The act of exposing one’s sexual organs in public or on the private premises of another may be charged as a criminal offense in Florida under certain conditions. Indecent exposure, sometimes referred to as “the lewd exposure of sexual organs,” is typically a nonviolent sexual offense that may lead to misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on who was present to witness the exposure. Several seemingly harmless acts may be charged as indecent exposure, except the breastfeeding of an infant. If you face charges for indecent exposure in West Palm Beach, consult with a criminal defense attorney to fight your charges.
What is Indecent Exposure?
You may have been pulling a prank on someone or were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time prior to your indecent exposure arrest. Indecent exposure is defined in the Florida Statutes §800.03 as the “exposure or exhibition of one’s sexual organs in public or on the private premises of another, or so near thereto as to be seen from such private premises, in a “vulgar or indecent manner, or to be naked in public except in any place provided or set apart for that purpose.”
Generally, instances of nude sunbathing in public or public urination are not considered indecent exposure unless there is a lewd, lascivious, vulgar, or indecent element to the crime. The likelihood of a conviction for indecent exposure increases where the prosecution can demonstrate such an element. A general indecent exposure offense is a misdemeanor crime for which you can face up to a year in jail and/ or a fine of up to $1,000.
When is Indecent Exposure a Felony Offense?
Exposing your sexual organs can be a felony offense when it is done in the presence of a minor under 16 years of age or if you are detained in a correctional institution, whether owned by the state or a private prison, and you do so in the presence of a facility employee. This escalates the crime to lewd or lascivious exhibition.
Lewd or lascivious exhibition in the presence of a victim under 16 or an employee of a correctional institution encompasses the following acts:
- Intentional masturbation
- Intentional exposure of the genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner
- Intentional commission of any other sexual act that does not involve actual physical or sexual contact with the victim
Whether the exhibition takes place in front of a minor under 16 or an employee, the act is a third-degree felony offense punishable by up to five years in prison and/ or a fine of up to $5,000.
Find an Indecent Exposure Defense Attorney in West Palm Beach
Don’t allow a seemingly harmless display of nudity to open up a criminal record. Work with an aggressive criminal defense attorney who will thoroughly examine every aspect of your case. Attorney Brian Gabriel has defended those accused of sex crimes in West Palm Beach for over 25 years. Call 561-622-5575 for a free consultation or contact The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel online.