Dallas Indecent Exposure Attorneys
Defending Those Charged with Indecent Exposure in Dallas, Texas
A simple mistake, a momentary lapse in judgment, or even a misunderstanding should not result in life-altering consequences. Whether you find yourself facing criminal indecent exposure charges due to a genuine error or wrongful accusations, it is important to remember indecent exposure charges must be taken seriously. Even though it may appear to be a minor offense compared to other crimes, the repercussions can be significant. Seeking strong legal representation when you have been charged with any type of sex crime is always in your best interest.
At the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, our Dallas indecent exposure lawyers understand how to strategically approach these charges, no matter the circumstances. We are committed to building the strongest possible legal defense and are ready to pursue all viable strategies. Our team has successfully handled thousands of cases and will leverage the full extent of our firm’s resources as we advocate for you. With us by your side, you can expect a relentless advocate who will work tirelessly to protect your rights and safeguard your future.
A mistake or misunderstanding should not define you! If you are facing indecent exposure charges, schedule a confidential consultation by calling (214) 238-9392 or contacting us online.
What Is Indecent Exposure?
In the state of Texas, indecent exposure is defined by Section 21.08 of the Texas Penal Code. Indecent exposure occurs when a person exposes any portion of their genitals for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person (including themselves), and they are reckless about whether another person is present who could be offended or alarmed by their actions. A person of any sex can commit indecent exposure.
Put in simpler terms, someone commits indecent exposure when:
- They expose any portion of their genitals, and
- They did so to sexually arouse themselves or sexually arouse someone else, and
- They were reckless about whether their actions would offend someone who could see it
To be clear, indecent exposure does not refer to a situation where someone exposes their genitals to another consenting adult – or even adults, plural – in private. If all involved parties are adults and consent to the exposure, no crime has occurred.
It can be helpful to consider some real-world examples of behavior that would likely be considered indecent exposure under the law:
- A boy disrobes and exposes himself while changing in front of a group of girls with the goal of arousing them (and himself). He recklessly fails to consider that they may not be aroused and are instead offended by his behavior.
- A man “flashes” his genitals to a random woman on the street with the goal of arousing himself. He does not consider or care about whether the woman will be alarmed or offended.
- A woman “streaks” at an athletic event with the goal of arousing a group of boys in the stands. While the boys are receptive to the streaking, the woman recklessly fails to take into account that the other men and women in the audience may be offended by her actions.
While the above examples illustrate scenarios where the prosecution may have a strong case against the accused, the reality is that many indecent exposure cases are much murkier. You could be arrested and charged even if you were clearly not exposing yourself for sexual reasons or acting without any regard for others’ comfort. Our Dallas indecent exposure attorneys understand what elements the prosecution needs to prove to obtain a conviction. This includes demonstrating you exposed yourself for purposes of sexual arousal or gratification and that you did so recklessly.
Penalties for Indecent Exposure in Texas
Though indecent exposure is only charged as a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, a conviction can still carry severe penalties. Even a first-time offender could face up to 180 days of jail time and up to $2,000 in fines.
Repeat offenders may receive more significant punishments. A second offense will be prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor, and the penalties can include up to 1 year of jail time and up to $4,000 in fines. A third or subsequent offense will be prosecuted as a state jail felony and carry punishments of up to two years of jail time and up to $10,000 in fines.
If the alleged act of indecent exposure involves a minor under the age of 17, the offense could be charged as indecency with a child by exposure, which is a third-degree felony. A conviction can lead to a minimum of 2 years in prison, a maximum of 10 years in prison, and fines of up to $10,000.
Repeat offenders and individuals convicted of indecency with a child by exposure will typically be required to register as a sex offender for at least 10 years. Sex offender registration will appear on most background checks, meaning sex offenders have a far more difficult time securing housing and professional opportunities.
As you can see, despite sometimes being labeled as a “minor” crime, indecent exposure is no laughing matter. A first-time conviction can throw your life into disarray, which is why you need our experienced Dallas indecent exposure lawyers on your side.
Legal Defenses for Indecent Exposure Charges in Texas
There are potentially multiple ways to defend against indecent exposure charges. How we will approach your defense will depend on the specifics of what happened and the available evidence.
Possible defense strategies could include:
- Proving Lack of Sexual Intent. Again, to be guilty of indecent exposure, there must be evidence that demonstrates beyond a reasonable doubt that you specifically exposed your genitals for the purposes of arousing yourself or someone else. If we can prove that your actions were not of a sexual nature, you cannot be convicted of this specific crime. You could instead have your charges reduced to the applicable offense, such as public urination, or we may be able to get the charges dropped entirely.
- Proving You Did Not Act Recklessly. Even if your actions were indisputably of a sexual nature, the prosecution must also prove that you recklessly failed to consider whether another person could become alarmed or offended by the exposure. If we can show that you took steps to prevent others from seeing your genitals, you cannot be convicted of indecent exposure.
- Demonstrating Intoxication. If we can show you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time the alleged exposure occurred, we may be able to show that you were not fully aware of what you were doing or that you were not in complete control of your faculties. This strategy can lead to other charges, however, such as drug possession or public intoxication, so we will generally only explore this approach if absolutely necessary.
- Demonstrate the Alleged Victim Is Being Untruthful. While uncomfortable to consider, there are situations where you may expose your genitals to someone who claims they consent, only to change their mind and claim you did something inappropriate later on. If the alleged victim consented at the time of the exposure, then you have not committed a crime, and we will present all evidence that can be used to prove this.
These are just a few of the potential strategies available in these cases. When you choose the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC, we will carefully review the facts of your case and walk you through your defense options. No matter what happened, our Dallas indecent exposure attorneys will fight to deliver the best possible outcome and will be there to support you every step of the way.
If you were recently charged with indecent exposure, do not wait to discuss your case with a legal professional. Call (214) 238-9392 or contact us online today.
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