Under Texas law, it’s illegal for any person to expose themselves on public property or property not owned by the individual. This act is referred to as indecent exposure, which carries significant penalties. A conviction for indecent exposure will result in a misdemeanor on the individual’s record. They will also have to face sentencing for the crime which could include heavy fines and possible jail time. Not to mention, the negative stigma the defendant may face post-conviction while looking for employment or housing due to their criminal record.
Indecent exposure can take on various forms under the Texas Penal Code. Actions such as mooning, flashing people, or peeing in public can be seen as acts of indecent exposure—despite the fact most of the actions are harmless and non-violent. If you or someone you know has been arrested for an indecent exposure offense, contact the experienced legal team at The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski.
Austin Indecent Exposure Lawyer, TX | Travis County, Sex Crimes
Many people make the mistake of not taking an indecent exposure charge seriously before it’s too late. The crime, while relatively innocuous, can result in expensive conviction fines and even time in jail. For that reason, we highly encourage you to contact The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski for legal representation as soon as possible. Our highly experienced legal team can immediately begin working on your case.
We understand what defenses are effective and efficient when it comes to indecent exposure cases. Call today at The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski to schedule your first consultation or simply submit an online contact form. The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in Austin and Georgetown but accepts clients throughout many counties in Texas including Travis County, Williamson County, Bell County, Bastrop County, Burnett County, Hays County, Caldwell County, Blanco County, Lee County, Milam County, Hays County, and Caldwell County.
- Definition of Indecent Exposure in Texas
- Penalties for Indecent Exposure
- Statute of Limitations for Indecent Exposure
- Crimes Similar to Indecent Exposure
- Additional Resources
Definition of Indecent Exposure in Texas
The State of Texas has banned residents and visitors from exposing themselves publicly in an indecent manner. Violation of this law listed under the Texas Penal Code Section 21.08 could result in expensive conviction fines and a possible jail sentence. According to the Penal Code, an individual can be charged with indecent exposure if they did all of the following:
- The alleged defendant exposed their genitals, female breast, or anus
- The exposure by the defendant was willful and done with sexual intent
- The act occurred in a public place
- The exposure happened in the presence of another person
It’s important to note, that sexual intent is not always required to convict a person of indecent exposure. Individual could still face charges if they expose themselves or commit a similar act and they are aware their conduct could alarm or offend another person. Listed below are some common examples of indecent exposure under Texas law.
- Flashing any sexual organ including breasts
- Sunbathing topless
- Mooning another person or exposing the anus in public
- Urinating in public
Please note, the exception to this rule is any mother breastfeeding their child in public. Any instance of this will not be considered a criminal offense.
Penalties for Indecent Exposure
The consequences for indecent exposure will depend on the facts of the case. A first-time offender will face a class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by:
- Up to 180 days in jail
- A fine of up to $2,000
Any repeat offenders will face the same penalties as well as required registration as a sex offender. They will have to register with a local law enforcement authority for a period of 10 years until they are no longer obligated to register.
Statute of Limitations for Indecent Exposure
The District and State Attorney in Texas must follow a deadline known as a statute of limitations. Essentially, a statute of limitations is a time limit for prosecutors who wish to file criminal charges against a certain person. These limitations exist in an effort to ensure a speedy trial occurs and the integrity of the evidence is preserved.
Since indecent exposure is a misdemeanor, then the statute of limitations for prosecutors is two years. If the prosecutors wait past that deadline, they will be barred from filing charges.
Crimes Similar to Indecent Exposure
It’s not uncommon for Texas prosecutors to pair indecent exposure charges with a count of public lewdness. Under Texas law, public lewdness is defined as any sexual act where the individual recklessly engages in certain sexual conduct in public. According to Texas Penal Code Section 21.07, a person can be charged with public lewdness if they engage in:
- Sexual intercourse, which is where a male sex organ penetrates a female sex organ
- Deviate sexual intercourse, which is any contact between any parts of the genitals, sex organs, of one person and the mouth or anus of another person, or the penetration of the genitals or anus of another person with an object
- An act of sexual conduct, which is defined as the touching of the anus, breast, and or genitals with intent to arouse or gratify a sexual desire
- Any act involving contact between the defendant’s mouth or genitals and the anus or genitals of an animal
The penalty for public lewdness is a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, and a possible fine of up to $4,000.
Sexual Offenses | Texas Penal Code – Visit the official website for Texas Penal Code, to learn more information about sex offenses under State law. Access the site to learn the elements for sex crimes such as public lewdness, indecent exposure, bestiality, and more.
Texas Sex Offender Registration Program – Visit the official website for the Texas Department of Public Safety to learn Texas Sex Offender Registration Program, which some repeat indecent exposure defendants must register with as a part of their sentencing. Here you can find more information on the TXDPS law requirements for sex offenders, public notification system, and how the TXDPS functions.
Indecent Exposure Attorney, Travis County TX
If you or someone you know has been arrested for indecent exposure or any other sex crime, call The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski. A conviction for indecent exposure could have a significant impact on a person’s life, including affecting their ability to gain employment and housing. Do what is best for your future by retaining and getting the legal advice from skilled defense lawyer Jackson Gorski.
Schedule your first consultation with The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski by calling the firm at 512-960-4646 or simply submitting an online contact form. The Law Office of Jackson F. Gorski has offices in both Austin and Georgetown, Texas.