The state of California forbids individuals from revealing their genitals to other people in order to seek sexual gratification or to offend others. This act can be prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 314: Indecent Exposure.
Indecent exposure is considered a sex crime in California. You can find out more about this serious criminal charge today with the Simmrin Law Group. Broaden your understanding of the penalties for indecent exposure and review some common legal defenses now.
Indecent Exposure in California: Legal Definition
The court system in California legally defines indecent exposure through Penal Code Section 314. According to this section of the legal code, an individual can be charged with indecent exposure if they:
- Purposefully Expose Their Genitals
- Around Someone Who Could be Annoyed or Offended by Their Exposure
- With the Intent of Drawing Public Attention In Order To
- Sexually Gratify Yourself
- Sexually Gratify Someone Else OR
- Sexually Offend Someone Else
Note that California specifically uses PC 314 to prosecute the exposure of genitals. This means that individuals should only be prosecuted if they are not wearing any covering over their genitals. You should also be aware that individuals can be prosecuted for indecent exposure even if no one saw their genitals.
Individuals can be convicted merely for intending to expose others to their genitals for purposes of sexual gratification or sexual offense.
Indecent Exposure in California: Penalties
The penalties for an indecent exposure conviction can vary depending upon several different factors. Let’s go over the repercussions for various acts of indecent exposure.
Misdemeanor Penalties for an Indecent Exposure Conviction
Most first-time indecent exposure cases are treated as misdemeanors. A basic indecent exposure charge can apply if someone exposes their genitals in public, not in a private home or building. The penalties for this kind of indecent exposure can include:
- Fines: Up to $1,000
- Jail Time: Up to Six Months
Felony Penalties for an Indecent Exposure Conviction
The court can sometimes treat indecent exposure as a felony. Individuals may face felony charges for:
- Committing Additional Acts of Indecent Exposure
- Committing Indecent Exposure with a Prior Lewd Acts with a Minor Conviction
- Committing Indecent Exposure in an Inhabited Building Entered Without Permission
Felony convictions for indecent exposure can lead to:
- Fines: Up to $10,000
- Prison Time: Up to Three Years
Indecent Exposure in California: California’s Sex Offender Registry
You should also be aware that all indecent exposure convictions force an individual to register as a sex offender in California. Both misdemeanor and felony indecent exposure convictions force individuals to register for a minimum of ten years a sex offender.
Registering as a sex offender could impact where an individual in California could live or work. In fact, registering as a sex offender may even result in some individuals losing professional licenses.
However, it is highly advised that no one attempts to avoid registering as a sex offender. Failure to register as a sex offender is a criminal act that can lead to fines and an additional period of incarceration.
Indecent Exposure in California: Legal Defenses
You can get help handling indecent exposure accusations in California. Making sure you have help on your side from a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can increase the odds that you will successfully resolve a PC 314 accusation. Your lawyer could work to show that:
You Accidentally Exposed Your Genitals
PC 314 charges should only apply if you intentionally exposed your genitals in order to seek sexual gratification or to sexually offend someone else. If your genitals were exposed due to an accidental situation, you may be able to avoid a conviction for indecent exposure.
You Were Falsely Accused of Indecent Exposure
Some criminal accusations are not founded in the truth in California. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to dig into your case to find out what really happened if someone falsely accused you of indecently exposing your genitals.
You Didn’t Think Anyone Was Around
You should only be charged with indecent exposure for flashing your genitals around other people with the intention of drawing public attention. If you reasonably believed that you were alone, you could defend yourself from PC 314 accusations.
Build a Defense Against Indecent Exposure Charges
A conviction for California Penal Code Section 314: Indecent Exposure can have lasting effects on your life. Make sure you’re ready to face these charges by contacting the Simmrin Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles. You can speak with us now to get a personalized FREE consultation.
Start focusing on your defense now by calling (310) 997-4688 or filling out our online contact form.