Compared to the other varieties of sex crimes out there, you can be forgiven for thinking the act of exposing oneself in public or where others can see you is less serious. Although this may be the case, indecent exposure is still a very serious charge—technically a sex crime—and can be harshly punished.
Read on to learn more about indecent exposure and how a Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer can help.
Understanding Indecent Exposure and its Penalties
The act of exposing yourself in public or to another person is often lightheartedly portrayed in American popular culture and even softened down with nicknames such as “streaking,” “flashing,” or “mooning.” Because of this fame, some people may be misled into believing related acts of exposing oneself to others is not really a crime, or something that gets resolved with a slap on the wrist.
In reality, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. In Texas, the crime referred to as indecent exposure criminalizes the act of exposing one’s “anus or any part of their (their) genitals with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person,” in addition to being “reckless about the whether another person is present who will be offended or alarmed by (their) act.”
When this act is accompanied by unwanted touching, this serious criminal charge can be escalated to one of sexual assault.
So, what are the penalties for an indecent exposure conviction?
In Texas, the Class B misdemeanor can be punished with any or all of the following:
- 180 days of incarceration in county jail
- A fine not to exceed $2,000
- Possible requirement to register as a sex offender in Texas
The charge can also be complicated when a minor person under the age of sixteen is involved, in which case you could be facing a felony in the third degree with the possibility of a ten-year sentence, massive fines and further restrictions.
How Can You Defend Yourself from an Indecent Exposure Charge?
Obviously, one of the things separating the criminal act of indecent exposure from other, more incidental acts of exposing oneself is the intent. To meet the criminal standard, the prosecutor will have to prove you committed the act with the intent to sexually arouse the intended victim. If they can’t do that, then it’s possible no crime was committed.
Other possible defenses a lawyer can use to help you fight an indecent exposure charge in Texas include:
- The police committed errors when reading your rights
- You were intoxicated to the point of being unaware of your actions
- You were a minor when you committed the infraction
- You were suffering from insanity or mental instability
These are just some of the tactics a criminal defense lawyer can use to cast doubt on the prosecutor’s case. At The Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy, we don’t use cookie-cutter tactics to fight your charges—we will go over the specific details of your case in order to give you the best possible chance of receiving a reduced or dropped charge, or a not-guilty verdict.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Are you facing an indecent exposure charge in Texas? An experienced criminal defense attorney from The Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy can help.
Give us a call at 817-605-1010 or fill out the form on our website with your contact information to get started today.