In California, indecent exposure involves displaying an intimate body part to others to satisfy a sexual appetite or cause distress. A conviction may blemish an otherwise clean record, with the potential to affect your life and career. Moreover, depending on the circumstances, an indecent exposure conviction may land you in jail or subject you to a hefty fine. Fortunately, an expert Santa Barbara indecent exposure attorney may be able to help protect your record and reputation after your arrest.
Being charged with any sex crime is stigmatized, even before you're found guilty or innocent. Your status among your friends and family may be tarnished after you've been accused, charged, or arrested. A conviction puts your future and freedom at great risk. Whatever the circumstances of your indecent exposure charges, remember that the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. If you've been arrested for indecent exposure in California, the experts at The Aron Law Firm stand at the ready to protect your rights and potentially reduce or eliminate the penalties associated with a conviction.
What Is Indecent Exposure in California?
California Penal Code Section 314, which defines the rules and regulations surrounding indecent exposure, defines the term in the following way:
“Every person who willfully and lewdly, either exposes his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed thereby…or to make any other exhibition of himself to public view, or the view of any number of persons, such as is offensive to decency, or is adapted to excite to vicious or lewd thoughts or acts, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
In other words, indecent exposure means willfully exposing your genitals to someone else to offend them or sexually gratify yourself. In order to garner a conviction for indecent exposure, a prosecutor must prove that a certain number of facts are true as they relate to the incident, including the following:
- You willfully exposed your genitals. Accidentally exposing your genitals isn't a violation of indecent exposure in California.
- You were in the presence of someone who might be annoyed or offended. It's important to note that California law doesn't make a distinction between exposing yourself in public or private. In other words, it doesn't matter where you broke this law as long as you exposed yourself to an audience.
- You exposed yourself for the purposes of sexual gratification. You exposed yourself in order to draw someone's attention to your genitals for your own sexual gratification or to sexually offend them. If you didn't expose yourself for sexual gratification, the prosecution must prove that you did so in order to offend the sensibilities of another person.
The penalties associated with a misdemeanor conviction may include:
- Up to six months in county jail,
- Up to $1,000 in fines,
- And a minimum ten-year duty to register as a convicted sex offender.
A felony conviction may carry a sentence of up to three years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Fortunately, the California indecent exposure lawyers at The Aron Law Firm are experienced criminal defense attorneys who may be able to help handle your case and protect your rights.
Defending against Indecent Exposure Charges in California
Facing allegations of indecent exposure can be humiliating. After all, a simple situation can sometimes get out of hand and lead to legal trouble for otherwise law-abiding citizens. The good news is that there are a number of defenses against indecent exposure charges. The prosecution must prove every element of the crime, and a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to examine the facts of your case and expose weaknesses in the prosecution's arguments.
At The Aron Law Firm, we aim to help you understand and sort out the appropriate defense strategies to execute based on the circumstances of your case.
Contact an Experienced Indecent Exposure Lawyer at The Aron Law Firm
If you or a loved one is facing an indecent exposure charge near Santa Barbara, speak with a trusted indecent exposure defense attorney as soon as possible. For questions about the penalties associated with a conviction or to discuss defense strategies with one of our California criminal defense lawyers, contact The Aron Law Firm today. Our legal team is well versed in indecent exposure defense law and may help you avoid the consequences that stem from this offense.
At The Aron Law Firm, we have experience representing clients facing a wide variety of criminal charges. We take a client-centered approach that aims to make the legal process as painless as possible. To speak with an indecent exposure defense attorney, schedule a free consultation by calling (805) 618-1768 or completing our online contact form today.