Wrongfully Accused of Indecent Exposure: What to Do

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If facing a wrongful accusation of indecent exposure, it is important to understand the terminology. Indecent exposure is the legal term used to describe someone that has exposed all or parts of his or her genitalia to the public. It does not only include the genitals but also can include exposing the breasts or buttocks in a public environment.  This public environment can be anything such as a mall, beach, or even the person’s front yard.  Each state will have varying fines or jail time for someone convicted of indecent exposure.  In some cases, the person may be coupled with a sexual assault charge.

Indecent exposure is determined by the laws of the state in which to reside.  Some states consider it okay for women to go with topless, whereas another state may charge a woman with indecent exposure. Another example is a woman who might wear a bikini to suntan in the park.  Some states frown upon this while other state laws will consider this normal. 

Looking At Intent

When charge with indecent exposure the court may consider what was the intent of the person exposing their private parts. However, if someone were to flash her breasts, genitalia, or buttocks at another person, the fine or jail time would be more severe. This is especially true if a minor is corrupted in the process. Every court will need to look at the intent to determine if you have been wrongfully charged.  For example, a harsher sentence will be for anyone who indecently exposed him or herself to shock someone or derive pleasure from it.

Usually the conviction for indecent exposure is the tried as a misdemeanor, but this is not true of all cases, and if you are tried and convicted, this conviction may require you to be labeled as a lifetime sex offender depending on the state in which you live. 

Examples of penalties for indecent exposure include:

It is a class B misdemeanor in Texas for anyone to expose their genitals with the intention of gratifying sexual desire.  The penalty is a fine up to $2,000 or up to 180 days in a state jail, or both.

It is a misdemeanor in California for anyone to expose his or her private parts in any place where another person may be offended.  The penalty is up to one year in prison.

Get Help Immediately

If you have been or someone you know has been wrongfully charged with indecent exposure, it will be necessary to consult an attorney as quickly as possible. The situation can become worse if you left too long. 

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