Indecent Exposure


Indecent Exposure (PC 314):

California Penal Code 314 PC makes it unlawful to willfully expose your genitals to someone else with the intent by a desire to sexually gratify yourself or offend the other person. While the law is broad and vague, the statute has remained unchanged since its enactment centuries ago.

Penalties (PC 314):

In most cases, a first indecent exposure conviction may subject you to misdemeanor penalties of up to 6 months in county jail and fines up to $1,000. The second offense will be treated as a felony and can lead to sentencing at the California State Prison. However, a PC 314 conviction can subject you to the lifetime California sex offender registration requirement.

Legal Defenses (PC 314):

There are a variety of legal defense tactics that we can use in order to fight your indecent exposure case. For starters, some defenses may include (but are not limited to): you never actually exposed yourself, that you were not aware that anyone else was present that would be offended, and/or that you were the victim of mistaken identity.

Legal Definitions

Overview of California Indecent Exposure Laws

Exposing yourself innappropriately is a crime against the person under California indecent exposure laws. A prosecutor must prove several elements to convict a defendant for indecent exposure, which falls under the broad category of sex crimes. First, the prosecutor must show that the defendant willfully exposed his or her person or private parts. If the defendant did not know about the exposed private parts or accidentally exposed a body part, the prosecutor likely cannot establish the elements of the crime.

Furthermore, indecent exposure is a crime of specific intent. The defendant must have intended to act for a lewd or obscene purpose. The prosecutor can establish intent by showing that the defendant intended to direct public attention to the defendant’s genitals or that the defendant wanted to achieve sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual affront. The defendant did not have to be completely naked or unclothed to be charged with indecent exposure; the prosecutor only needs to establish that the defendant’s genitals were exposed.

California law also requires that the defendant acted in a public place. A public place might be a location in full view of people passing by. However, a private dwelling or inhabited building might also qualify as a public place for the purposes of indecent exposure if the defendant entered the premises without invitation or later provided the inhabitants with an unwanted display of the defendant’s private parts.

Defenses to Indecent Exposure Charges

  • First Amendment protection of an artistic performance or expression with a non-obscene intent or value

Penalties and Sentences

A first-time charge of indecent exposure may result in a misdemeanor conviction. If the defendant committed indecent exposure after entering a dwelling or the inhabited part of a building without the inhabitant’s consent, the court may sentence the defendant to a term of imprisonment lasting up to one year. Imprisonment may take place in county jail or state prison.

A second-time or subsequent conviction for indecent exposure, or a first-time conviction for indecent exposure after a conviction for another sex crime under California law, is a felony conviction. The felony conviction will likely result in a term of imprisonment in state prison.

California Indecent Exposure Laws: Statute

California Penal Code Section 314

– See more at: