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Indecent Exposure Charge - OC PC 314 Attorney

Indecent Exposure Charge - PC 314 Attorney

California law defines Penal Code 314, Indecent Exposure, as:

"PC 314

Every person who willfully and lewdly, either:

  1. Exposes his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed thereby; or,
  2. Procures, counsels, or assists any person so to expose himself or take part in any model artist exhibition, or to make any other exhibition of himself to public view, or the view of any number of persons, such as is offensive to decency, or is adapted to excite to vicious or lewd thoughts or acts,

is guilty of a misdemeanor."

This means that if someone exposes their private parts to someone in any public place for the purpose of offending others or for sexual gratification, is guilty of the crime of indecent exposure.

What are examples of indecent exposure in California?

  • A person flashes someone at a bus stop after opening their long raincoat while having no clothes underneath
  • A couple being naked in their car when a jogger or officer passes by and openly sees them naked
  • A woman shows her breasts at a ballgame to someone on the stands so they can get either offended or aroused 

How does the law define private parts?

Private parts must be totally bare, not in underwear to be deemed exposed.  Generally speaking, private parts for females include breast where nipples are showing, anus and vagina.  Private parts for men include the anus, penis and testicles.  Men's breasts are not considered private parts.  The rule of thumb is what is covered at the beach, as long as it's not a nudist beach.  

What are examples of a public place?

A public place is one which is not privately owned by an individual or company.  It's a place designated for the public.  Common examples of public places are:

  • Streets
  • Beaches
  • Parks
  • Highways
  • Public Libraries
  • (Exception to public ownership) Private places where the mass public is allowed to enter such as stores, hospitals and schools

What does sexual gratification mean?

Sexual gratification does not mean orgasm.  It does not mean either party was sexually aroused either.  It simply means that there was a sexual thought or intent of sexual gratification.  It can be thought of as getting a little "sexual kick."  

Does anyone have to be sexually gratified to be guilty of indecent exposure?

No, no one has to be sexually gratified, because it says "sexual gratification or offense."  If someone was offended or could've been offended from the indecent exposure, then it's enough.  

What are the defense to indecent exposure charge in California?

  • There was no exposure of private parts
  • There was no one around or you didn't know of other being around or who could have been offended
  • It wasn't you--they have the wrong person

What are the penalties or punishment for indecent exposure in California?

Indecent exposure is a wobbler in California.  That mean the district attorney can charge it as a Felony or Misdemeanor.

Misdemeanor Indecent Exposure, PC 314 Penalties:

  • 0-180 days in Jail
  • Up to $1,000 in Fines
  • Register as a Sex Offender for a minimum of 10 years per Penal Code 290

Felony Indecent Exposure for "aggravated" exposure or repeat offense.

Felony PC 314(1) Penalties:

  • 1 year 4months, or 2 years or 3 years
  • Up to $10,000 in Fines
  • Crimes of Moral Turpitude for immigration
  • Firearms Restrictions
  • Public Office Restrictions
  • Jury Service Restrictions

Misdemeanor Aggravated (Entering a private structure or residence and committing indecent exposure) Indecent Exposure:

  • 1 year 4months, or 2 years or 3 years
  • Up to $10,000 in Fines
  • Register as a Sex Offender for up to 10 years 

*Failure to register as a Sex Offender when ordered to do so is a crimes, and carries penalties for the failure to register as a sex offender. 

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