Arizona Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

No one wants the government interfering with his or her private life. This is particularly true of sexual acts between adults who agree to the behavior. Nevertheless, most states have laws banning certain such sexual conduct. This table and the following article is an overview of prohibited consensual sexual activity laws in Arizona.

Sodomy Laws Applicable to -
Penalty for Sodomy -
HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders 13-1415 Allows for order for HIV test if defendant charged with sexual offense
Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts 13-1402 Indecent exposure: Class 1 misdemeanor
13-1403 Public sexual indecency: Class 1 misdemeanor
13-1408 Adultery: Class 3 misdemeanor
13-2905 Loitering: Class 3 misdemeanor

Prohibited Consensual Activity

The State of Arizona bans the following consensual sexual activities:

  • Loitering (Arizona Revised Statutes section 13-2905): When a person in a public place solicits another person to engage in sexual activity in a way that is offensive or likely to disturb the peace.
  • Indecent exposure (Arizona Revised Statutes section 13-1402): When a person exposes his or her genitals while another person is present, and the person exposing himself or herself is reckless as to whether the witness would be offended or alarmed. 
  • Public sexual indecency (Arizona Revised Statutes section 13-1403): When a person performs one or more several sexual behaviors while another person is present, and the person performing the sex act is reckless as to whether the witness would be offended or alarmed. The sex acts listed in the statue are:
  • Sexual contact;
  • Oral sexual contact;
  • Sexual intercourse; and
  • Bestiality.

Unenforceable Laws

Arizona has two laws prohibiting consensual sexual activity that are no longer enforceable: sodomy and adultery (cheating on a spouse). In particular, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that sodomy bans applicable to same-sex partners are unconstitutional.

Penalties

The facts and circumstances surrounding a particular case determine what sentence a defendant will receive for a guilty plea or conviction for a sexual crime. Generally, a first-time loitering offense is a Class 3 misdemeanor and first-time exposure and indecency charges are Class 1 misdemeanors. Multiple convictions or incidents involving children under the age of fifteen may result in felony charges. In those circumstances, an individual also may be required to register as a sexual offender. Additionally, Arizona has code section 13-1415, which allows for a court order for HIV testing if a defendant is convicted of certain sexual offenses. 

See FindLaw’s Sex Crimes section for related information about prohibited sexual conduct. Criminal prosecution for a sex crime can have serious consequences for a defendant. If you have been arrested for a sex crime, you may consider contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you still have the right to counsel and the public defender’s office in your county may be able to assist you.   

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