In the state of Florida, it is a crime to reveal your sexual organs in a public setting or in front of unwitting participants. Exposing your genitals or sexual organs either in person or, in certain cases, over the Internet, is classified as the crime of “indecent exposure” in the state of Florida.
A charge of indecent exposure is normally a misdemeanor charge, but if you engage in certain types of lewd exposure involving minors, then the charges can rise to the level of a felony. In either case, it is very important to get legal help to avoid the public shame, damage to your reputation and criminal penalties that go along with a conviction for indecent exposure. The Florida sex crimes lawyers at Musca Law have helped residents throughout Florida, including in Orlando, Tallahassee, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers, to deal with their indecent exposure charges in a proactive way that minimizes or avoids the consequences of conviction.
Florida Indecent Exposure Laws
In the state of Florida, there are several different laws related to indecent exposure:
- Florida Statute 800.03 makes it a first-degree misdemeanor to “expose or exhibit” your sexual organs in a public place, on someone’s private property, or near to someone’s property where you can be seen. Showing your sexual organs in a lewd, vulgar or indecent manner or being naked in public in undesignated places is also a first-degree misdemeanor.
- Florida Statute 800.04 makes it a second-degree felony for someone over 18 to intentionally masturbate or expose the genitals in a lewd manner in front of someone who is under age 16. This exhibitionism is also illegal if it occurs over the Internet. Those under 18 who commit the same offense are charged with a third degree felony.
A first-degree misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year of jail time as well as a fine of up to $1,000. A third degree felony can result in up to five years of incarceration and a $5,000 fine. Finally, a second-degree felony can result in up to 15 years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine. You will also have a criminal record that can follow you for life if convicted of an indecent exposure offense and, in certain cases when your behavior involved minors, you may be required to register as a sex offender.
Because of the serious charges and the serious penalties you face for indecent exposure, it is advisable to consult with a criminal defense attorney that has experience with Florida sex crimes. Your lawyer may be able to help you to introduce reasonable doubt as to your guilt, allowing you to avoid conviction.
Your lawyer may also help you to raise defenses including lack of intent or entrapment, or may assist you in negotiating a plea bargain when there are no defenses available. In some cases, you can also avoid jail time or a permanent criminal record through entering into a first-time offender program. To have the best chance of achieving a favorable outcome from your indecent exposure charges, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer right away.