Indecent exposure is defined as the act of presenting one’s genitals or anus to one or more others in an effort to sexually arouse them without care about who else may see the exposure and become offended.
Indecent exposure is a sex offense. If an individual is convicted of indecent exposure for a second time, he or she must register as a sex offender with county-level law enforcement for a period of 10 years. This can severely limit the individual’s ability to secure a job and housing in certain areas. It can also harm his or her social standing.
What is Indecent Exposure?
Many different acts can be deemed to be acts of indecent exposure. These include:
In any of these cases there must be intent to arouse another.
- “Mooning” others in public;
- “Flashing” others by quickly revealing oneself;
- Women occupying public spaces with their breasts exposed; and
- Stripping in public. This can include “streaking,” the act of running naked through a public space in an effort to garner attention.
In most cases, individuals are required to wear enough clothing to fully cover their genitals and buttocks while in public. Failure to cover up appropriately can offend some individuals, but simple exposure is not enough to warrant an indecent exposure offense.
Penalties for an Indecent Exposure Conviction in Texas
In Texas, indecent exposure is a Class B misdemeanor. Individuals convicted of this offense face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Sentencing for this charge is largely at the judge’s discretion, meaning that mitigating factors such as intoxication at the time of the offense and whether the individual has a previous record of similar offenses are considered.
Defenses Against an Indecent Exposure Charge
Although it is “only” a misdemeanor offense, it is important to work with a lawyer to develop a strong defense strategy for your case if you are facing an indecent exposure charge. There are many legitimate defenses to an indecent exposure charge, such as the following:
- A lack of intent to arouse others. For example, urinating on a tree in a semi-secluded area;
- A lack of capacity to understand that the act was inappropriate. Individuals with mental illnesses or cognitive delays might expose themselves in public without meaning to arouse others; and
- Whether the individual was truly reckless with his or her exposure. If the defendant can prove that he or she took steps to conceal his or her body, he or she may demonstrate that he or she is innocent of indecent exposure.
Work with an Experienced Collin County Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with indecent exposure in Collin County, you need to start working with an experienced Collin County sex crimes attorney as soon as possible to build a strong defense strategy for your case. To learn more, schedule your free, confidential legal consultation with a member of Rosenthal & Wadas, PLLC.