How to Defend an Indecent Exposure Charge

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Indecent exposure is a sex crime in most states. Exposing private body parts such as genitals in public for shock value or for sexual gratification can result in criminal indecent exposure charges. To avoid conviction, discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

Defending Indecent Exposure Charges

There are many incidents that you might not realize could lead to indecent exposure charges. You might just be goofing around, acting on a bet or relieving yourself in public and if someone else sees and reports your conduct, you could face criminal charges as a result.

In most states, indecent exposure is a misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1000 or both. Actual punishment scheme in your case will depend on the circumstances of your charges and any local statutory law that is applicable. Also, if other charges accompany your indecent exposure charge or enhancements apply, the charges could carry more severe consequences.

Because indecent exposure is usually considered a sex crime, a conviction may mean registration as a sex offender. This is the part of the charge that haunts most people the worst. Having to register on an annual basis as a sexual offender can be humiliating. It can also result in limitations on future employment. Landlords who do background checks may not be willing to rent or lease their property for fear of scaring away neighbors. Your information, including address and photos, may be made available to the general public. Your picture could be among sexual predators and it will be difficult for the average person to distinguish your acts from those of more severe sexual offenders.

Because there is usually and intent element to indecent exposure charges, one potential defense available to you may be that you did not intend to expose yourself. Lack of knowledge that others were present or lack of awareness due to intoxication may provide partial or complete defenses in some cases.

Getting Legal Advice

Getting an attorney to handle your criminal charges on your behalf can make the criminal justice system fairly manageable. Your attorney will advise you of your rights, potential outcomes and answer your legal questions. An attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain in which you can reduce the impact of your charges. If you are unable to get a plea bargain, your attorney will zealously defend you in a trial.