Indecent exposure is one of those crimes that is almost perfectly described by the name it has been given. If you want to understand how indecent exposure works in Texas then it’s best to turn to Texas Penal Code Section 21.08 which reads:
“A person commits an offense if he exposes his anus or any part of his genitals with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, and he is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by his act.”
There are a number of important takeaways from this description but first, let’s address what it gets wrong. This description uses a male signifier, so you may get the impression that this is a crime that only men can be convicted of. This is not the case at all. You can be convicted of indecent exposure regardless of your gender.
What we can take away from the penal code description is that indecent exposure occurs regardless of whether genitals were involved. Revealing a part of your genitals or even your buttocks can be enough to be found guilty of indecent exposure.
However, the most important aspect is that the act is done with the intent to arouse. This has a twofold meaning. It can be arousal through the act of indecently exposing yourself but it is also open to recklessness as an excuse. This means that if you were stripping down to have intimate relations with your partner but didn’t consider who was in the area that could have seen then there is a sexual nature to the nudity even if the indecent exposure only happened because you recklessly failed to consider who might see.
What Are the Penalties for Indecent Exposure?
Indecent exposure is a Class B misdemeanor. What type of penalties are going to come with a conviction of indecent exposure depends on factors such as your mental state at the time, your criminal history, and more.
If it is your first time being convicted of such a charge then you could face up to half a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If it is a second or subsequent conviction then it will be upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor that could see you in jail for a year and paying a fine of up to $4,000.
This is a sex crime and so it triggers sex offender registration. However, registration is unlikely to be required for a first-time offense of indecent exposure. A second or further conviction is usually, though not always, necessary to require registration.
How Do I Fight an Indecent Exposure Charge?
The best way to fight against an indecent exposure charge is to work with Wilder Law Firm to craft a defense based on the specifics of your case. We’d love to give you more advice than that but an internet blog is unable to take into account the unique circumstances of your case; when you reach out to one of the talented attorneys, you’ll get detailed and personalized advice on what steps to take next as you fight against this charge of indecent exposure.