Los Angeles Indecent Exposure Lawyers
Indecent exposure is a serious criminal offense that is frequently misunderstood. Many people may feel that there is nothing to be concerned about when it comes to this crime. However, a conviction for indecent exposure in Los Angeles has the potential to seriously derail your life and your future.
One of the surprising facts about indecent exposure charges is that this crime may be consider a sexually-based offense. As a result, a conviction for this offense may classify you as a sex offender, complete with all of the consequences that can come with sex offender registration. Read on to find out more about how to protect your legal rights when you are charged with indecent exposure.
Defining Indecent Exposure
In Los Angeles, the crime of indecent exposure is defined under Section 314 of the California Penal Code. According to this definition, an indecent exposure offense is comprised of several elements. These elements include:
- A person intentionally showed their genitals to another person who would be annoyed or offended by the action
- A person exposed themselves for the purpose of sexually arousing or offending any person
- A person intentionally exposed their genitals in a place where they were likely to be seen by a person who would be offended
As you can see from this list, a variety of actions may be considered indecent exposure under the law.
Examples of Indecent Exposure
Imagine that Angela is walking through a public park. Every few minutes, she approaches another park visitor and exposes, or “flashes”, her genitals to get a sexual thrill. Angela may be arrested and charged with indecent exposure.
In another example, suppose that Alan is at a similar park. He hides in some bushes and exposes his genitals in the hopes that someone will pass by and see him so that he can be aroused. However, no one passes by and Alan leaves the park. Security cameras at the park catch Alan in the act and he is arrested. He can be charged with indecent exposure even though no one saw him because he was in a public place where he was likely to be seen and cause offense.
In a final example, imagine that Deborah and Rocco are at the beach. Deborah takes off her bathing suit to flash her genitals at Rocco to arouse them both. Deborah may not be guilty of indecent exposure because Rocco consented to the flashing and was not offended or annoyed. However, if a family is passing by the couple and sees the flashing, indecent exposure charges may be filed.
A person who is charged with indecent exposure may be convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. Possible consequences include:
- Up to six months in county jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
- A possible prison term for a felony conviction
Perhaps the most serious possible consequence of an indecent exposure conviction is compulsory, lifelong registration as a sex offender.
Although this is a very serious charge, there are many possible defenses. For example, our law firm might fight for your rights with the following arguments in court:
- The exposure was accidental, not intentional
- The exposure was not done to cause sexual arousal or annoyance
- You were mistakenly identified by the alleged victim
If any of these defenses is presented strongly enough to convince a jury of your innocence, you may avoid a criminal conviction.