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Understanding how serious indecent exposure charges are

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2024 | Criminal Law |

Indecent exposure may not strike you as a serious criminal offense, but it carries very real legal consequences. In Oklahoma, intentionally revealing private parts in a lewd manner is punishable by prison time and hefty fines. A conviction could take away your freedom or ruin your name. To protect yourself, it’s crucial to understand what you are up against.

What is and is not indecent exposure

Each state has its own definition of what indecent exposure is. In Oklahoma, actions that involve the willful lewd exposure of your person or genitals in any public place or in any place where there are people who may be offended or annoyed.

In simple terms, the prosecution must show that you exposed yourself on purpose to someone who did not want to see it. Accidentally revealing your private parts, such as when your loose shorts fall down, may not fall under indecent exposure. In addition, you may not be guilty if there was no one around to see your exposure.

Here are a few acts that may result in a violation:

  • Flashing genitalia
  • Masturbating in public
  • Engaging in sexual activities in a car
  • Displaying full nudity at a beach where it is not allowed

In this state, urinating in public is a separate offense. As long as it is not performed with a sexual act, it should not qualify as indecent exposure.

The consequences of indecent exposure

If you are guilty of indecent exposure, you could face a fine of up to $20,000, a jail sentence of thirty days to ten years or both.

As a level one sex offense, there is also the risk of landing yourself in the sex offender registry after serving your sentence. For many, this is the most severe consequence, as it means limited opportunities for work and housing.

Don’t let a momentary lapse in judgment take away your freedom and future. Indecent exposure charges are no laughing matter. If this is your first criminal offense, consider consulting a criminal defense attorney for help with navigating the legal system.