Indecent exposure carries the classification of “sex crime” in Texas. As a result, the penalties for indecent exposure include jail sentences, prison time, and severe fines. The ultimate sentence that you will receive for indecent exposure depends upon a number of factors that the court must consider about your case.
Who witnessed your actions?
One of the major considerations that courts examine when sentencing sex crimes is the effect on potential victims. In the case of indecent exposure, the court typically considers the following factors about your witnesses:
- Did you intend to expose yourself to another person?
- Did your exposure involve a child?
Does the crime qualify as indecent exposure?
Simply exposing yourself in public does not meet the legal definition of indecent exposure, though other sex-related crimes may apply.
To meet the definition of indecent exposure, your actions must include all of the following:
- You must have exposed your genitals, anus or buttocks.
- You acted with the purpose of causing sexual arousal.
- Your behavior did not consider the presence of potential victims who might be alarmed, humiliated or offended.
Have you committed previous sex crimes?
Does your record include previous convictions for sex crimes? If so, you may receive a longer sentence. The state typically requires previous offenders to register on the sex crime registry. Even if your indecent exposure did not involve children, placement on the sex crimes registry limits your ability to live near parks, playgrounds and schools.
How will the court’s decisions impact your life?
Conviction of an indecent exposure charge results in a permanent criminal record. Since it is listed as a sex crime, conviction prevents you from holding many jobs or qualifying for professional licensure. You must also contend with the embarrassment that accompanies sex crime conviction.