What is indecent exposure in Dallas?
Indecent exposure in Texas occurs when someone exposes themselves to another person for the purpose of sexual gratification.
Texas Penal Code 21.08 defines indecent exposure as any time a person “exposes his anus or any part of his genitals with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, and he is reckless about whether another person is present who will be offended or alarmed by his exposure.”
Dallas Indecent Exposure Lawyer Serving Dallas and Surrounding Counties
Have you been arrested for indecent exposure in Dallas? If so, you need an experienced Dallas indecent exposure lawyer as soon as possible. Although it’s a misdemeanor, indecent exposure is an offense that carries a stigma that can turn your life upside down.
In this blog post, we will explain indecent exposure, the potential penalties, and possible defense strategies.
What does acting recklessly mean in a Texas indecent exposure charge?
Texas law says acting recklessly in an indecent exposure case means someone commits an act while being aware their conduct can cause the result but consciously disregards the possibility that another person will be offended or alarmed.
What are the most common examples of indecent exposure arrests in Dallas?
The most common examples of indecent exposure arrests in Dallas include the following:
- Urinating in public;
- Exposing your buttocks (mooning) to someone else in public;
- Flashing a sexual organ (exposing) to someone else in public;
- Exposing female breasts, including sunbathing topless.
Is public breastfeeding considered indecent exposure in Texas?
No, a mother breastfeeding her child in public is not legally considered indecent exposure.
Is a topless female in public committing indecent exposure in Texas?
Not necessarily. The indecent exposure statute in Texas only mentions the genitals and anus, not female breasts. A woman being topless in public is a gray area. The state has no laws explicitly making exposed breasts illegal. However, while it may not be indecent exposure, it could be considered disorderly conduct and still result in an arrest.
What is the punishment for indecent exposure in Dallas?
In Texas, indecent exposure is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. It’s important to note that if the exposure happens in the presence of a child under 17, the charge could be a felony, indecency with a child by exposure.
Repeat offenders can face harsher penalties for subsequent offenses. In 2023, Texas enacted TX HB 1730 which states that if a defendant has one previous conviction for indecent exposure, he or she will face a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4000 fine (rather than a Class B misdemeanor for a first-time offense). If a defendant has two or more previous convictions for indecent exposure, he or she will face a state jail felony, punishable by six months to two years in a state jail facility and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Can you be charged with indecent exposure for a prank?
Typically, a flashing or mooning prank would not draw an indecent exposure charge. Despite buttocks or genitals being exposed during a prank, prosecutors would be challenged to prove that these types of acts were for sexual gratification.
Being charged should not be confused with being arrested. It’s possible an annoyed law enforcement officer could arrest a person for exposing their buttocks in public or cite urinating in public as indecent exposure. An experienced Dallas indecent exposure lawyer will fight to have these charges dismissed.
What is the statute of limitations for indecent exposure in Texas?
Texas prosecutors have up to two years from the date of an alleged incident to charge a person with misdemeanor indecent exposure.
Does an indecent exposure conviction require registering as a sex offender?
A first offense of indecent exposure does not require registration as a sex offender. However, a second conviction for the offense requires registration as a sex offender unless the offender receives deferred adjudication for the second offense, per Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 62.
If the defendant does not receive deferred adjudication, they must register as a sex offender for 10 years after supervised discharge. The sex offender registration will appear on the person’s criminal record, which could affect their employment and special licenses.
If you’ve been accused of this offense, you need an experienced Dallas indecent exposure lawyer who has experience fighting these types of claims.
What are the collateral consequences of indecent exposure in Dallas?
A conviction for indecent exposure could bring collateral consequences that disrupt your life. Even if you’re not required to register as a sex offender, other ramifications could include the following:
- A permanent criminal record
- Difficulty finding a job
- Loss of career or professional licensure
- Renting a home or apartment difficulties
- Loss of child custody or visitation rights
- Issues with citizenship applications or immigration status
A prosecutor must prove their allegation of indecent exposure beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor can’t prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury must find the defendant not guilty. There are multiple ways to challenge an indecent exposure charge, depending on the specific circumstances. Some common defenses against an indecent exposure charge include:
Lack of intent: Without the intent to sexually arouse or gratify, it is unlikely a person would be convicted of indecent exposure.
Lack of exposure: Were the person’s genitals actually exposed? Without photographic or video evidence, the prosecution may struggle to prove it happened beyond a reasonable doubt.
Mental illness: A person diagnosed with a mental illness may not have the mental capacity to understand what they’re doing.
Facing indecent exposure charges in Dallas? Call us.
If you have been charged with indecent exposure in Dallas, you need legal representation immediately. The Varghese Summersett Dallas defense team has the aggressive skills, experience, and legal knowledge to obtain the most favorable outcome possible. Call for a free consultation with a Dallas indecent exposure lawyer at 214-903-4000.