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Indecent Exposure Laws in San Diego

Indecent Exposure in San Diego
So, you’ve been charged with indecent exposure. What does that mean exactly? And what are the consequences of being found guilty?  Whether you were falsely charged, it was an accident, or you made a bad call, an attorney can help your defense.  

Indecent Exposure Laws in San Diego

California’s Penal Code 314 defines “indecent exposure” as “consciously and willfully exposing your genitals to anyone with the intent of offending the other person or for your own sexual gratification.”
There are four elements of the indecent exposure law:
  1. A private body part must be exposed. This often refers to male or female genitals or female nipples. It may or may not refer to the buttocks.
  2. The exposure must be done with intent, not as an accident.
  3. The exposure must occur in a public space. This includes businesses, public venues, and outdoor areas that are either publicly or privately owned. If the exposure happened in a private space like a home or in a hotel room through a window or doorway, it is also considered indecent exposure if it was done with intent.
  4.  It must take place where other people can see or have a high likelihood of seeing the exposure.   
A common question is if urinating in public is considered indecent exposure. Usually, it is not unless the genitals are exposed in the open where there is a high likelihood of being seen by others. However, you may still be charged with a different criminal offense such as disorderly conduct or being a public nuisance.

The Consequences of Indecent Exposure

Breaking indecent exposure laws comes with serious consequences because it is considered a sex crime. Misdemeanor penalties are usually a $1,000 fine, community service, and probation or jail time. If you are convicted of a felony, which happens if you are not a first-time offender or have exposed yourself to a minor, you are looking at the following penalties:
  • Fines starting at $1,000 with the possibility of going much higher
  • Probation requiring you meet regularly with a probation officer and fulfill all terms and conditions such as attending counseling and maintaining employment
  • Community service for a specified number of hours for a court-approved organization
  • Incarceration with sentences varying from days in county jail to years in state prison

How an Attorney Can Help Your Defense

There are a number of common defenses that an experienced attorney can use against the allegations of indecent exposure. They can include:
  • It was an artistic expression
  • It was an accident
  • It took place in a private area
  • You had no intent to offend
  • You had the viewer’s consent
  • You had no knowledge anyone was watching
  • You didn’t actually expose a private body part
A lawyer knows the indecent exposure laws and is qualified to evaluate the strength of the case against you and help develop an appropriate defense. This can lead to lower fines and penalties or a reduction or dismissal of charges. With your reputation and future on the line as well as your family’s, it’s worth getting proper representation in court.   If you’ve been charged with indecent exposure, talk to Bradley Corbett today!  

Bradley Corbett

Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.

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Don’t wait until it is too late! Delaying or even denying yourself the counsel and strength we can provide you could have life changing consequences. Call us today and let an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney help you protect your freedoms, life, and family.

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