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

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, especially a serious criminal offence, it is important to protect your rights. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to hire experienced legal counsel. Indecent act and indecent exposure are both considered sexual offences in Canada. Such offences are prosecuted aggressively and those who are convicted are sentenced harshly. As a result, it is important to have knowledgeable counsel on your side.

Donich Law has experience defending indecent act and indecent exposure and other sexual offences all over Southern Ontario. We can help protect your rights and ensure all possible defences are advanced. We regularly obtain positive results for our clients, even resolving some matters without a criminal record for the accused.

In 2018, the Firm defended a businessman charged with indecent act after he allegedly exposed himself in a parking lot in R. v. A.T. [2018]. The Firm hired a medical expert to provide evidence to the Court proving that the allegations could not have occurred as the complainant stated. The charges were ultimately withdrawn by the Crown.

In 2017, the Firm defended an exotic photographer charged with indecent act after allegedly exposing himself to a model during a photoshoot in R. v. M.R. [2017]. The Firm used forensic evidence from the photographer’s camera roll to prove that the complainant had fabricated the claims.

Those convicted of indecent act or indecent exposure will face serious criminal sanctions that may include jail and will in many cases result in the offender being required to register as a sex offender. If you have been charged with indecent act or indecent exposure in Ottawa it is important to contact and consult with experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. Donich Law can assist you in navigating the criminal justice process and ensuring you receive a positive outcome in your case.

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 Indecent Act?
What is Indecent Exposure?
How to Defend an Indecent Act Charge in Ottawa?
How to Defend an Indecent Exposure Charge in Ottawa?
What Criminal Sanctions are Associated with an Indecent Act Conviction?
What Criminal Sanctions are Associated with an Indecent Exposure Conviction?

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

The Criminal Code outlines the offence of indecent act in section 173(1). It states that an individual is guilty of a criminal offence 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 another person. The Code does not provide a list of acts considered to be indecent. Instead, the Court will make this determination on a case-by-case basis. A common example of an indecent act is an individual or individuals engaging in sexual activity in a public place or in the presence of others. While an indecent act may be sexual in nature, there is no requirement that a sexual component exists. For example, an individual urinating in public may be charged with indecent act.

What is Indecent Exposure?

Indecent exposure is outlined in section 173(2) of the Criminal Code. The Code states that an individual is guilty of this offence when they, for a sexual purpose, expose their sexual organs to an individual under the age of consent. The exposure may occur in the physical presence of the minor or not (for example over the internet) and may occur in public or in private.

How to Defend an Indecent Act Charge in Ottawa?

If you have been charged with indecent act in Ottawa it is important to protect your rights from as early on as possible, ideally from the time of arrest. The best way to do this is to hire experienced legal counsel to represent you throughout the process. Legal counsel can assist you in developing the correct strategy to defend your case based on the allegations being made and the evidence in the possession of the Crown.

As with any criminal offence, the burden lies with the Crown to prove that the accused committed the offence as charged. If the Crown cannot make their case, beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused cannot be convicted. In these situations, the accused may simply argue that the Crown has failed to make their case.

In other cases, it may be possible for the defence to argue that they did not commit the act they are accused of committing. This defence tends to suggest that the complainant has fabricated the allegations. If such a defence is to be advanced, it is often prudent to provide the Court with a possible explanation as to why the complainant would fabricate the story. In cases where the allegations are based on he-said-she-said evidence, the accused may offer evidence suggesting why the complainant’s version of events did not and could not have occurred.

A defendant may also argue that they lacked the necessary intent to be guilty of the offence. If an accused did not intend for anyone to witness the act or did not expect any other people to be in the area, this defence may be successful. Alternatively, an accused may argue that they did not commit the act with the intent to offend another person.

If you have been charged with indecent act Donich Law can assist you in developing the correct strategy for your case. We have experience defending an array of indecent act charges and regularly obtain positive results for our clients.

How to Defend an Indecent Exposure Charge in Ottawa?

Indecent exposure offences are investigated and prosecuted aggressively and those who are convicted are often sentenced to periods of incarceration. As a result, if you have been charged with indecent exposure it is important to consult experienced legal counsel to assist in formulating your defence. The best defence for your case will depend on the particular allegations being made and the evidence that is available to the Crown.

In some cases, it may be appropriate to argue that the accused lacked the necessary sexual purpose to be guilty of the offence. For the Crown to gain a conviction, they must prove that the accused exposed him or herself for a sexual purpose. If, for example, a parent exposed themselves to their minor child while changing clothes, they will not be guilty of indecent exposure because there was no sexual purpose in the interaction.

