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What to Know About Indecent Exposure in Texas

Posted on in Criminal Defense

While many of us have seen characters called “flashers” depicted humorously in movies and television, in reality, this kind of behavior may constitute an offense called indecent exposure. Under Texas Penal Code, Title 5, Chapter 21, Section 21.08, “indecent exposure” is defined as exposing your private parts to another person. The charge of indecent exposure is a sex crime in the state of Texas, and may carry penalties including jail time and steep fines.

According to the Texas Penal Code, a person may be charged with indecent exposure for showing their anus or any part of their genitals to another person if they do so with the purpose of sexually arousing themselves or another person. To convict someone of indecent exposure, a prosecutor must be able to prove that the defendant recklessly exposed themselves to another person, ignoring the reasonable assumption that the person or people present would be upset by this act.  A charge of indecent exposure may be upgraded to sexual assault or attempted rape if unwanted touching is involved.  

What Are the Penalties for Indecent Exposure?

In the state of Texas, a charge of indecent exposure is considered a Class B misdemeanor.

A conviction for Class B misdemeanor indecent exposure may carry penalties including:

  • Up to 180 days in a county jail
  • A fine up to $2,000
  • Both up to 180 days and $2,000 in fines
  • An additional probation term

Sentences for indecent exposure will be determined by the discretion of the judge, who may hand down more or less severe penalties depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. An individual who has been convicted of indecent exposure in the past is likely to receive a harsher sentence than a first-time offender. In many cases, a conviction of indecent exposure will also force the guilty party to register as a sex offender in the state of Texas. Two or more convictions of indecent exposure will almost certainly result in someone’s name being added to the Texas sex offender registry.

Indecent exposure can be upgraded to a third-degree felony charge if the defendant knowingly exposes themselves in the presence of a minor. A minor in this case constitutes a child age 16 or younger.

A conviction for third-degree felony indecent exposure may carry penalties including:

  • A sentence of up to 10 years in jail
  • A fine up to $10,000
  • Both up to 10 years in jail and a fine up to $10,000

Fighting Indecent Exposure Charges in Texas

While a charge of indecent exposure is serious, it is not hopeless. A skilled Texas criminal defense lawyer may be able to craft multiple arguments as to why an accusation of indecent exposure is baseless and should be thrown out or dropped.

An experienced attorney will be able to present defenses for indecent exposure including:

  • Absence of intent: Since the crime of indecent exposure is linked directly with the intent to arouse, if counsel can prove there was no intent, then they can also prove there was no crime.
  • Intoxication: While intoxication in and of itself usually does not mitigate an indecent exposure charge, it can help to reduce a sentence in many cases, if it can be established the defendant was so intoxicated they were unaware of what they were doing.
  • Age: For minors, it may be more difficult to prove intent to arouse, and the court is also usually likely to see a younger person as less in control of their actions than the average adult.
  • Insanity: Individuals diagnosed with legitimate mental disorders may not be fully aware of their surroundings or actions, which means representation may therefore be able to argue their client’s illness prevented them from understanding what they were doing  

Call The Crowder Law Firm, P.C.

At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., our Plano sex crime defense attorney is equipped to handle charges of indecent exposure and more. From internet sex crimes to child pornography, we believe that everyone deserves a fair shot in court. With a long history of favorable results including dismissals and not guilty verdicts, there’s a reason our clients consistently recommend The Crowder Law Firm, P.C.

Don’t hesitate to fight for your future! Call for aggressive and compassionate representation today at [[phone1]], or contact us online. Se habla Español.

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