If a person exposes himself or herself in Texas, they are committing a criminal offense. An indecent exposure offense is serious under Texas law. A conviction for indecent exposure may result in a misdemeanor, which can include heavy fines and possible jail time. This doesn’t even include the negative social reaction that can arise from the offense.
Indecent exposure can take many forms. Publicly exposing genitalia, mooning, or flashing other people can all be considered indecent exposure. Any person who has been charged with indecent exposure should seek an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Houston Attorney for Indecent Exposure in Texas
Being charged with indecent exposure is nothing to laugh at. Even if the crime originates from harmless antics, the criminal charges still remain. If you or someone you know has been charged with indecent exposure, it’s vital that you gain trusted legal representation.
Attorney Brian Benken is skilled at defending those accused of indecent public acts in Texas. He has years of experience formulating effective and efficient defenses for sex offenses. Brian Benken will fight for your rights in court. Find an attorney who can help navigate you through these confusing legal issues. Contact Brian Benken today at (713) 223 - 4051.
The Benken Law Firmdefends those accused of indecent exposure throughout all parts of Harris County and surrounding counties including Houston, Pasadena, Houston Heights, Meyerland, and Bellaire.
Get ahead and call us now at (713) 223 - 4051 for a free consultation.
Overview for Indecent Exposure in Texas
- Elements for Indecent Exposure
- Penalties for Indecent Exposure
- Public Lewdness
- Statute of Limitations
- Additional Resources
Elements for Indecent Exposure in Houston, Texas
Texas law prohibits people from exposing certain body parts in public. Areas of the body that are considered sexual or inappropriate must be covered. Some examples of body parts that are considered inappropriate in public include the buttocks, genitals, and female breasts.
For the prosecution to convict a person of indecent exposure, the State must prove certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements include:
- That the alleged offender exposed their buttocks, genitals, or female breasts;
- The exposure was willful and with a sexual intent;
- The exposure happened in a public place; and
- The exposure was in the presence of another.
Texas Penalties for Indecent Exposure
A first-time indecent exposure conviction will result in a Class B misdemeanor. The penalty for a Class B misdemeanor is up to 180 days in county jail, and a possible fine of up to $2,000. A skilled attorney can collect evidence for your case and assess what legal options may reduce or dismiss your charges.
According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 62.001(F), repeat offenders may be required to register with Texas’s sex offender registry. Registered sex offenders may have difficulty obtaining employment, finding housing, and may have their status alerted to their neighbors.
Public Lewdness in Houston, Texas
A common offense paired with indecent exposure is public lewdness. Public lewdness is when a person recklessly engages in certain sexual acts in a public place. The following are different sexual actions a person can do in public to be charged with public lewdness in Texas.
- Sexual contact
- Sexual intercourse
- Deviate sexual intercourse.
Texas law defines “sexual contact” as any touching of the breast, anus, or genitals of another person. The term “sexual intercourse” is defined as any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ. “Deviate sexual intercourse” is defined under Texas law as any of the following:
- Penetration of the anus or the genitals of another with an object;
- Contact between any part of a person’s genitals and another person’s mouth or anus.
The penalty for public lewdness is a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 12 months in Harris County jail, and a possible fine of up to $4,000.
Statute of Limitations
Prosecutors only have a certain amount of time to file criminal charges against an alleged offender. This is referred to as a statue of limitations. A crime’s statute of limitations begins at the moment the crime was discovered.
The purpose of a statute of limitations is to preserve evidence integrity such as eyewitness testimony. It also encourages prosecutors to file criminal charges so cases are handled in a timely manner. Since indecent exposure and public lewdness are misdemeanors, both of their statutes of limitations are two years.
Texas Sexual Offenses – Visit the official website for Texas Penal Code, a collection of state laws and legislation. Find more information about sex offenses such as public lewdness, indecent exposure, bestiality, and indecent exposure to a child.
Texas Sex Offender Registration Program – Visit the official website for the Texas Department of Public Safety and learn more about the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program. Here you can find more information on the TXDPS public notification system, law requirements for sex offenders, and how the TXDPS functions.
Indecent Exposure Lawyer in Houston, Texas
Indecent exposure may seem inconsequential during the act, but Texas law states otherwise. A conviction for indecent exposure can result in criminal charges and even required registration with the sex offender database. Do what is best for your future contact the attorneys at The Benken Law Firm now.
Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm has extensive knowledge and experience with sex offense cases. He has a passion for criminal defense and wants to use it to fight for your rights. It is time to do what is best for you. Contact Brian Benken at (713) 223 - 4051 today.
Attorney Brian Benken practices law throughout all parts of Harris County including Westchase, River Oaks, Memorial Area, Midtown, and Houston Heights.
Call Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm or simply submit an online contact form for a free consultation.
This article was last updated on October 12, 2018.