Indecent Exposure: What Are the Risks?

body legs

The crime of indecent exposure normally describes a situation where you are accused of deliberately exposing your genitals in a public space with the deliberate intention of causing offense or for sexual gratification purposes.

If you are accused of this act it would be wise to contact a sex crime lawyer as a matter of urgency so that they can provide you with the right sort of legal guidance and support often needed in order to defined your reputation and maybe even retain your freedom.

There are many cases where someone has inadvertently exposed themselves without the intention of causing offense or for sexual gratification purposes, and it should also be understood that the specifics of the laws covering this act tend to vary between states.

Here is a look at what you should know about indecent exposure.

What is viewed as indecent exposure?

In basic terms, there are a number of key elements to the crime of indecent exposure and you would have to be shown as satisfying the criteria before a prosecution could be successful.

One of the most fundamental aspects of indecent exposure is the fact that it is only likely to be viewed as a crime if it can be shown that you deliberately intended to expose yourself rather than being an accidental act.

It can be challenging for the prosecution to prove that the act was deliberate unless the alleged crime took place under circumstances where it is reasonable to conclude that the act was deliberate.

Exposing yourself on a crowded train, for example, would leave a court to assume that you may well have exposed yourself on purpose.

Body parts

It is often the case that exposure laws use references such as “private parts” rather than specifically referring to male or female genitals.

Attitudes have changed since these laws were first introduced but although these euphemisms have a tendency to still appear on charge sheets, it should be understood that a court will usually interpret this description as exposure of the male or female genitals.

Some states are more black and white and will actually spell out which body parts are included in their indecent exposure laws.

Not just public spaces

It is also important to appreciate that indecent exposure laws don’t just cover public spaces.

In general terms, you could be accused of indecent exposure in any setting where a casual observer could witness your exposure and it is viewed that your act was intentional rather than accidental.

Being seen at your window when you step out of the shower would be accidental exposure but standing in full view while waiting for someone to pass by is a situation where you could be accused of indecent exposure in your own home.

As you can see, the crime of indecent exposure is a very subjective one and open to interpretation in many cases.

If you find yourself being accused of indecent exposure it is imperative that you talk to a sex crime lawyer who understands the local laws and can provide you with guidance on how to best clear your name and reputation.

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