Exposure of Sexual Organs
You can be charged with the sex crime of exposure of sexual organs whether you expose your private parts around adults or children. However, prosecutors may pursue a more serious lewd and lascivious exhibition charge if you committed the act in the presence of minors. At Hanlon Law, we understand how frightening it is to be charged with a sex crime, and we strongly believe in the rights of the accused. St. Petersburg sex crime lawyer Will Hanlon can provide a strong defense to a charge of exposure of sexual organs.Exposure of Sexual Organs
Under Florida Statutes section 800.03, you can be criminally charged for exposure of sexual organs if you expose or exhibit your sex organs in public or on somebody else's private property in a vulgar or indecent way. You can also be charged if you expose yourself in a vulgar or indecent way while you can be seen from somebody else's property. There is an exception for places set apart for the purpose of exposure, like a nude beach. There is also an exception for mothers who are breastfeeding their children.
To secure a conviction, a prosecutor needs to establish an exposure or exhibition in a place where it is illegal to do so, and they need to prove that the exposure or exhibition was done vulgarly or indecently. Generally, a prosecutor cannot get a conviction if they cannot prove the correct state of mind. For example, if your sarong fell open accidentally, you would not have exhibited yourself vulgarly or indecently. Similarly, if someone caught sight of you changing in your own home from another apartment, there would not be the right state of mind to prosecute.
However, if you knew that others could see the exposure, the prosecutor might be able to establish this crime. For example, if you stood naked and exposed at your window by a public road, your state of mind might be inferred. This type of indecent exposure is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. That means that you may face a maximum of a year’s imprisonment and $1,000 in fines.
In some cases, it is possible to negotiate with the prosecutor to plead guilty to unnatural and lascivious acts, which is a second-degree misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
However, in other cases, exposure of sexual organs is taken much more seriously because it is done in the presence of minors under the age of 16. When the defendant is over the age of 18 and exposes their genitals in a lascivious way or masturbates in front of a child who is under age 16, the defendant can be charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition or conduct. This second-degree felony can be charged when the exposure occurs in person or online. It carries a potential punishment of 15 years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. You may also need to register as a sex offender.
If you are under the age of 18, this may be charged as a third-degree felony, which is still serious because it carries a potential term of five years’ imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. Unless you fall within the Romeo and Juliet exception, you may need to register as a sex offender. When the exposure occurs as part of a text, it may, however, be charged as sexting, or it may be possible to negotiate a plea deal involving sexting. A first offense of sexting carries no jail time. In other cases, it may be possible to negotiate a plea deal for exposure of sexual organs or unnatural and lascivious acts. As misdemeanor charges, these are less serious.Hire a Capable Sex Crime Attorney in St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg has a relatively large sex offender population. If you are accused of exposure of sexual organs, you should consult an experienced attorney. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has provided strong criminal defense representation to St. Petersburg residents accused of sex crimes for decades and may be able to help. You can call Hanlon Law at 727.289.0222 or complete our online form.