In other circumstances it may be appropriate to argue that the accused did not expose their sexual organs and that the complainant was mistaken in their observation. If, for example, the accused pulled down their pants but still had on shorts or underwear underneath and thus did not expose themselves, they cannot be convicted. In these cases, it may be prudent for the accused to present evidence to the Court bolstering their version of events to ensure the defence is successful.

If you have been charged with indecent exposure Donich Law can assist you in developing the correct strategy for your case. We have experience defending an array of indecent exposure charges and regularly obtain positive results for our clients.

What Criminal Sanctions are Associated with an Indecent Act Conviction?

The offence of indecent act is contained in Part V of the Criminal Code, which outlines all sexual offences in Canada. While indecent act may not always have a sexual component, in many cases it does. Cases of a sexual nature tend to be prosecuted vigorously and those who are convicted are often sentenced more severely.

Indecent act is a hybrid offence. A hybrid offence can be prosecuted either summarily or by indictment, at the discretion of the Crown. Generally, the Crown will elect to proceed summarily in cases involving more minor allegations, and by indictment in cases involving more serious allegations. Where the Crown proceeds summarily on an indecent act charge in Ottawa, an accused person will face up to two years less a day in prison, and/or up to a $5,000 fine upon conviction. Where the Crown proceeds by indictment, an accused person will face up to two years in prison upon conviction.

In addition to the maximum criminal sanctions outlined above, those convicted of indecent act may be required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA). If the offence had a sexual component the Crown may make submissions at sentencing requesting that the Court impose a SOIRA order on the accused. A SOIRA order is an order from the Court requiring an individual convicted of a sexual offence to register as a sex offender.

What Criminal Sanctions are Associated with an Indecent Exposure Conviction?

Unlike indecent act, indecent exposure is always considered a sexual offence. As a result, indecent exposure cases are prosecuted aggressively and those convicted are often sentenced to periods of incarceration. Indecent exposure is a hybrid offence. A hybrid offence may be prosecuted either summarily or by indictment, at the discretion of the Crown. The Crown will make this election based on the nature and severity of the allegations. In more severe cases the Crown will proceed by indictment and in all other cases summarily.

When charged with indecent exposure, where the Crown proceeds by indictment, an accused person will face up to two years in prison. Where the Crown proceeds summarily an accused person will face up to two years less a day and/or up to a $5,000 fine.

In addition to the maximum criminal sanctions outlined above, an individual who is convicted of indecent exposure will be issued a SOIRA order by the Court at sentencing. The Criminal Code outlines a list of designated sexual offences. Those who are convicted of such an offence will be required, on a mandatory basis, to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA). Such an order will remain in place for an individual convicted of indecent exposure for a period of ten years, twenty years or life.

Quick Facts

What is Indecent Act?

A person is guilty of the offence of indecent act when they commit an indecent act in public or in the presence of one or more other persons or in any other location with the intent to offend another person. Whether or not an act will be considered indecent will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

What is Indecent Exposure?

A person is guilty of indecent exposure when they expose their sexual organs to a person under the age of consent, for a sexual purpose. An individual need not be physically in the presence of the minor at the time of exposure to be guilty of this offence. Further, the exposure can occur in public or in private.

What if I am a First Time Offender Charged with Indecent Act?

In Canada, it is uncommon for first time offenders to be sentenced to a period of incarceration for minor offences. A first-time offender who is convicted of indecent act where the allegation is not sexual in nature, is likely to be sentenced to probation, community service or given a fine.

Can I go to Jail for Indecent Act?

Yes. The maximum penalty for an indecent act conviction is two years in prison. Whether or not an offender will be sentenced to a period of incarceration for indecent act will depend on a number of factors including the criminal history of the accused, the nature and severity of the allegations and any other relevant factors.

Will I be Required to Register as a Sex Offender if I am Convicted of Indecent Exposure?

Yes. The Criminal Code states that an individual convicted of a designated sexual offence will be required to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act (SOIRA) on a mandatory basis. Indecent exposure is a designated sexual offence.

Is Indecent Act a Sexual Offence?

Indecent act is contained in the section of the Criminal Code that outlines all sexual offences in Canada. That being said, an individual may be charged with an indecent act for committing an act that is not sexual. For example, an individual may be charged with indecent act for urinating in public.

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