Indecent exposure is a sex crime that involves intentionally exposing your genitals in public for the purpose of sexual gratification. If you are facing accusations of indecent exposure, sex crimes defense lawyers in Orange County can help.
Indecent exposure is a complex legal issue, and in this guide, we will walk readers through the legal definition of the term and how California law treats this sex crime.
Orange County Sex Crimes Lawyer
Indecent exposure is a broad term that describes exposing one’s genitals in public. In California, state law specifies a few other elements that must be present for the act to qualify as a sex crime.
Instead, the act must be committed with intent in mind. It must be done where others can witness and with the intent of drawing attention from others—and either obtaining sexual gratification or gratifying others.
The intent is the defining feature of this type of sex offense. If it was intended in a sexual manner, then it is considered a form of sexual misconduct. If there was no sexual intent and no intent to get attention, it does not qualify as a sex crime.
If you are concerned about accusations, you can hire an experienced lawyer from a reputable law office in Orange County to help you avoid jail time and other penalties.
Elements of the Crime for a PC 314 Conviction
In order to convict someone of this type of sex crime, the prosecution must establish a few facts. Here are the three main elements that must be present in any valid indecent exposure case:
- Committed where there are people present who may be offended
- With the intent of drawing the attention of others
- For the purpose of sexual gratification
Penal code section 314 lays out several circumstances that must be established in order for an event to fall into the category of an indecent exposure sex crime. In this section, we’ll explore those in more detail and explain when they do and do not apply.
Exposing Around Someone Who Could Be Annoyed or Offended
The presence of other people is a key element of indecent exposure cases. When exposing oneself in a crowded public place, for example, there are other people present who one could expect to feel annoyed or uncomfortable. Intentionally exposing others is an important part of this type of crime.
On the other hand, even if the act is done in public, there may not be the expectation of others being present if it was done in an alley or other hidden area.
Attracting Attention to Private Parts
Deliberately drawing attention to your genitals is an essential part of this crime. The act of exposure must be done with the intent of drawing attention from those around you. The deliberate nature and attempt to attract attention make the act a sex crime.
If the exposure is done furtively or in an attempt to hide, such as behind a bush or fence, it does not meet the criteria for this type of crime.
Wanting to Get Sexual Gratification or Committing Sexual Offenses
A desire for the sexual gratification of yourself or others is a key element of any indecent exposure case. This factor is what makes it a sex crime and results in harsh penalties such as having to join the sex offender registry.
Making lewd comments or touching oneself in a sexual manner can establish the sexual intent of the act. Situations like public urination, however, do not include a sexual element and thus don’t fit the criteria.
Penalties for a PC 314 Indecent Exposure Conviction Under California Law
California penal code section 314 outlines the nature of indecent exposure and the punishments for the crime. Like other sex offenses, it has serious penalties. The exact legal outcome depends upon your unique case and your criminal record.
The penalties include:
- A county or state prison sentence
- Paying a fine from $1,000 to $10,000
- Having to register as a sex offender
If it is your first sexual offense, the incident will be treated as a misdemeanor sex crime. The penalties include up to six months of a jail sentence and a maximum of a $1,000 fine.
A previously convicted offender will face more serious penalties. Instead of being a misdemeanor, it may be charged as a felony sex crime. This can carry up to three years in county jail and up to $10,000 in fines.
An aggravated indecent exposure incident, on the other hand, is one that takes place inside a building or dwelling. These incidents can be considered either a misdemeanor or a felony—depending on the factors like the nature of the incident and your criminal history.
Sex Offender Registry in California
Joining the California sex offender registry has major effects on your life. It requires you to notify the registry whenever you move, and it also limits where you can live or work.
Criminal defense attorneys work hard to prevent their clients from facing sex crime charges because of the long-lasting effects.
A lawyer with a proven track record of getting cases dismissed or reaching agreements with the alleged victim can help you avoid years or a lifetime registered as a sex offender.
Fight False Charges with the Help of Sex Crimes Lawyers
If you have been falsely accused of a sex crime, it is critical to obtain legal representation and respond as quickly as possible. If you act quickly and send an aggressive response from sex crimes defense lawyers in Orange County, that set the tone for the rest of your legal interactions.
If you are in any of the following situations, we recommend obtaining representation from a criminal defense attorney:
- Mistaken identity
- False accusations
Sex crime lawyers can help you take control of the situation and push back against accusations.
Our law office has extensive experience in sex crimes throughout Southern California. Schedule a free consultation with an expert on Orange County sex crimes! We help clients across San Diego county and Los Angeles county.
Contact us at 877-545-3127 at LibertyBell Law Group today!
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