Indecent exposure is a crime that is defined as exposing one's genitals or socially deemed "private parts" (such as behind or breasts) in a public place where others are present and may witness the act. A person who commits indecent exposure does so intentionally with an understanding that his/her conduct will likely alarm and offend others. Indecent exposure is often performed for the offender's personal sexual excitement or satisfaction, though in some cases it is a form of social rebellion.
The definition of indecent exposure has changed throughout time and place, as what is considered indecent is often socially defined. Many lawmakers have had difficulty creating and implementing laws which are founded on social and cultural mores. Indecent exposure can have varying effects depending on its intent and context. Despite this variance, many laws will prosecute those charged with indecent exposure the same.
There are, however, some aggravating factors that may increase the severity of an indecent exposure charge. Indecent exposure is typically charged as a misdemeanor offense, which is less serious than a felony. A person who commits indecent exposure in the presence of a minor may face harsher penalties for their criminal offense. Other specific circumstances may also enhance the punishment for indecent exposure.
An indecent exposure charge can have devastating effects on those accused. Indecent exposure carries a significant social stigma and may adversely affect a convicted offender for years to come. An indecent exposure conviction may prevent an offender from gaining or maintaining employment. In some cases an indecent exposure conviction can even require that an offender register as a sex offender in a national database for years to a lifetime.
There are current indecent exposure laws that are being considered on the federal level. These indecent exposure laws would increase the penalties for indecent exposure and mandate that those convicted of this crime be immediately added to the sex offender registry.
Austin Indecent Exposure Defense: The Charles Johnson Law Firm
The combination of state law discrepancies and the drastic potential legal ramifications of indecent exposure necessitate the need for professional legal help when charged with an indecent exposure offence. If you would like to learn more about indecent exposure laws in your area, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney who can evaluate your case to determine how best to protect your legal interests.