This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Indecent Acts


In Queensland, the charge of committing an Indecent Act carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment, although fines and other penalties can also be imposed for the offence. This is a serious offence under Queensland law and a charge of committing an indecent act will likely result in a criminal conviction being recorded against you.

The offence of Indecent Acts is contained in section 227 of the Criminal Code Act 1899 which states:

“Any person who: (a) wilfully and without lawful excuse does any indecent act in any place to which the public are permitted to have access, whether on payment of a charge for admission or not; or (b) wilfully does any indecent act in any place with intent to insult or offend any person is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for 2 years.”

What Actions Might Constitute Indecent Acts?

What qualifies as indecency will vary from person to person and is sometimes quite subjective. Common examples that the courts have accepted as an “indecent act” are:

  • Exposing your penis or vagina in public.
  • Masturbating yourself in a public place, or as another person walks past.
  • Sending a naked photo of yourself to another person.
  • Pretending to perform a sexual act on another person.

What the Police Must Prove

In order for a person to be found guilty of this offence, it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • they committed an act in a place which the public are permitted to access; or
  • they wilfully committed an indecent act with the intent to insult or offend another person.

Possible Defences for Indecent Acts

Possible defences to a charge of indecent acts include:

  • The act was not done in a public place;
  • The act was not done wilfully;
  • The act was not done with the intention to insult or offend.

It is also a defence under section 227 of the Act if the indecent act is performed under the authority of an adult entertainment permit.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

A charge of Indecent Acts is a misdemeanour and will be heard in the Magistrates Court.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

WHERE TO NEXT?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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