Crime Overview Indecent Exposure

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There are thousands of indecent exposure crimes that occur across the United States each year, and unfortunately, thousands more go unreported each year. In the past this kind of crime was not taken as seriously as it is today, and was considered more of a crime against morals than against the law. If children are in the area, it is taken more seriously. While indecent exposure doesn't typically harm another individual physically, the mental effects resulting from being a victim of someone's indecent exposure can be devastating.

Also called sexual misconduct, public lewdness, and public indecency, indecent exposure occurs when an individual deliberately exposes his or her genitals/and or breasts in public. The act of exposing one's private parts in public is intended to cause others to become alarmed, offended, shocked, and even scared. In general, indecent exposure is committed for the sexual gratification of the offender. A common act of public lewdness in the United States today is an act called streaking, which typically involves running naked at a sporting event or other public place. Another common arrest that is made for indecent exposure is that of urinating in what can be considered a public area, commonly around a bar or an event where people have been consuming alcohol.

While indecent exposure doesn't typically lead to physical contact, as it is mostly in the form of a quick flash, meant to solicit a reaction, there is still a slight possibility that indecent exposure can lead to sexual assault. Indecent exposure is a criminal offense in all 50 states and it is punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. Prolonged indecent exposure or indecent exposure in front of a child increases the punishment. In some states, if you are convicted of indecent exposure, you will have to register as a sex offender. Congress has considered implementing a federal statute for indecent exposure, which they believe would discourage potential offenders due to higher punishments for those convicted.

If you are suing a convicted criminal for damages resulting from indecent exposure, you will need to hire a civil lawyer or attorney. If the person was not convicted and you still want to sue for damages, you should still hire a civil lawyer or attorney.

If you have been accused of indecent exposure, whether you are guilty or not, you will need to hire a criminal lawyer or attorney, who can represent you in the legal system. Request an attorney at the time of your arrest. A good criminal attorney may be able to broker a plea deal which will keep you from being convicted of your crime, or which may reduce in your sentence if you agree to plead guilty without going to trial. If your case does go to a bench or a jury trial, your attorney will review your case and prepare the best defense she or he can, and argue that case in order to ensure that justice is served.

When searching for a criminal lawyer or attorney, visit the American Bar Association. The ABA offers free access to their lawyer locator to help you find a criminal lawyer or attorney in your area.