The crime of indecent exposure under Texas law is very serious and can come with a great many false assumptions about your actions and character. What some may consider a prank or a joke can quickly turn into a criminal charge that can derail your life, your employment, and your freedom. Some people simply do not think things through and are left facing a serious criminal charge because of a one-time mistake. You have the right and ability to defend yourself with the help of an experienced defense lawyer.
If you face charges of indecency exposure in Texas, contact an Odessa criminal lawyer to understand your rights and fight a criminal conviction. Your case should be handled by an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to defend your case.
Odessa, Texas Indecency Exposure Lawyer
E. Jason Leach focuses exclusively on criminal defense law and has been doing so for over a decade. Since 2005, he has worked tirelessly to protect the rights of those accused of crimes. He is a Texas board-certified expert in criminal defense and believes that all clients are entitled to the most vigorous defense possible.
People accused of a crime have constitutional rights that deserve to be protected. A criminal conviction can place an incredibly heavy burden on your life, but you do not have to simply accept the charges against you. You can fight back and work to avoid the difficulties of a criminal conviction. With the right help at your side, you can move forward confident that your rights are protected.
Indecent Exposure: What is it?
Texas codifies its indecent exposure law in Texas Penal Code Section 21.08. The law states: “A person commits an offense if he exposes his anus or any part of his genitals with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, and he is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by his act.”
This type of conduct can be very broadly interpreted and can occur in a number of different circumstances. Some examples of when this charge could occur are as follows:
- A girl changes in front of a group of people in order to sexually arouse a group of guys and was reckless about whether they would be offended.
- A young boy streaks at a local football game while fully nude to impress and arouse his female classmates.
- A man flashes his penis at an unsuspecting woman and was reckless about whether she would be alarmed by that conduct.
These are far from the only situations in which this charge could occur but provide an example of the type of conduct that is prohibited.
A person must commit this conduct with the "intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person." Without this level of intent, this offense will not apply (although other charges may). This means that not every occurrence of display of the anus or genitals will constitute indecent exposure.
For example, if a group of college kids was to "moon" passing cars, exposing their anus in the process, this may not be for the purpose of arousing or gratifying anyone's sexual desire. They may not be guilty of indecent exposure under Texas law (but would be disorderly conduct).
Penalties for Indecent Exposure in Texas
Under Texas law, indecent exposure is a Class B misdemeanor offense. Accordingly, it carries the following possible penalties:
- a maximum of up to 180 days (6 months) in jail
- a fine of up to a maximum of $2,000
- possibility of probation or community service
Indecent exposure is considered to a sexual offense and is included in the same section as very serious sexual charges.
Sex Offender Registration
Under Texas law, a first-time offense for indecent exposure does not have a sex offender registration requirement. However, for any second or subsequent offense of indecent exposure, the offender is required to register as a sex offender in the State of Texas.
You will then be required to register as a sex offender for a period of 10 years following discharge from supervision. This conviction and registration will also show up on your criminal record, and will very likely affect the types of employment and special licensure you will be able to have. Many employers will not hire someone that is a registered sex offender, or even a person that simply has a criminal history.
How to Defend Your Case
There are many ways to challenge the case against you depending on your specific circumstances. With these strong defenses to aid you, you can face down the charges. These include, but are far from limited to:
- filing a suppression motion to exclude certain evidence
- presenting reasonable doubt to the jury
- demonstrating inconsistencies in the prosecutor's case
- demonstrating that the alleged "victim" has been untruthful in his or her testimony
- showing that there was no intent to gratify your or another's sexual desires
- demonstrate that you were not reckless in the company of others
Defending your case is incredibly important. Never assume you are guilty just because you are charged with a crime. The prosecutor is required to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, a high and difficult burden. A strong defense can result in a reduction of the charges against, or could also result in a complete acquittal through a finding of not guilty. Do not allow an overzealous prosecutor to convince you that there is no hope in fighting the charges against you.
Consult an Experienced Odessa Indecency Exposure Lawyer
If you or someone you care about want is charged with a charge of indecency with a child in Odessa, TX or the surrounding areas, you need a knowledgeable, experienced attorney to fight for your constitutional rights.
You have the right to fight back against these charges. The Law Office of E. Jason Leach, PLLC is ready to help you defend your case. To set up a free consultation, contact the Law Office of E. Jason Leach today at (432) 552-7000.