When it comes to sex crimes, you will probably think of things like rape, assault, molestation, pornography, and sexual battery. Indecent exposure is a lesser-known version of sex crimes, but it isn't less serious. Intentionally exposing your private parts in public can land you in deep trouble because it is illegal. If you are charged with the crime, you may have to bear far-reaching consequences like losing your reputation and even mandatory registration as a sex offender. It is crucial to understand the legal and criminal implications of the offense. Moreover, you must know when an act counts as indecent exposure to prevent being wrongly accused or implicated for an unintentional action. Let us explain what qualifies as an offense and when you can get off the hook due to an unintentional act.
A deliberate exposure is crime
Primary, the act of indecent exposure has to be intentional to be regarded as a sex crime. A person can face serious charges for deliberately exposing their genitals in a public space such as a park or a bus. Moreover, exposing oneself to another person deliberately against their wishes is a crime in many other settings as well. While the act sounds unusual, people do it with the intention of offending the victim or just as an act of self-gratification. Either way, it is immoral and illegal, so it deserves to be punished legally. The law sets clear boundaries for such acts. The exposure of one's genitals is the mainstay of the offense. Additionally, the offender should have done it with malicious intentions. If an act qualifies on both fronts, a person can be rightly charged with a sex crime.
The act may not always be a crime
While indecent exposure is a sex crime, you may get into a problem even without being guilty of it. These cases are among the trickiest ones in the sex crime zone. Essentially, your intentions determine the seriousness of the situation. You must consult a sex crimes attorney if accused of the crime wrongly. They can prove your innocence and get you off the hook in such cases. Here are the situations when an act of indecent exposure is not a sex crime.
- Accidental exposure: Showing one's genitals accidentally cannot be regarded as a crime. You may have done it due to unavoidable reasons such as a wardrobe malfunction. The situation can be awkward for anyone, but you do not deserve to be punished for it.
- Lack of sexual arousal: An indecent exposure also has the element of sexual arousal to be seen as a sex crime. If you were not in a state of arousal at the time of exposure, the accuser does not have a case against you. It is a factor that can go strongly in your favor when charged with a false accusation.
- Nobody saw you: Another factor that plays a significant role in the case is whether someone saw you doing the act. Another person has to be present and see the exposure to make it a crime. If no one saw you showing your private parts, you cannot be held responsible for the act.
Building defense against indecent exposure
Like any other sex crime, indecent exposure can have grave consequences. A first offense leads to a misdemeanor, but repeat offenses can lead to a felony conviction. Although the severity varies by state, you can expect to be in a fix. Exposure to children may have even more serious consequences. While the offense is heinous, there are chances of false accusations. Anyone can accuse another person of indecent exposure due to malicious intentions. The only way you can save your reputation and come out clean is by having a viable defense. If you face such an allegation, you must see an expert right away. Discuss the circumstances of your case with the professional so that they can build a defense accordingly. Everything boils down to proving the fallacy of the claim, and you can do it by highlighting the elements of the case.
Indecent exposure cases are tricky because they have multiple factors determining their validity. You can build a strong defense around the situation if accused falsely. But you need a skilled attorney for handling the case. The right legal representation can get the outcome in your favor and protect your reputation from taking a hit. Make sure you find an expert with relevant experience to get you a favorable verdict and steer clear of the implications of a false allegation.