An innocent exposure of one’s parts without any intention to cause harm could turn out to be a lengthy court case than you may anticipate. Making fun when having a good time, pranking, showing disapproval, or disrespect to another person can land you in trouble. The Orange County Criminal Lawyer will defend you once charged with indecent exposure in Orange County to ensure you are acquitted, or charges are reduced.

What is Termed as Genital Exposure?

It is revealing or showing naked one’s genitals. The exposure is a willful display of genitals in public with a deliberate intention to offend others. There may be varied motives behind indecent exposure, but they all serve to gratify the offender or solicit a sexual response from other people.

Showing one’s breast constitutes indecent exposure as long as one is not breastfeeding their baby. Wearing skimpy or revealing clothes may not constitute indecent exposure. Urinating in public, for instance at night, may not constitute indecent exposure since one neither arouses, offends another person nor gratifies any sexual motive. The state laws are varied on the definition of indecent exposure.

Indecent Exposure to Underage Children

Indecent exposure to underage children is a public display of one’s genitals where the child sees them. The place could also be a private place such as the bedroom where a child can see the exposed genitals from outside. For instance, the parents having sexual intercourse can be charged with indecent exposure to a child if the child is exposed to such scenes. The definition of a child here is anyone who is below the age of 16 years.

Indecent exposure has a significant impact on persons below the age of 16 years since it may be the beginning of moral corruption and a life of concupiscence. The disclosure may spark curiosity into searching about the subtle sexuality of the opposite gender. The minors may also develop attitudes that would affect their interpersonal relationships with members of the opposite sex and even their marriage life.

The state’s laws protect children of certain ages against indecent exposure. The punishments are harsher when the disclosure is targeted to minors than when targeted to adults.

Types of Exposures

There are several types of exposures. Some have been adopted into the contemporary world from certain cultures. Some have gained popularity due to their performance in spectacular events such as sports or civil demonstrations. The following are types of exposures as viewed under the law to determine whether they are indecent or not depending on the circumstance:

  1. Flashing

It is the act of lifting one’s skirts or tops to expose one’s breasts or genitals. The primary aim of doing this is impressing, shocking, or surprising the viewers. The person flashing makes no other sexual advances. Flashing can be termed as indecent exposure, depending on the circumstances involved.

  1. Mooning

It is the practice of exposing half-buttocks by lowering one’s pants or underpants. The main aim of the mooning is:

  • To provoke

  • To express scorn toward the viewer

  • To make a joke and create an air of fun

  • It can also be an expression of disrespect and provocation

In some jurisdictions, mooning is indecent exposure. In contrast, in others, it is argued that if mooning is indecency, then a lady dressed in a thong at a beach is indecently exposed. However, states such as California mooning is indecent exposure if it can be proved beyond doubt that the mooning was sexually motivated.

  1. Streaking

Streaking is the act of racing nudes through a public space such as in a sporting event, political rally, or a market. The main motive of the participant may be:

  • To prank the audience or the event participants.

  • To dare another party in the event to do something.

  • To protest against unethical or unlawful misconduct by a member present in the event.

Streakers are sometimes backed by those sharing the same interest or empathizing with them. Some are paid to express disgust or dissatisfaction with the opponents of their financiers. It can be dangerous as one can risk being harassed by the police or the public who hold contrary opinions.

Causes of Indecent Exposure

The causes of exposure cannot be established without inferring the psychological setup of most victims of indecent exposure. Their pattern of thought, as dictated by upbringing and crisis in life, makes many prone to indecent exposure, although they are not exempted from legal penalties whenever found guilty. Below are some of the causes for indecent exposure:

  1. Exhibitionism

It is a disorder marked by an irresistible fantasy to expose one’s private parts to people without their consent. The people who suffer from this disorder experience unusual sexual arousal patterns, which are shifty and irregular. Depending on the age of the non-consenting people, there exist several categories of exhibitionistic disorder. One gets sexual arousal after exposing their genitals to either mature individuals, children who have not passed through adolescence, or both. People with this disorder always deny having shown their genitals to non-consenting people or do not have the conception of the distress associated with this indecent exposure.

Many men than women are likely to have this disorder, although the prevalence is unknown. The exhibitionistic disorder is diagnosed in an individual:

  • If they have persistent sexual arousals and urges that make them expose their genitals to non-consenting people typically within six months

  • When these intense sexual arousals have caused strained interpersonal relationships in their social lives as a result of fantasies or exposure

The identified causes of this exhibitionistic disorder are:

  • Alcohol and other substances abuse

  • Being pedophilic

  • Childhood abuse which could have been both sexual or emotional

  • Growing up while preoccupied with sexual fantasies hence one gets hypersexual as they mature

  • Antisocial personality disorder

The exhibitionist's actions are shocking to strangers. This is because the strangers assume that the exhibitionist is expressing sexual interest in them. This disorder often leads to rape cases. This disorder begins in late adolescence and diminishes as people get older. This exhibitionism is legally called indecent exposure.

