Florida Indecent Exposure Laws
Overview of Florida Indecent Exposure Laws
Florida indecent exposure laws prohibit the display, exhibition, or exposure of an individual's sexual organs in a public place or while in public view. To prosecute a defendant for indecent exposure, the state prosecutor must establish the defendant's unlawful intent, the act of exposure, and the location of the act.
The state law regarding indecent exposure requires the prosecutor to prove the defendant's lascivious, lewd, or indecent intent. Nudity, public undress, or an exposed body part without the required intent or state of mind generally does not qualify as indecent exposure. For example, an accidental clothing slip or "wardrobe malfunction" likely lacks the required intent for a criminal prosecution. Public nudity on a beach or public urination also likely does not qualify as indecent exposure if the state cannot establish the individual's lascivious intent.
A state prosecutor must also prove that the defendant displayed a sexual organ in public. The prosecutor can meet this requirement by showing that the defendant engaged in the activity while in a public place or on private premises belonging to someone else. Florida state laws also allow for the prosecution of an indecent exposure occurring in a private place belonging to the defendant, however, if the defendant knew that others would be able to see the exposure. For example, the state might prosecute an individual who displayed his sexual organs while standing at a window within his own home.
Defenses to Indecent Exposure Charges
- Lack of lascivious, lewd, or vulgar intent
- Mother breastfeeding her baby
Penalties and Sentences
Florida state laws prosecute indecent exposure as a first degree misdemeanor. A conviction may result in a sentence of imprisonment for up to one (1) year, a fine in an amount up to $1,000, or both. However, if you engage in certain types of lewd exposure involving minors under the age of 16, then the charges can rise to the level of a felony.
Florida Indecent Exposure Statute
Note: 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.