Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Is indecent exposure considered to be a sex crime?

Sex crimes are an understandable worry for communities across California, but authorities and the general public are at times quick to jump to judgments against those accused of committing them. Charges related to sex crimes can vary considerably, and contrary to many people's belief, they are not always related to accusations of rape or sexual assault. Indecent exposure falls under the breadth of sex crimes, although it might not be as well understood as other charges.

While indecent exposure does encompass an individual exposing his or her genitals while in public, other requirements must also be met before a conviction is possible. According to state law, a public exposure of a person's genitals is only considered indecent exposure if the act was performed in order to satisfy oneself sexually or to offend another person. This does not include displaying underwear or any other type of undergarments.

But what about urinating in public? While perhaps unsavory, questions have been raised concerning a hypothetical situation in which a person hidden behind a dumpster relieves him or herself, but is then accosted by police. It is unlikely that an indecent exposure charge would be filed unless there was any way to prove that this act was anything more than a quick trip to the restroom.

Like many other sex crime charges, a conviction for an indecent exposure charge can result in more than just jail time and fines. Being added to the California sex offender list can limit employment, education and even housing opportunities, permanently changing the course of a person's future. When facing charges with such severe potential consequences, most individuals benefit from a careful analysis of their charges before moving forward with any definitive defense strategies.

Source: FindLaw, "Indecent Exposure", Accessed on July 11, 2015

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