Any sex crime conviction, including indecent exposure, could follow you for the rest of your life. You could risk losing your job and your children. Not to mention, you’ll be forced to register as a sex offender, which will appear on every background check. With penalties this severe, your best bet to clear your name is to recruit an experienced Folsom indecent exposure attorney.
At Walsh Law, we’ll examine every detail of your case and exploit weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Charges like this could ruin everything you’ve worked for. Contact our office today at 916-237-8270 to schedule your free consultation.
What is Indecent Exposure in California?
According to California Penal Code § 314, every person who willfully and lewdly exposes their person, or their private parts, in any public place or in any place where people are present can be charged with indecent exposure. The law also states that anyone who unlawfully enters a property or inhabited dwelling to commit indecent exposure is guilty of aggravated indecent exposure.
Elements of Indecent Exposure
Indecent exposure is a complex offense, and the prosecution must prove all elements to secure a conviction. These elements include the following:
- You Willfully Exposed Yourself – If you did not expose yourself willfully, you can’t be convicted of indecent exposure. For example, your swim trunks might have unexpectedly come off while swimming.
- You Exposed Yourself or Your Private Parts – You must expose your bare-naked body or genitals to be convicted of indecent exposure. If you only expose your underwear, you are not guilty of indecent exposure.
- You Were in the Presence of People Likely to Be Offended or Annoyed – You might have removed your clothes in a secluded area where you thought no one would see you. If you don’t expose yourself in a public place, such as a mall, movie theatre, or sporting arena, you cannot face indecent exposure charges.
- You Exposed Yourself with a Lewd Intent – Your exposure must have a lewd or sexual intent. If you didn’t intend to arouse or offend anyone sexually, you can’t be charged with indecent exposure. For example, a mother breastfeeding in public intends to feed her baby, not sexually arouse the people around her.
Charges Related to Indecent Exposure
There are several other charges often associated with an indecent exposure offense, depending on the circumstances of your case. These charges include the following:
- Lewd Conduct with a Minor – California Penal Code § 288 states that lewd conduct with a minor involves willfully committing a lewd act upon a child under 14 years old with the intent to arouse or gratify the lust, passions, or sexual desires of the person committing the act. This is a felony offense.
- Disturbing the Peace – Often, indecent exposure is accompanied by disturbing the peace, which involves challenging others to a fight, creating loud or unreasonable noise, or using offensive words.
- Trespassing – California Penal Code § 602 makes it illegal to trespass on private property. You might be accused of trespassing when carrying out the alleged indecent exposure offense.
- Lewd Conduct – California Penal Code § 647 involves engaging in lewd, or sexual conduct, in any public place exposed to public view.
What Are the Penalties for Indecent Exposure?
Your penalties may vary depending on several factors. A conviction for indecent exposure is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. If you’re charged with aggravated indecent exposure, your sentence increases to up to a year in jail accompanied by a $1,000 fine.
However, this is only for first-time offenders. If you’ve already had a prior conviction for indecent exposure on your record, you could face felony charges, resulting in 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Collateral Consequences of Indecent Exposure in Folsom
The fallout of a sex crime remains long after your sentence is served if you’re convicted. Here are some collateral consequences you may face in addition to jail time and fines if found guilty:
- Limited job opportunities
- Loss of your gun rights
- You will be required to register as a sex offender for at least ten years
- You could lose custody of your children
Indecent Exposure Defenses
Given the severity of the penalties you could face for an indecent exposure conviction, it’s imperative that you recruit an experienced indecent exposure attorney in Folsom to fight your charges. The prosecution must prove each element of the crime to convict you.
If they fail to present strong evidence or obtain evidence illegally, you could beat your charges and secure your freedom. Your attorney will present several arguments to create doubt in your case. These may include the following:
- Falsely Accused of Indecent Exposure – Whether it’s to get a leg up in a custody battle or to ruin your reputation, someone may falsely accuse you of indecent exposure. Our attorneys will examine your accuser’s story and discredit their claims.
- You Did Not Willfully Expose Yourself – There are many scenarios where you do not willfully expose yourself in public. A classic example is your swim trunks falling off at a public pool or someone walking in on you in the bathroom.
- You Were Not in the Presence of People Likely to Be Offended – You might have exposed yourself in a secluded area or in a place you believed was vacant.
- You Were Not the Actual Perpetrator – Many indecent exposure incidents could occur at night where it’s difficult to determine the actual perpetrator. You might be mistaken for the real assailant. We’ll help prove where you were at the time of the alleged offense and gather evidence that supports your case.
Contact an Indecent Exposure Lawyer Today
Don’t let your indecent exposure charges alter the course of your life. Take action and recruit a Folsom indecent exposure lawyer at Walsh Law today by calling 916-237-8270. During your free consultation, we’ll discuss the details of your case and negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf. If negotiations don’t work, we’ll stand by your side at trial to fight for your freedom. Contact our legal office today.