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LawHelpNow
LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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My husband is changing his wet pants (he works on power plant

Customer Question

My husband is changing his wet pants (he works on power plant and it's like 20 degrees out) in an empty parking lot, jumps out of his truck to pull up his new dry pants and two very religious woman and a 14 year old boy walking in the woods encounter him from about 100 yards away and file a complaint. He never even looked at them. No intent whatsoever. But he's getting charged. What do we do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 5 years ago.

Hello and thanks for choosing Just Answer®. I am a licensed attorney, and I will be glad to try and assist you. To provide you with accurate information, could you please clarify these points:

 

  1. What is your jurisdiction (state)?
  2. What is the charge?

 

Once I hear back from you, I will be glad to let you know my answer. There may be some delay as I am assisting other customers or am away from my computer. Please rest assured, however, that I will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Thanks!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Wilton NH -

 

He's being charged with indecent exposure as we speak. No priors of course. He thought he was alone out there.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
As far as I can tell, it's a bogus charge since he had no intent, but the damage done in a small town where we live and he earns his living is pretty insulting. The max fine is $1200, according to chapter 645, but that's not the point. He didn't purposley expose his butt to these ladies or this kid. But apparantly they were morally outraged when they were the ones who encoutered him in this little remote parking area by the power plant.
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 5 years ago.

Hello and thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.

 

  1. I am a licensed attorney, and I will be glad to try and answer your question. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification on anything after reviewing the following information. Thank you for taking the time to write back and supply the additional requested information, which was helpful to my analysis of your inquiry. I am sorry for all you and your family have been through, and I hope that everything gets resolved appropriately in your husband's situation.
  2. Keep in mind that the prosecution entirely and solely bears the burden of proving each and every element of the allegations against your husband by a preponderance of the evidence. This is the highest standard in our criminal justice system, and the criminal statutes are to be strictly interpreted. In this case, we look to the plain language of New Hampshire Revised Statutes § 645:1. I have prevailed in similar cases by making a fact specified defense. Here, for a conviction to lie, the statute requires a matching up of both the conduct (the actus reus) as well as the mental state intent (mens rea). Certainly, changing his pants in his private vehicle out of necessity (given the weather conditions) does not constitute either the requisite conduct or intent.
  3. I think that a criminal prosecution under these circumstances would be rather frivolous. This statute is obviously meant to address truly indecent situations such as sexual encounters in a public park and such. However, especially in light of New Hampshire Revised Statutes § 651-B:1, I would urge your husband to exercise his Constitutional rights -- especially to remain silent and to the assistance of counsel. This sort of conviction can have such a snowballing effect in one's life due to the nature of the offense. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is your husband should make no statements whatsoever to the police. He needs to retain a private criminal defense attorney -- or request the appointment of a public defender if unable to afford counsel.

 

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If we can be of any further assistance please free to use our service again. Best wishes for a successful outcome.

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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

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