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Overview of indecent exposure laws

People in California could be charged with indecent exposure if they expose their genitals in public. To convict someone of indecent exposure, the prosecution must be able to prove that the defendant's actions were willful and meant to be lewd or obscene. Accidentally exposing one's genitals is not considered a sex crime because it is not intentional.

Typically, indecent exposure must occur in a public place in order for the prosecution to establish that the defendant had specific intent. The prosecution may attempt to prove that the defendant was trying to direct the attention of others towards their genitals. A person may be charged for indecent exposure whether or not they were completely nude.

In certain circumstances, a person may be charged for indecent exposure after an incident on private property. Private property may be considered a public place if the defendant entered the property without an invitation and then exposed his or her genitals. Indecent exposure is normally a misdemeanor if it is a first offense and a felony if it is a second offense. If a defendant has a prior conviction for another type of sex crime, a first offense of indecent exposure could be a felony.

A lawyer may be able to help someone who has been charged for indecent exposure to dispute the charge. One of the defense strategies that a lawyer could use is arguing that the defendant was using artistic expression without any lewd intent. A lawyer may also argue that the alleged illegal sexual conduct was completely unintentional and out of the defendant's control.

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