Compared to other sex crimes, a charge of indecent exposure in Florida might not seem very serious. Nevertheless, if the prosecution finds enough evidence to convict you, your charges can result in a permanent criminal record, incarceration, and fines.
In some cases, a charge of indecent exposure might be the result of a prank, a wardrobe malfunction, or a simple misunderstanding. No matter what the circumstances were if you are facing charges or have been arrested for indecent exposure in the Tampa Bay Area, you should speak to a sex crime attorney.
What Constitutes Indecent Exposure in Florida
In Florida, indecent exposure is the unlawful display of a person’s sexual organs in a vulgar or indecent manner. A person can face indecent exposure charges if he or she was naked or exposed his or her sexual organs in public or on private property. This offense is considered a first-degree misdemeanor.
Florida Statute § 800.03 contains the legal definition of an indecent exposure offense. According to this law, the mere presence of nudity or exposure is not sufficient to convict a person for this crime. In fact, the prosecution not only needs to prove the display of nudity, but they also need to demonstrate that the defendant performed these actions in a vulgar or lascivious manner.
When it comes to indecent exposure crimes the defendant’s intent is very important. If the exhibited nudity was an accident or did not have a vulgar or lascivious intent, the charges might be dropped. Under this law, breastfeeding a baby or being naked in a place that is designed for this purpose is not considered indecent exposure.
A person can be charged with this offense if he or she exhibited or exposed his or her sexual organs in a public place, another person’s property, or sufficiently close to it that the other party can see the offender from his or her property. So for example, if you stand in your window and expose your body to the neighbor with a vulgar, sexual or lascivious intent, you can be charged with indecent exposure in Florida.
If you were charged with indecent exposure in Pinellas County or the Tampa Bay Area, you need an experienced criminal attorney on your side. Book an appointment with the lawyers at Goldman Wetzel so we can start working on your case.
Florida Punishments for Indecent Exposure
Indecent exposure in Florida is considered a first-degree misdemeanor crime. As a result, a conviction for this crime can result in a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Subsequent convictions or indecent exposure to certain people can lead to more severe penalties.
A first indecent exposure offense is classified as a misdemeanor crime. This means that defendants can face up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Although it is a sex crime, this offense is not as severe as other sex offenses. As a result, a person convicted for indecent exposure is not required to register as a sex offender.
Is indecent exposure a felony in Florida?
A second or subsequent charge for indecent exposure in Florida is considered a third-degree felony. Therefore, a second or subsequent conviction is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Additionally, indecent exposure to a minor less than 16 years of age is charged as a lewd and lascivious crime. The penalties for this offense depend on both the victim and the defendant’s age. In other words, depending on the age of the parties involved, charges can range from a third-degree to a second-degree felony.
Even though the consequences of indecent exposure in Florida might not be as severe as other sex crimes, if you are convicted, you can face imprisonment and fines. The criminal defense attorneys at Goldman Wetzel have experience representing clients facing these types of charges.
If you have questions about your charges or the possible defenses that you can use for your case, contact our attorneys.
Contact a Tampa Bay Sex Crimes Lawyer
Given the nature of this offense, there are many instances in which people might be wrongfully accused of committing indecent exposure. Unfortunately, these accusations can result in incarceration, fines, and a permanent criminal record that can negatively affect your life.
Goldman Wetzel is a criminal defense law firm that represents clients facing charges for indecent exposure and other sex-related crimes in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Bradenton, Clearwater, Sarasota, Pinellas Park, and surrounding areas.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for indecent exposure, you should enlist the help of an attorney that can protect and fight for your rights. Contact our criminal defense lawyers at Goldman Wetzel to schedule a free consultation or call us at (727) 828-3900.