Hyatt & Hyatt has attorneys with both knowledge and experience in dealing with all levels of Criminal Offenses, including all levels of Sexual Offenses. Indecent Exposure is one of only a few Criminal Offenses that carries a misdemeanor punishment range found within Chapter 21 of the Texas Penal Code. This is significant, as Chapter 21 deals exclusively with Sexual Offenses.
Indecent Exposure Defined
Indecent Exposure, as defined by Section 21.08 of the Texas Penal Code, is committed when a person exposes his anus or any part of his genitals with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person and he is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by his act. A direct link to the statutory language of this offense can be found here. The offense of Indecent exposure is a Class B misdemeanor.
Indecent exposure cases can be problematic as the person to whom the exposure is directed is not an essential element of the crime. For example, if an individual exposes themselves to an individual, and that specific individual is not offended, the Defendant is not off the hook. Caselaw indicates that it is irrelevant whether the person that a Defendant exposes himself to is offended, the issue is whether the defendant was reckless about whether another was present who would be offended. Conduct that some might consider harmless but others deem offensive (mooning) can potentially land Defendants in hot water.
Collateral Consequences of Indecent Exposure
While the punishment range of Indecent Exposure is limited to that of a misdemeanor, the possible implications of a conviction for this offense go beyond that of the potential embarrassment associated with this charge. A collateral consequence of multiple convictions for Indecent Exposure is a requirement that Defendants register as Sex Offenders. While a second conviction for Indecent Exposure carries with it the requirement to Register as a Sex Offender, this might be avoided by being placed on Deferred Probation for the second violation.