California Penal Code 314 PC

PC 314 – Indecent Exposure

PC 314 - Indecent Exposure

Indecent Exposure – Table of Contents

Why is Indecent Exposure Illegal?

In California, the act of willfully exposing your genitals to somebody else in a public place in order to sexually gratify yourself is called indecent exposure. In order to be convicted of indecent exposure the prosecutor must prove the elements of the crime:

  1. That you willfully exposed your genitals
  2. That you were in the presence of someone who might be offended or annoyed by that action
  3. That you intended to direct public attention to your genitals for the purpose of:
    • Sexually gratifying yourself or someone else, or
    • Sexually offending someone else

If the prosecution can prove these three elements of the crime then you will be charged with CA indecent exposure Penal Code 314. Like all sex crimes in California, indecent exposure is handled strictly and the punishments can be harsh.

If you are a first-time offender of CA indecent exposure Penal Code 314 PC then you will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor and will face:

  • Up to six months in county jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  •  Forced to register as a sex offender for life, in accordance to CA Penal Code 290

There is another form convicted of indecent exposure known as “Aggravated” indecent exposure that requires that you expose yourself in an inhabited home, trailer, or building without permission. This variation of indecent exposure is a wobbler, meaning it can be tried as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The details of the crime and your criminal record are the deciding factors in determining how the prosecutor will charge.

If you are charged with a misdemeanor aggravated indecent exposure the sentencing is the same as mentioned above, however, your county jail sentence will be up to 1-year.

If you are charged with a felony aggravated indecent exposure the sentencing will be as follows:

  • Up to three years in state prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Forced to register as a sex offender for life, in accordance to CA Penal Code 290

If you are a repeat offender of CA Penal Code 314, either aggravated or not you will be charged with a felony and will face the same sentencing as mentioned above.

Prosecuting

As previously mentioned, in order to be convicted of Indecent Exposure CA Penal Code 314 the prosecutor must prove the three elements of the crime:

  1. That you willfully exposed your genitals
  2. That you were in the presence of someone who might be offended or annoyed by that action
  3. That you intended to direct public attention to your genitals for the purpose of:
    • Sexually gratifying yourself or someone else, or
    • Sexually offending someone else

If the prosecution cannot prove these three elements of the crime then you will not be convicted of indecent exposure.

The first element of the crime is that you willfully exposed your genitals; the law defines willfully as deliberately or on purpose. This means that the act of exposing your genitals cannot be an accident. For example, maybe you were at the beach and you were changing from your jeans into your swim shorts and your towel accidentally dropped during the act. Under these circumstances you cannot be charged and convicted with indecent exposure. In order to be convicted of indecent exposure the prosecutor must prove that the act was willful.

The second element of the crime requires that you were in the presence of someone who might be offended or annoyed by the action. This means that you simply need to perform the action in public in front of an audience. This is the easiest element of the crime for the prosecutor to prove because it can be assumed that the majority of people would be annoyed or offended by the act.

The third element of the crime is that you intended to direct public attention to your genitals. This element only requires that you did not accidentally show your genitals, an example of this would be a woman who flashes her breasts to sexually arouse a group of people. The prosecutor must prove that you performed the action to draw attention to yourself, and it was not performed on your own accord in what you thought was a private place.

The final elements of the crime state that the action must be performed to sexually gratify yourself or someone else. This simply means that the prosecution must be sexually driven. The prosecutor must prove that the act was lewd in nature in order to be convicted for indecent exposure.

If the prosecution cannot prove these three elements of the crime then you will not be convicted for indecent exposure.

Defending Indecent Exposure

Luckily there are a myriad of defenses that a skilled criminal defense attorney can utilize to prove your innocence. The most common legal defense for convicted of indecent exposure is lack of evidence. In order for the prosecution to prove that you are guilty and convicted of indecent exposure they need to prove a lot of facts and if they cannot prove all of these facts then you will not be found guilty. It then becomes the issue of your criminal defense attorney to point out the shortcomings of the prosecutors claims to prove your innocence. This can be accomplished by proving that you did not act lewdly or that you did not willfully expose your genitals.

False Accusations for Sex Crimes are Dangerous

False Accusations

Because of the nature of the crime and its ties with other sex crimes it is not uncommon for a sex offender to be wrongfully accused of indecent exposure. Due to the fact that sex offenders have to make their address public it is unfortunate, yet common for people to make false accusations about their behavior.

Mistaken Identity

Another approach your attorney can take is proving that you are not the perpetrator who is accused of the crime. Your attorney can contact witnesses and access records to prove that were not at the location where the incident occurred.

These are just a few common approaches that skilled criminal defense attorneys take when their client is being charged and convicted with indecent exposure, but every case is different and requires a unique approach to proving your innocence. Being convicted of indecent exposure can have a multitude of negative impacts on your life, namely having to register as a sex offender for the entirety of your life. If you or a loved one is facing a CA indecent exposure Penal Code 314 charge then it’s imperative for you to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.

We Want to Help

If you or a loved one is being charged and convicted with Indecent Exposure PC 314 (Indecent Exposure) we invite you to contact us immediately for a free case review. Schedule an appointment to meet with us in person, or feel free to submit an evaluation online and we will get in contact with you ASAP. We can provide a free consultation in our office, or by phone. Our experienced and assiduous Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys will be sure to fight until the end to reduce or drop your charges completely.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

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How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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