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Florida Indecent Exposure Laws


As sex crimes go, indecent exposure is a minor one.  It is a first-degree misdemeanor, and a conviction for indecent exposure can lead to a one-year jail sentence, a $1,000 fine, a year on probation, and court-ordered counseling.  The court can also require you to register as a sex offender if you plead guilty to indecent exposure or if a jury finds you guilty of this offense.  You can be convicted of indecent exposure if, which on public property or at a place of business, your genitals, buttocks, or breasts are uncovered, and your motivation for this state of nudity or near-nudity is your own sexual gratification or to cause offense to bystanders.  If you are being accused of indecent exposure for being nude or partially nude in a public place, contact a West Palm Beach indecent exposure lawyer.

You Can Get Criminal Charges for Public Urination

Many criminal charges for indecent exposure are related to instances of public urination.  Causing offense is not usually the primary motivation for urinating in public; most often, the defendant urgently needed to pee, and no restrooms were available nearby, so the defendant did not care who saw.  This can still count as indecent exposure, since the defendant reasonably should have known that other people could see the act and did not want to see it.  Alcohol often plays a role in cases of public urination; when you are sober, you usually plan carefully enough to know where the restrooms are and to use them when you have the chance to do so.

Public urination counts as indecent exposure if other people can see it.  The fish pee in the ocean, and so can you.  Likewise, you are unlikely to get charges for indecent exposure if you make a pit stop on a deserted stretch of Alligator Alley, with your car blocking the view of passing drivers.

You Cannot Get Criminal Charges for Breastfeeding a Baby in Public

Florida law is unambiguous about the fact that it is legal for mothers to breastfeed infants in public.  If a woman’s nipple accidentally becomes visible while she is nursing a baby, this is not indecent exposure.

Meanwhile, women who intentionally remove their swimsuit tops on most beaches in Florida can be charged with indecent exposure.  In order to convict you, the court must prove that the exposure was intentional.  If your bathing suit top accidentally goes askew while you are swimming and you fix it when you become aware of this, it is not indecent exposure.  The exception to this is Florida’s clothing optional beaches.  You will know if you are at a clothing optional beach because there will be signs posted everywhere saying so, and there will be lots of naked people around.  The only clothing optional beaches in southern Florida are Hobe Sound in Jupiter and Haulover Beach in North Miami.

Contact a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Attorney William Wallshein has more than 38 years of experience, including five years as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County.  Contact William Wallshein P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida to discuss your case.




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