What Is Considered Indecent Exposure in California?

When a person exposes their naked body or genitals to anyone who may be annoyed or offended by it in California, they can be charged with indecent exposure. While many people think indecent exposure can only happen publicly, California Penal Code (CPC) §314(1) states that this crime can occur in almost any environment.

Because indecent exposure is considered a sex crime, an arrest can come with social stigma and particularly harsh sentences. If you have been accused of indecent exposure in California, it is imperative that you partner with a qualified sex crime defense lawyer. At Aron Law Firm, we have what it takes to craft a solid defense strategy to protect your rights and interests throughout your case.

How Does California Define the Crime of Indecent Exposure?

California Penal Code §314(1) states that any person who willfully and lewdly commits either of the following acts is guilty of indecent exposure:

“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,

Procures, counsels, or assists any person so to expose himself or take part in any model artist exhibition, 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…”

In other words, any scenario in which a person intentionally exposes themselves to someone who might be offended or to draw attention to themselves or sexually gratifying themselves could land them an arrest for indecent exposure.

What You Should Know About Indecent Exposure Criminal Cases in California

For a defendant to be convicted of indecent exposure in California, the prosecutor must be able to prove the following aspects beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Willfully: The defendant willfully intended to expose themselves
  • Expose yourself: The defendant exposed their naked body or genitals
  • In the presence of someone who might be offended or annoyed: The defendant exposed themselves near a person who might be offended or annoyed by it
  • Intending to direct attention: The defendant exposed their naked body or genitals believing they would be seen (even if nobody else saw it)
  • Lewd intent: The defendant exposed their naked body or genitals for sexual gratification or to sexually offend someone else

First-time convictions often result in a misdemeanor sentence of six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Second offenses are treated as felonies and could result in incarceration in state prison and register as a sex offender for at least ten years.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your particular situation, your criminal defense lawyer may argue that:

  • You did not intentionally expose yourself
  • You did not expose your genitals or naked body
  • The crime did not occur near a person who might be offended or annoyed
  • You did not believe you would be seen
  • You had no intention of sexually gratifying yourself or offending someone else

The State of California penalizes all sex crimes seriously. If you are charged with indecent exposure, retain the help of a skilled Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your freedom, reputation, and livelihood are at stake.

Hire an Experienced Attorney to Defend an Indecent Exposure Charge in California

When you choose Aron Law Firm as your legal representation, you can rest assured that we will fight to negotiate a lesser charge, reduce your sentence, or, in some cases, get your charges dismissed entirely. Our team comprehensively understands California courts and the State’s criminal justice system.

Allow an Aron Law Firm attorney to plan a defense strategy to help you obtain a favorable outcome. Contact us through our contact form or call (805) 618-1768 to schedule your confidential consultation today.