  1. Power, Attention, and Control

People, especially men, expose themselves indecently for attention and showing off their control over women. Their impulsive sexual urges them to either expose their genitals to opposite sex members or masturbate publicly. The need for attention is prompted by an ego that convinces them that they are omnipotent. This exposure is frequent among men who hold a sexist conception over women. Their distorted patterns of arousal are calmed by pleasure when those they expose themselves to get scared and shocked. The preoccupation with feelings of being unloved and unappreciated can be a factor in exposing themselves. The vacuum created by this incomplete sense of being unloved is expressed through one’s indecent exposure.

Crimes Related To Indecent Exposure

Every case of indecent exposure is unique in its way since the environment may differ, and the motives slightly vary. The evidence raised for your prosecution and the corresponding defense that your attorney gives may influence what other charges can be brought against you besides indecent exposure. Other charges that are proximate to the indecency charge include:

  1. Lewd Public Conduct

Indecent exposure, while there is undoubted evidence that you touched oneself with a sexual intention, can attract a lewd public conduct charge. Touching oneself or another person is a matter of concern. Lewd public conduct always attracts a misdemeanor charge without the mandate of registering as sex offenders. Most people plead guilty of lewd public conduct to escape sex offender registration if the prosecutors agree to drop indecent exposure charges. The prosecutors use all the tactics to gain ground in obscene public exposure charges.

  1. Burglary

Getting access to a building without permission when indecently exposed can attract an aggravated indecent exposure charge against you. The act of accessing the building itself can attract a criminal charge on itself under the Californian Penal Code 459 PC for burglary. Burglary does not always involve stealing, but the act of accessing a building without permission makes ripe the intention of committing a crime once inside a crime. This implies that one stands to be tried for burglary and indecent exposure once they get access to the building and indecently display themselves. However, even if they succeed in getting to the building and fail to commit a crime, they can still be charged for burglary.

  1. Disturbing Peace

One may be charged for disrupting the order of an event or place by their indecent exposure. This charge may also be brought against you if the defense attorney bargains for dropping the indecent exposure charge. The “disturbing peace” charge is preferred because one is not required to register as a sex offender.

  1. Trespass

Trespass is the charge that is brought against a person who enters a building or any inhabited place without permission. The trespass charge does not depend on the existence of an intention to commit a crime. This charge mostly occurs when the prosecutor wants to charge you with an aggravated indecent exposure but cannot gather enough evidence.

The trespass charge can also happen when the defense attorney bargains for a plea for the indecent exposure charge to be dropped. Once charged with trespassing after pleading guilty, the severity of the criminal record reduces, and the need to register as a sex offender is scraped off.

  1. Indecent Conduct with a Minor

Indecent conduct with a minor is another version of lewd public conduct. The Penal Code 288 PC defines a juvenile as anybody who is below eighteen years, and the minor is at least ten years younger than the accused. The charge materializes if there was some form of touching to or with the minor. If the crime of indecent exposure occurs at the time involving “touching” a minor, one may be charged with the two crimes.

When Facing Indecent Exposure Charges

The prosecutor must prove before the jury the following elements of the indecent exposure beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • The accused exposed their private parts. The private parts here include the male and female genitalia as well as their buttocks. Female breasts are also included in this category, depending on the situation.

  • The exposure of the private parts was willful. There must be established a satisfactory motive to expose oneself. The disclosure must not be accidental, such as when one jumps into the water in a swimming pool, and their costume uncovers them due to the force of the water, or the wind blows up their skirts.

  • That the exposure was in a public place - Publicly or privately owned locations are all public places due to their likelihood of being teamed up with people. For instance, a retail outlet is a public place.

This exposure must be in the presence of another person or peoples. This means that the accused was within the visual capability of the offended person. In some states, the law requires that the exposure must occur in the presence of at least one member of the opposite sex.

Definition of the Public Place

A public place here refers to all sites accessible to the general public, such as parks, hostels, restaurants, and shopping stores. The exposure may occur in areas not accessible to the public, such as hospitals. However, these exposures still constitute indecent exposure since they offended parties that are a member of the public in that your exposure was unpalatable to them.

The law in many states does not require that the defendant’s private parts be seen, but rather any reasonable person would have seen them exposed, and the law convicts them as indecently exposed.

