Imagine that your friends dared you to expose yourself for a few seconds to another group of friends in a bar. Against your better judgment, you took that dare and everyone had a good laugh. Unfortunately, it wasn't funny for long. Because of this split-second decision, you now find yourself facing criminal charges for indecent exposure and the possibility of having to register as a sex offender.
Indecent Exposure Laws and Penalties
One of the reasons that an indecent exposure charge can escalate so quickly is that the laws surrounding it are vague and open to interpretation. Under California Penal Code 314, it is a crime to knowingly expose your private body parts in a public place when it might offend or annoy someone else.
People who are convicted of a first offense under this law face up to six months in a county jail and a $1,000 fine. A second offense could mean a felony conviction and sentencing to a state prison. As serious as these consequences are, the requirement to register as a sex offender for life is devastating. Since California law requires this of anyone convicted of a Penal Code 314 violation, it could easily happen.
Pursue Your Legal Defenses
In many indecent exposure cases, the person charged with the offense was unaware that others were present or that they would be offended by the action. This is a valid legal defense. It is essential that you are aware of this and other possible defenses in order to beat the charge against you. Please contact us at the Law Office of Nic Cocis to learn more about how we can defend your freedom and reputation. We work with individuals who were arrested in Murrieta, Temecula, Hemet, Wildomar, Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Banning, Perris, Corona, Winchester or Riverside.