Florida Sex Crimes: Exposure of Sex Organs
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Sometimes a seemingly innocent act can lead a person to unexpected consequences. This is occasionally the case with indecent exposure charges.
If you are accused of behaving in a vulgar or indecent manner, the impact may include steep fines, incarceration, strained relationships, and damage to your reputation within the community. With the help of an experienced indecent exposure Florida attorney, you can potentially combat unfounded charges and avoid the outcome.
What an Indecent Exposure Florida Attorney Can Do for You
Regardless of the situation surrounding your indecent exposure charge, you will need an attorney to guide you through the legal process and help you protect your rights, particularly the right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment. In an indecent exposure case, the burden to prove the exposure, the intent to gratify sexual desire, and disregard for others falls on the prosecution.
A good defense team will build a strategy to establish reasonable doubt. Some specific reasons you may need an attorney for an indecent exposure charge include:
- Felony charges: Most cases involve misdemeanors. If you face felony charges, the stakes are substantially higher if convicted, including possible prison or jail time and sex offender registration.
- Lesser punishment: If the prosecutor offers a plea bargain, you need an attorney to advise on whether you should take it or fight the charges.
- Invalid charges: If your actions meet indecent exposure qualifications, you want an attorney to help you prove it.
The advantage of having an indecent exposure Florida lawyer is that they have experience in similar situations that can inform their strategy for your case.
Situations That May Lead to Indecent Exposure Charges
Many circumstances can lead to indecent exposure charges. Sadly, some may result in intense legal battles to prove innocence. Some common examples of situations where these charges may arise include:
- Sunbathing in the nude
- Engaging in sexual activity in public
- Flashing or streaking in public
- Exposing sexual organs to a minor
- Skinny dipping
In extreme cases, wearing extremely revealing clothing can be considered indecent exposure and result in charges. Consider some common questions about indecent exposure charges and how they may apply to your lawsuit.
Is Public Urination an Indecent Exposure Offense?
In Florida, the prosecution may charge you for urinating in public, but they will likely not have the evidence to convict you. A critical element of proving indecent exposure is the existence of prurient or sexual overtones to the act. Urinating is not inherently a sexual act and is typically not intended to be a lewd or lascivious exhibition. Often, police who arrest and charge people with indecent exposure for this reason simply do not understand the law.
Can the Police Arrest You for Indecent Exposure if You Did Not Know Someone Could See You?
An intent to sexually arouse or receive sexual gratification by exposing sexual organs must exist. The police may arrest you, but you would likely not face conviction or penalties for indecent exposure if you did not know anyone could see you.
For example, if walking around nude in the apartment of a high-rise building with no other facilities at the same level, you likely would not expect anyone to see you. However, if the police arrested you because someone saw, an indecent exposure Florida attorney would probably argue that you did not intend to harm anyone or behave in an indecent manner.
What Are Florida Indecent Exposure Laws?
Section 800.03 of Florida statutes addressing the elements of indecent exposure:
- The accused exposed their sexual organs.
- The exposure occurred in a public place or on or near another person’s private property where they could see the act.
- The accused’s intention was an offensive, crude, lewd, or lascivious exhibition.
- The accused enacted the exposure in an indecent, vulgar, lewd, or lascivious manner.
Without evidence supporting one or more of these elements, an indecent exposure Florida attorney can build a strong defense against the charges.
Possible Defenses If You Are Charged with Indecent Exposure in Florida
During your initial phone case, the attorney will discuss the key elements of the case. Then they will schedule your office appointment, where you can divulge details about the incident, the nature of your intent, and other facts about the case. They will explain the charges, the potential punishments you could face, and the strategy they may employ to combat them.
Common defenses for an indecent exposure charge in Florida include the following:
- Lack of intent: Unintentionally exposing your sex organs does not warrant indecent exposure. For example, hiding behind something in public to deal with a broken zipper does not display an intent of vulgarity, sexual contact, or lewdness.
- Unawareness of the presence of other people: Whether you exposed intimate parts in your home or in public, your attorney could argue you did not know others could see you under certain circumstances. This is a reliable argument when no one was reasonably likely to see you.
- Mental illness: Mental disabilities and diseases are common and can lead people to act in ways they otherwise would not. Sometimes people suffering from mental challenges are unaware of how their actions may impact others.
- Lack of exposure: A valid indecent exposure charge requires nudity. Wearing revealing clothing or showing your undergarments in public does not warrant even a misdemeanor, and your attorney can argue that you never exposed yourself.
- Intoxication: If you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the exposure occurred, your attorney may argue that you were not completely aware of your actions when the incident occurred.
Using the intoxication defense may not entirely absolve you of all criminal penalties either.
However, your attorney could use it to mitigate the damages and reduce the punishment. It all depends on the situation surrounding the incident. Therefore, being forthcoming with the details during your attorney meeting is crucial to avoid long-lasting consequences.
Contact an Indecent Exposure Florida Attorney for a Consultation
With over 25 years of experience defending people with allegations of serious indecent acts or exposure, there is little the team at Mike G Law has not seen. During your initial appointment, we discuss the facts about your case, possible charges, and a strategy for approaching the claims. To speak with an indecent exposure Florida lawyer about the details of your case, contact Mike G Law today.
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