Defenses for Indecent Exposure

An experienced attorney should look into the weaknesses posed by the charge sheet content of the prosecutor to defend you adequately. The facts regarding the alleged crime of indecent exposure should help him see loopholes in the prosecution witnesses’ testimony. Below are some of the defenses that the lawyer may raise to defend you:

  1. The Viewer Consented

The attorney may give a shred of evidence that members of the public exposed to your nudity willingly accepted to look at you. This defense, however, loses meaning if the accused exposed themselves in the presence of a third party who could not consent to their nudity.

There are instances such as commercial dancing where the performers and dancers are legalized to present their artistic skills nude. In this case, the members of the public attending the concerts are taken to have given consent to viewing the exposure.

  1. No Sexual Motivation

A lawyer may also defend you that your private parts' exposure was not attached to any sexual motive. In this case, urinating in public for lack of alternative would not call for a conviction for indecent exposure.

  1. No Intention to Exposure to Third Parties

The lawyer may defend you that you created an inadvertent exposure. These indecent exposures usually occur in private places such as when dressing in the bathroom while third parties from outside can see you.

  1. Mistaken Identity

The defense may analyze the circumstances and argue that the victim of indecent exposure picked you wrongly as the offender. Conditions such as the offender being in darkness or a stampede of people may make the defense attorney argue that the backside of the offender resembled you or even their hairstyle. The attorney can call the following factors to convince the prosecution that you are not the right suspect:

  • The lighting conditions under the victim identified you were forbidden to have seen you well, or you were facing the other direction.

  • The was no preexisting familiarity that the victim could quickly identify the suspect.

  • The identification was erroneous in case the perpetrator was wearing a mask.

  • The distance between the perpetrator and the victim was long enough for easy identification.

  • The possibility of the victim having stress due to the events linked to indecent exposure could lead to poor recall of facts.

  • There was a problem in the identification since people have difficulties identifying people of other races.

  • The witnesses or the victim must have been drunk at the time of alleged indecent exposure, hence the judgment was crippled.

  • The presence of a weapon in the event might quickly shift the focus from the perpetrator’s face to the weapon.

  • Possibility of obstruction by either building, trees, and vehicles or other structures that impairs the victims or witnesses observations

Penalties for Indecent Exposure in California

Indecent exposure is a gross violation of the Penal Code 314 PC. A first-time indecent exposure offender is usually convicted of a misdemeanor. However, the subsequent number times that would make an indecent exposure crime to attract a felony charge differs by state.

A misdemeanor which is punishable by:

  • A jail term not exceeding six months in a county prison

  • A fine not exceeding $1,000

  • A minimum of 10 years as a sexual offender as the Penal Code 290 stipulates

He above penalties also accrue to anyone who commits an aggravated indecent exposure by exposing themselves:

  • In a dwelling or a building, and

  • That they accessed the premises without permission

It remains the discretion of the prosecutor to charge you with either a felony or a misdemeanor, but if it is charged as a misdemeanor, the jail term increases to a maximum of one year. If the aggravated indecent exposure is charged as a felony, the following are the penalties:

  • A jail term that ranges between 16 months to 3 years in a state prison

  • A fine not exceeding $10,000

  • A maximum of 10 years of registration as a sex offender

A subsequent violation of the code above or a conviction with indecent exposure when you had an initial sentence for acting lewdly, with a minor, calls for an automatic felony charge and may face the above penalties as for aggravated indecent exposure charged as a felony.

The failure to register as a sex offender following a conviction for indecent exposure may attract charges for such negligence. The penalties for this neglect to register may range from 1 year in county prison to 3 years in state prison. Those bodies can also punish indecent exposure offenders belonging to disciplined professional bodies through the withdrawal of their practice licenses. A misdemeanor may not always necessitate the revocation of the license.

Effects of Conviction with a Sex Offense

Indecent exposure can land you to troubles once you have been convicted. You are labeled as a sex offender, and future consequences may include:

  • Employers may not prefer you for a job, even when you are qualified.

  • You may lose your current job.

  • Finding it difficult to acquire the residential lease plan

  • Making it difficult for you to associate with any child including your children

  • Forcing you to move out of your residential home if rented

After satisfying the legal penalties, you may be barred from frequenting in public places where children may frequent such as:

  • Bus stops

  • Public libraries

  • Movie theaters

  • Playgrounds including private and public ones

  • Amusements places such as parks and beaches

Find an Orange County Criminal Lawyer Near Me

Navigating through this seemingly less severe criminal charge without a criminal attorney can result in penalties that otherwise could have been avoided or reduced. An indecent exposure charge requires a defense by an attorney who has in-depth experience in California state law. A ready defense in Orange County will ensure you will either ensure an acquittal, reduce penalties, or avoid the dreaded sex offender registration. Call the Orange County Criminal Lawyer today for a free consultation and get your case considered by dialing 714-262-4833.