Penal Code 314 — Indecent Exposure
Penal Code Section 314 punishes the crime of “indecent exposure.” “Indecent exposure” occurs when someone intentionally exposes their genitals to another person, and this exposure was done for their sexual gratification or the sexual gratification of the other person.
Punishment for Misdemeanor and Felony Indecent Exposure
Indecent exposure is a “wobbler” crime, meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The decision to charge indecent exposure as a misdemeanor or felony depends on the specific facts and circumstances of each case.
A first indecent exposure conviction is typically charged as a misdemeanor, and penalties can include up to 6 months in county jail and a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000). In some cases — usually when the indecent exposure occurs in a residence — a first offense may be charged as a felony.
A second indecent exposure offense is automatically charged as a felony, and is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison.
In any indecent exposure case, a convicted defendant is required to register as a California lifetime sex offender under Penal Code 290.
What the Prosecutor Must Prove to Convict a Defendant of Indecent Exposure
In order to convict a defendant of indecent exposure, the prosecutor must prove all of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- Defendant willfully (meaning intentionally, NOT accidentally) exposed his or her genitals,
- Someone was present who could be annoyed or offended by this exposure; AND
- Defendant intended to direct public attention to his or her genitals to sexually gratify themselves OR to sexually gratify someone else OR to sexually offend another person
Defenses to Indecent Exposure Charges
While every indecent exposure case must always be evaluated on its specific facts, successful defenses to an indecent exposure charge may including the following.
- You never actually exposed yourself. For example, your genitals were not fully exposed or you were still wearing underwear,
- You had no intent to sexually gratify yourself or someone else,
- There was no person around to offend OR you were unaware of someone else being present who would be offended, AND/OR
- You were the victim of mistaken identity
Contact Us Now
Schwartz & Naderi’s team of criminal defense attorneys has over 80 years of combined experience aggressively defending clients facing all types of sex-related charges, including Indecent Exposure charges, and will strategize a vigorous defense from the moment of arrest until the completion of the case.
If you or a loved one has been charged with any sex offense, contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney from Schwartz & Naderi today at (310) 246-9550.