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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27018
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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*Whew* Kind of nervous here, and very thankful for any and

Resolved Question:

*Whew* Kind of nervous here, and very thankful for any and all advice offered.

My Girlfriend and I were confronted by a police officer late last night in Northglenn, CO while we were engaged in sex in a parked car. This was late at night in what we thought was a secluded area of an unlit park. There were suddenly bright lights on our vehicle and an officer tapped on the glass about a minute later asking us to "put on some clothes and step out of the vehicle."

The ticket we each received was just a simple check-box of "Public Indecency" with no verbal description whatsoever of what had taken place.

Question(s):
Though I see that this is considered a Class I Petty Offense, I believe that a guilty plea to something carrying the stigma of "Public Indecency" is likely to affect everything from future employment opportunities to other areas that I cannot even dream of yet...is this the sort of thing that is similar to a traffic ticket where a plea deal is worked out routinely?

Assuming that I'm correct in thinking that I really don't want this on record, I should be looking into attorneys?

I am a single father who earns nowhere close enough to be looking at attorney fees, where the only option that I have is to to draw money from my 401K/Simple IRA. If this is deemed to be as scary as I'm taking it to be right now, then I'll need to look at all options that I can in order to fight this.
*Might any advice be offered in the arena of how to find a good attorney?
*Should this attorney be experienced within the Northglenn Municipal Court system in particular?
*Is there any possible way to balance cost with the quality of attorney? I know that this question may seem absurd, but my financial situation is already a struggle, while, at the same time, I'm facing the possibility of having my future career growth stifled by having a XXXXX XXXXXke this on my permanent record.

Apologies for this being a bit long-winded. Many, many thanks for any and all advice offered!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the chance to assist on this matter. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience in criminal law.

 

 

Great questions. Let me try and address them in order

 

First, a petty offense is something, like a traffic ticket, that they will offer a plea deal to. But typically that deal involves a plea to the underlying offense (your benefit is reduced sentence)

 

You can show up the day of the arraignment to see if what they are offering you is worth accepting...you can always refuse and tell the court you want a trial (you plea not guilty)

 

If you look at the statute

 

18-7-301. Public indecency

(1) Any person who performs any of the following in a public place or where the conduct may reasonably be expected to be viewed by members of the public commits public indecency:

(a) An act of sexual intercourse

 

 

I think you have a good case to fight this. If this was late at night, in an area not frequented by the public (at least at the time you were there) there is a very good chance you can be acquitted.

 

So it may well be that the prosecutor will offer you a plea agreement that lets you plea to a lesser offense.

 

A good attorney?

 

I am a believer in gradulates of the Trial Lawyers College

 

More info here

 

http://www.triallawyerscollege.com/

 

They are, in my opinion, some of the best lawyers out there. You would contact your state bar's referral service and interview folks to see if they have attended the course

 

But what you describe? It is not complex...eihter this was in a place " where the conduct may reasonably be expected to be viewed by members of the public " or it was not.

 

If it was not, I would think this would be a good case to fight. If you win the fight (gain an acquittal) you can have the record of arrest "expunged" or sealed from public view. This is not possible if you take a plea deal.

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks you so much for your response!


 


Just to be clear, it sounds as though your recommendation is to go to court and see what's offered as a first step, then decide whether I need to get a lawyer based on that info? If I feel satisfied with the lesser plea, then move ahead, and otherwise fight?


 


Again, thank you so much for your time!

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
If the goal is to avoid paying for a lawyer? Then I would start with the plea deal to see what they are offering. You can always reject the offer.

But if the goal is to fight it...or even to consider fighting it? I would contact a lawyer straight away.

Again, what you describe sure sounds like you have a defense.

Having sex in your car in the park in the middle of the afternoon? Clearly violates the statute.

But late at night, no one around? I think the state has a proof problem.

Not a slam dunk win for you...but something you can fight. But you would do well to have a lawyer assist...and as in life often you get what you pay for. That is why I recommend TLC graduates...for the most part they are darn good.


Let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27018
Experience: 16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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