It is a hot summer night in southern California, and you can’t sleep. You open a window to get a breeze in your bedroom. The fresh air does the trick, letting you finally drift off to a peaceful sleep.
The next morning, you get out of bed and start to get ready for work. Forgetting you opened the window, you walk in front of it, naked as the day you were born. Your neighbor happens to be getting in her car at that time and sees you exposed. She’s offended, so she calls the police. Could you be convicted of indecent exposure?
Understanding the Crime of Indecent Exposure (PC 314)
Under California Penal Code Section 314, to convict you of indecent exposure, the prosecution must prove:
- You willfully exposed your private parts,
- You did so in the presence of someone who might be offended or annoyed by your actions, AND
- You intentionally directed public attention to your genitals for the purpose of sexually arousing yourself or another person.
So, in the example above, your lawyer may be able to have indecent exposure charges dismissed by proving that you did not intend to allow your neighbor to see you naked and you did not direct attention to your private parts.
Punishment for Indecent Exposure
Indecent exposure is a “wobbler,” which means it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.
If you have no prior indecent exposure convictions on your record, the offense will likely be charged as a misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face up to six months in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
If this is your second offense for indecent exposure or you have a prior conviction for lewd acts with a minor under California Penal Code Section 288, you could be charged with a felony. Felony indecent exposure carries a sentence of up to three years in county jail and a fine of $10,000.
Regardless if you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, you will also be required to register as a sex offender under California Penal Code Section 290.
That is why it is extremely important to have an experienced indecent exposure attorney defending you if you are accused of this crime. An experienced criminal lawyer may be able to have the charge reduced to a lewd act in public under California Penal Code Section 647(a), which will allow you to avoid having to register as a sex offender.
Call the Indecent Exposure Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or someone you know has been accused of indecent exposure, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending our clients accused of sex crimes. We’ve helped thousands of clients in their time of legal need, and we can help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich sex crimes attorney available near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.