The Elements of Indecent Exposure (PC 314)
What is considered “indecent” to you? This is relative to each individual and is constantly changing with societal norms. When it comes to the law, indecent exposure is defined under California Penal Code Section 314.
The crime of indecent exposure is punishable by up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,000. In addition, you will be required to register as a sex offender under California Penal Code Section 290 if you are convicted of indecent exposure.
So, how can you know whether an act is considered “indecent?” The answer comes from CALCRIM 1160, which lays out the elements of indecent exposure.
To convict you of indecent exposure under PC 314, the prosecution must prove:
- You willfully exposed your genitals
- You exposed your genitals in the presence of a person who may be offended or annoyed by your actions, AND
- You intended to direct public attention to your genitals to sexually gratifying yourself or someone else, or to sexually offending another person
Let’s dive into some of the important terms found in the elements of indecent exposure.
What Does “Willfully” Mean?
Your belt breaks, causing your pants to fall down and expose your genitals in a public area. Is this a violation under PC 314?
The answer is no because your action to expose yourself was not willful. You must have purposefully exposed yourself in order to be convicted of this crime.
Exposing Your Genitals
You are considered to have “exposed yourself” when you have revealed your bare genitals. Thus, you should not be convicted of indecent exposure under PC 314 if you revealed your bare breasts.
The Presence of a Person Who May Be Offended or Annoyed
In order to convict you of indecent exposure under PC 314, the prosecution must prove that you exposed your genitals in the presence of another person that could be offended or annoyed by your action. It does not matter if a person actually saw your exposed genitals or if that person was actually offended.
Our skilled indecent exposure defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich may be able to argue that you were in a secluded area and did not believe you were in the presence of another person.
You Called Direct Attention to Your Genitals
To be convicted of this crime, you must have drawn attention to your exposed genitals. This means you pointed at them or did another action to try to get people to look at your exposed genitals.
You Did So for the Purposes of Sexual Arousal or Offending
The crime of indecent exposure requires that you were motivated by sexual gratification or to sexually offend the victim. This can be a difficult element to prove. Our law firm will attempt to raise doubt that your motivations were sexual gratification or to offend someone by providing context for the incident. For instance, if you were changing in your car and someone happened to see inside, your action would not likely meet this element of indecent exposure.
Contact the Indecent Exposure Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or someone you love has been accused of indecent exposure, you should speak to an experienced indecent exposure defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled sex crimes attorneys have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing indecent exposure charges. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich indecent exposure defense attorney available near you no matter where you are located.
Call our office today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.