|California Indecent Exposure Laws & Defense
California Penal Code 314(1) & 314(2)
The law on the crime of "indecent exposure" is found at California Penal Code Section 314. Indecent exposure is usually charged as a misdemeanor in California under PC 314(1); if the defendant is convicted of the crime of indecent exposure as a misdemeanor he or she could face up to 180 days in jail.
In some cases, the crime of indecent exposure is charged as a felony under California Penal Code Section 314(2). This usually occurs if the defendant has already suffered a prior conviction for indecent exposure or if the defendant has a prior history of lewd acts with a minor under Penal Code Section 288.
If the defendant is found guilty of the crime of indecent exposure as a felony (PC 314(2)), the defendant faces up to three years in prison.
To prove the defendant is guilty of indecent exposure under PC 314, the prosecutor will have to prove that the defendant willfully or purposefully exposed his or her genitals in the presence of another person who might be offended by the exposure. The prosecutor will also have to prove that when the defendant exposed himself or herself that he or she acted lewdly by intending to direct public attention to his or her genitals for the purpose of sexually arousing himself or herself, or another person (the exposure must have been sexually motivated).
In addition to the punishment of possible jail time, a criminal conviction for indecent exposure under PC 314 requires that the defendant register as a sex offender with local and state authorities. A criminal conviction for indecent exposure could also lead to immigration consequence, fines, probation, professional licensing restrictions, CPS and other administrative hearings initiated, civil lawsuits and more.
Common defenses to a charge of indecent exposure:
1. The exposure was not sexually motivated, such as sunbathing, changing in public, urinating in public, sex in public where the public area was extremely unlikely to be occupied at the time of the sexual conduct, accidental flashing, "mooning" another person without sexual motivation, exposure as part of an art exhibition or dance and which was not sexually motivated (1st Amendment Freedom of Expression and Speech Defense), etc.
2. The indecent exposure was not directed towards the public, such as exposure on private land which was not directed towards the public but never-the-less the public's attention was so drawn, i.e. exposure inside a fenced yard, exposure from a bedroom with open windows but which was not directed towards the public, exposure in a car with tinted windows and which was not directed towards the public but the public's attention was never-the-less so drawn , etc.
3. Statute of Limitations. If the defendant is charged with indecent exposure (PC 314) after one year from the incident which lead to the criminal charges, the defendant may claim that the statute of limitations has run and therefore, the District Attorney is procedurally barred from charging the defendant with the crime. If the defendant is charged with felony indecent exposure under Penal Code 314(2), the prosecutor will have three years from the date of the alleged indecent exposure in which to bring criminal charges.
To learn more about the crime of indecent exposure under PC 314(1) & 314(2), including defenses to indecent exposure, contact a California sex crimes criminal defense attorney today.
Criminal Defense attorney Christopher Dorado represents defendants charged with indecent exposure (PC 314(1)), in the counties of San Bernardino and Riverside, including the cities of Riverside, Redlands, Victorville, Running Springs, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Colton, Ontario, Upland, Yucaipa, and more. There is no charge for initial consultations and our office offers 24/7 emergency service.
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