposure will be required to register as a sex offender on a mandatory basis.

What is a SOIRA Order?

A SOIRA order is an order issued by the Court requiring an individual to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act. The Criminal Code provides a list of designated sexual offences, that if committed, warrant a mandatory SOIRA order. The order will be issued when the accused is sentenced.

How Long Does a SOIRA Order Last?

Once a SOIRA order has been issued by the Court, it will remain effective for a period of ten years, twenty-five years or life. The length of the order will be determined by the Court and will depend on and nature and severity of the allegations and the criminal history of the accused.

How to Beat an Indecent Act Charge?

The best defence to any indecent act charge will depend on the facts of the case and the evidence in the possession of the Crown. Experienced legal counsel can assist you in developing the best defence for your set of allegations to ensure the best possible outcome.

What if I am a First Time Offender?

In Canada, it is uncommon for the Court’s to impose custodial sentences of those convicted for the first time, unless the accused has committed a serious offence. Those charged for the first time with indecent act may, in some cases, be able to resolve the matter without a custodial sentence. In many cases, offenders will be sentenced to a period of probation, a fine or community service.

Will I go to Jail for Indecent Act or Indecent Exposure?

In some cases, yes. Generally indecent exposure is considered a more serious offence than indecent act. This is because indecent exposure involves children. The sentencing ranges for both offences range from two years less a day in prison and/or a $5,000 to two years in prison. Individuals are generally more likely to be sentenced to a period of incarceration for committing indecent exposure than indecent act.

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