Penalties for Indecent Exposure and Lascivious Exhibition
While many exposure crimes are misdemeanor offenses, indecent acts committed in the presence of children can lead to felony sex crime charges. The specific punishment for indecent exposure will depend on the facts of your case, especially who was able to view your actions.
Indecent Exposure to Victims Over 16
Under Florida Statute § 800.03, it's unlawful for a person to expose or exhibit their sexual organs in public or on private premises near to public view, in a vulgar or indecent manner, or to be naked in public except in places provided for that purpose.
Indecent exposure in Florida is a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face the following penalties:
- Up to one year in jail
- Up to 12 months of probation
- Fines up to $1,000
- A criminal record showing the charge of Exposure of Sexual Organs
It's important to note that the law does not prosecute instances of nudity where there is no lewd or sexual intent, such as breastfeeding, public urination, and accidental clothing slips. In addition, intentional nudity is permitted in public areas designated explicitly for that purpose, such as nudist resorts or nude beaches.
Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition to Victims Under 16 in Florida
Exposing your genitals to a victim under 16 years old is charged as lewd or lascivious exhibition, a felony offense. Under Florida Statute § 800.04, it is illegal to intentionally expose one's sexual organs in a lewd or lascivious manner, intentionally masturbate, or knowingly commit other sexual acts that don't involve making physical contact with a victim.
Penalties for lewd or lascivious exhibition vary considerably for:
- Offenders under 18. If a person under 18 displays their genitals to an alleged victim under 16 years old, they could be charged with a third-degree felony. These crimes are punishable by up to 5 years in prison, fines up to $5,000, or both.
- Offenders over 18. If a person 18 years of age or older displays their genitals to an alleged victim under 16, they face a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, fines up to $10,000, or both. If the offender was a public employee and committed the offense through an abuse of power, privileges, duties, or position, the offender may forfeit their retirement benefits upon conviction.
Updated Laws Allow Warrantless Arrests in Florida
In 2020, Florida enacted HB 675 to make it easier to prosecute people who violate indecent exposure laws. First, it gave police officers the authority to arrest someone for indecent exposure solely on probable cause—a warrant is no longer necessary. Second, it increased the criminal penalties for repeat offenses of exposure of sexual organs, making a second or subsequent act of indecent exposure into a third-degree felony.
Convictions for sexual offenses can have effects that go far beyond a prison sentence. Once you have been convicted of lewd conduct toward a minor, your criminal record cannot be sealed, and you may have to register as a sex offender. This can make it extremely difficult to obtain housing, get a job, go to college, or travel without severe restrictions. The social stigma of being a sex offender can significantly impact your reputation, friendships, and quality of life.
Get the Help You Need After Being Charged With a Sex Crime From Our Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys
Board-certified criminal trial attorney Robert David Malove can help if you have been charged with indecent exposure. Our firm provides affordable payment plans and aggressive defense services to get the most favorable outcome in your case. Contact us online or call us today at 954-861-0384 for a free consultation on your case. Even if you decide not to retain us, learning your options will cost you nothing.