Defining the Crime of Indecent Exposure

What is indecent exposure? As a criminal offense with different statutes in every state, indecent exposure is known as conduct that occurs in a non-private area or an area that may be within public view that may be interpreted as indecent or lewd. These "indecent" gestures can include revealing areas of the body that can be considered private or taboo, such as the genitals, female nipples, and buttocks in some cases. Other instances of masturbation in public, sexual intercourse, and other sex-related actions can be considered indecent exposure. It is important to understand that while this criminal charge originated with the concept of preventing those in public from feeling uncomfortable and to prevent individuals from exposing themselves in public, a person can face these types of charges even if no other person was around at the time of the offense.

This criminal activity is considered to be a very serious charge that is easily attainable for an unsuspecting individual. Actions such urinating in public or changing your clothes in a public place, such as in your vehicle, may constitute indecent exposure, even if there is no other person around besides for an officer of the law. This criminal charge is one that should be combatted immediately with the help of an attorney, especially because the consequences that are tied to this offense are usually quite severe.

What type of criminal process can a person expect to face for this charge? First, a person who is suspected of indecent exposure will be questioned and most likely detained by an officer of the law. In some cases, an officer will let a person off with a warning, but these instances are few and far between. After the alleged suspect has been detained, they will then be processed and booked at the police station. They will be read their Miranda rights and have the opportunity to secure an attorney. It is in your best interest to talk to an attorney before providing the police with any information or answering any questions, as their main job is to find evidence against you. Your legal representative will be able to complete the rest of the criminal process, fight to have your charges dropped, and take your case to court if necessary.

What consequences are generally delivered for a conviction? One of the primary consequences that occurs with an indecent exposure charge is the possibility of having to enlist on the sex offender registry in the state in which you live. This is a serious consequence that will follow you for the rest of your life, as this is a publicly available list that was designed to warn communities of sex offenders who may live in the area. On this list, someone may be able to access your name, basic information, and where you live. If you do not wish to spend the rest of your life on this list and face the financial and emotional hardship of a criminal conviction, it is highly advised that you talk to an attorney about your charges today.