Indecent Acts Charges

Indecent Acts is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. The offence is usually related to sexual conduct or acts that occur in a public place and the charge can either be laid as a standalone offence or alongside other criminal charges.  In addition to a term of imprisonment, a person convicted of Indecent Acts may, on application of the Crown prosecutor, be forced to register as a sex offender under Canada’s Sex Offender Information Registration Act (“SOIRA”).  Under the Criminal Code of Canada:

(1) Everyone who wilfully does an indecent act in a public place in the presence of one or more persons, or in any place with intent to insult or offend any person, (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years; or (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months.  

(2) Every person who, in any place, for a sexual purpose, exposes his or her genital organs to a person who is under the age of 16 years (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of 90 days; or b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of 30 days.

The Law Office of Alexander Ejsmont is a Vancouver based criminal defence practice that assists clients charged with Indecent Acts in British Columbia and throughout Canada.  The firm is available for consultations seven days a week in downtown Vancouver and has successfully helped hundreds of clients facing criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada.  All consultations are free and strictly confidential.  

 

 

What is the maximum possible penalty for an Indecent Acts conviction?

Under the Criminal Code, a conviction for Indecent Acts carries a maximum possible penalty of 2 years imprisonment.

Will I go to jail if I’m convicted of Indecent Acts?

If you choose to plead guilty or are convicted after a trial, a judge may consider a variety of different sentences in addition to jail or prison including fines, probation orders, and house arrest. For a large number of offences, a judge also has the ability to discharge a person and not impose a criminal record. The likelihood of a period of jail or prison is case specific and can be discussed during your free initial consultation.

Will I have to register as a sex offender if I’m convicted of Indecent Acts?

SOIRA sex offender registry for an Indecent Acts conviction would only be required upon successful application by the Crown Prosecutor.  The charge is technically eligible for a sex offender registry, though it is not automatic.

I was in my home or car- can I still be charged with Indecent Acts?

The Criminal Code does not have a statutory definition of what specifically constitutes an indecent act, other than the exposure of the genitals and/or female nipples for a sexual purpose to anyone under 16 years of age, so the decision of what state of undress are “indecent”, and thereby unlawful, is left to judges on a case by case basis.  Judges have held, for example, that nude sunbathing is not indecent.  Also, streaking is similarly not regarded as indecent.  Each situation and set of circumstances should be discussed with your criminal defence lawyer. 

Will this type of charge show up in the newspaper or on the Internet if people google me?

Public disclosure of criminal charges is a concern for most people charged with a criminal offence.  A person’s record of arrest and the disposition of a case are generally matters of public concern, and access is made available under existing Canadian privacy laws.  What happens during the course of a case may, on application by the defence, be subject to a “publication ban” if certain criteria are met.

Finding yourself listed on the Internet after a criminal charge and the potential damage to reputation that can survive even a favourable outcome are concerns for most of our clients.  The policy considerations for Canadians of having a permanent electronic record accessible to anyone at any time are being vigorously debated by academics and policy makers, though there are currently few remedies available to Canadians to control internet damage to reputation.

Is it possible to get Indecent Acts charges dropped or withdrawn?

The outcome of a case depends on many factors including the seriousness of the allegations, whether or not your rights were violated during your arrest, your personal circumstances, and the strength of the prosecutor’s case against you. There are several possible outcomes for a criminal case including having charges withdrawn (or dropped), having a stay of proceedings entered by a judge, or being found not guilty after a trial. Our office has successfully had charges withdrawn for hundreds of clients facing charges under the Criminal Code of Canada. You can read more about possible outcomes [here].