Many actions could fall under indecent exposure, according to California law. According to the penal code, it is a misdemeanor for a person to lewdly expose their body or private parts in any public place, or in a place where others are annoyed or offended.
See CA Penal Code 314.
Public Sexual Indecency
Even seemingly minor events could potentially leave someone charged with public indecency. This could include someone flashing their breasts at a Mardi Gras party to arouse. A first-time conviction for indecent exposure violation is prosecuted as a misdemeanor, but could include up to six (6) months in jail, and a fine of up to $1,000. However, subsequent convictions can lead to additional penalties.
Lewd Public Conduct (aka Disorderly Conduct)
Lewd conduct involves touching the private parts of another person, or oneself, for the purpose of sexual gratification or to offend in a public place, or a place open to the public or public view. This includes touching the genitals, buttocks, or female breasts. This is treated as a misdemeanor. Lewd conduct in public can be charged in conjunction with a charge of indecent exposure.
Indecent Exposure to a Minor or Annoying or Molesting A Child
Indecent exposure to a minor may fall under the violation of annoying or molesting a child. Conduct likely to disturb a child under 18 which is motivated by a sexual interest in children could be charged as a misdemeanor, with up to a year in jail. However, any touching is considered a lewd act with a child, which is a felony.
Sex Offender Registration
Indecent exposure charges will result in a defendant having to register as a sex offender. They will be required to register with local law enforcement or school officials, and re-register any time they move. This information may become public, including listing the offender's name, crime, picture, and address.
Defenses to Lewd Conduct in Public
Possible defenses include showing that there was no exposure, exposure was accidental, the person was not in a public place. A legal team who specializes in defense of sex crimes will look into the facts of each case to determine how best to form their legal strategy, including investigation of the accuser.
Contact the offices of White Goldstein to speak with an attorney who specializes in defending people accused of indecent exposure. We will provide you or your loved one with superior legal representation. We are dedicated to giving our clients the highest level of service. We will thoroughly investigate the charges you or your loved one face and will tirelessly work to have them dismissed.
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Call White Goldstein today at (310) 295-1810 for a free, confidential consultation.