Montana Indecent Exposure Laws

In most states, indecent exposure laws make it a crime to display your genitals in public under circumstances that would be likely cause others to be alarmed or offended. Montana's indecent exposure law also requires that the act be done in order to harass another person, or for the offender's own sexual pleasure. Indecent exposure is a serious offense in Montana and is classified as a sex crime. The table below outlines Montana's indecent exposure law.

Code Section

Montana Code section 45-5-504: Indecent Exposure

What's Prohibited?

Knowingly or purposefully exposing the person's genitals under circumstances in which the person knows the conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm in order to:
  • Abuse, humiliate, harass, or degrade another, or
  • Arouse or gratify the person's own sexual response or desire or the sexual response or desire of any person

Penalties

Punishable by a fine of up to $500, and/or imprisonment in jail for up to one year.
  • For a second conviction: Punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, and/or imprisonment for up to one year.
  • For a third (or subsequent) conviction: Punishable by life imprisonment, or by imprisonment for a term of between five and 100 years, and by a fine of up to $10,000.

Sex Offender Registry

Federal law requires each state to maintain a registry for tracking convicted sex offenders within the state. Montana's Sexual or Violent Offender Registry requires various sex offenders, including some indecent exposure offenders, to register. Indecent exposure offenders are required to register in the following circumstances:

  • If the victim of an indecent exposure act is less than 18 years old and the offender is 18 years old or older, or
  • If this is the offender's third (or subsequent) conviction for indecent exposure

Public Urination

Can public urination count as an act of indecent exposure in Montana? The answer is probably not. While urinating in public does generally involve a person purposefully exposing their genitals in public, it is unlikely that the act would be done for the purpose of abusing another person, or to gratify the actor's own sexual desires.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Montana's indecent exposure laws contact a local criminal defense lawyer.

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