Indecent Exposure Defense Lawyer in Dallas, TX

sex crime defense attorney

Facing indecent exposure charges in Texas can feel overwhelming, often carrying harsh judgments about your character and actions. Suddenly, an unexpected turn of events or a harmless joke could escalate into a charge that threatens your career, freedom, and future. A momentary lapse in judgment shouldn’t define your life. A skilled sex crime defense lawyer can fight back with effective strategies to fight public indecency charges. Call Broden & Mickelsen, LLP for a free consultation.

What Is Indecent Exposure in Texas?

Under Texas statutes, a person commits the crime of indecent exposure when they deliberately exposure their genitals or anus with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify any person without considering the presence of others who might be offended or alarmed.

However, context plays a significant role in defending public indecency. Indecent exposure allegations can arise from situations that might seem perfectly innocent. Depending on the circumstances, the following circumstances could be considered indecent exposure:

  • Nude sunbathing in your own backyard
  • Practical jokes
  • Breastfeeding in a public place
  • Inebriated antics, such as “mooning” in public
  • Accidental lockouts in compromising states

Such incidents highlight the blurred lines between public perceptions of decency and the law’s interpretation. They also underscore the critical role of experienced criminal defense attorneys in navigating these charges.

Penalties for Indecent Exposure in Texas

In 2023, Texas passed TX HB 1730, intensifying criminal penalties for indecent exposure from the first offense onward. The penalties for a second or subsequent offense are much stricter, and an individual can face a felony charge if they have been previously convicted of indecent exposure. They may also be required to register as a sex offender.

Class B Misdemeanor Offense (First-time Offenders)

In most cases, indecent exposure is considered a Class B misdemeanor offense, which can result in penalties of:

  • A maximum of 180 days in jail
  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • A combination of jail time and fine

Depending on the individual’s criminal record, age, and the exact nature of the offense, they could receive probation or community service instead of jail and a fine. However, if the offender is civilly committed as a sexually violent predator, the charge is a third-degree felony, which can result in two to ten years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Class A Misdemeanor Offense (Second Offense)

A second offense can result in penalties of:

  • A maximum of one year in jail
  • A fine of up to $4,000

State Jail Felony Offense (Third or Subsequent Offense)

For a third or subsequent offense, potential penalties include:

  • Six months to two years in state jail
  • A fine of up to $10,000

Strict penalties apply to those who expose themselves to a child under the age of 17.
Our criminal defense lawyers will fight to prevent these consequences by devising effective legal strategies tailored to your case.

Do I Have to Register as a Sex Offender if I Am Convicted of Indecent Exposure in Texas?

Even after you serve jail time for indecent exposure, there are consequences for conviction. In Texas, certain sex crime convictions require mandatory registration on the state sex offender registry, including convictions for indecent exposure. The Texas Department of Public Safety classifies offenders based on their risk levels, the specific nature of their offense, and whether it involves a minor. The length of time an offender remains on the sex offender registry depends on the nature of their criminal cases.

For someone convicted of indecent exposure, the guidelines are:

  • Indecent exposure involving a child, first offense: Ten years on sex offender registry
  • Indecent exposure involving a child, second offense: Lifetime registration as a sex offender

Being a registered sex offender imposes many restrictions, including:

  • Placing limits on where you may live
  • Barring you from certain occupations
  • Barring you from military service

Possible Defenses for Indecent Exposure

Being charged with indecent exposure can be a harrowing experience. If you’re facing this type of charge, your defense lawyer can raise a number of defenses. An experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer will work with you to create the best defense strategy for your unique situation.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, defenses might include:

  • Lack of intent – With indecent exposure, the prosecution must show that the accused was reckless in their intent to expose themselves. This distinction differs from most crimes, which require a standard of “knowing” rather than “recklessness.” If the person didn’t intend to expose themselves, this is a defense to indecent exposure. For example, someone who was camping and left their tent in the middle of changing clothes because a wasp flew into the tent clearly didn’t intend to appear naked in public.
  • Lack of capacity – If a person accused of indecent exposure has a mental illness or some kind of disability that prevents them from fully understanding the consequences of exposing themselves, this can be a defense to indecent exposure.
  • Age – Age can sometimes be a mitigating factor in an indecent exposure case. The court might impose a more lenient penalty if the accused is very young and made a bad decision based on inexperience. For example, a court might consider a college prank of streaking to be more of a question of maturity rather than an intent to arouse sexual desire in another.
  • Drunkenness – Being drunk generally isn’t a defense for any crime, but it’s possible the court might be more lenient if the circumstances of the indecent exposure involve a party atmosphere in which many of the participants are drinking. Examples of this might be a big sporting event like the Super Bowl, where someone who has been celebrating and drinking might get it in their head to moon fans of the opposing team. While the court may still impose some sort of penalty, it might consider the accused’s intoxication to be a mitigating factor in the case.
  • Nursing an infant – Texas law permits women to breastfeed in public spaces. However, there is no similar protection in private businesses. If the mother was nursing an infant in public, however, this is a defense to any indecent exposure charge. Given the protection under the law, it’s quite rare for a woman to be charged with indecent exposure simply for nursing an infant.

Our goal is to show that the prosecutor has failed to meet the heavy burden of proving every element of the case by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

A Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help If You Are Facing Criminal Charges for Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure is a criminal offense with profound implications. Depending on the circumstances, you could face jail time and mandatory sex offender registration status. However, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help.

At Broden & Mickelsen, LLP, our criminal defense lawyers represent clients charged with indecent exposure and other sexual conduct crimes in the Dallas area. We are:

  • Experienced – We have over 60 years of combined legal experience defending clients facing various criminal charges.
  • Board-Certified Specialists – Partners Clint Broden and Mick Mickelsen have been certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as specialists in criminal law and criminal appellate law.
  • Trial-tested – Our Dallas criminal defense lawyers have a proven record of success in complex criminal cases, including many case dismissals and not guilty verdicts for our clients.

When you hire our firm, we will guide you through the criminal justice system and safeguard your constitutional rights. From examining the prosecution’s evidence against you to negotiating a plea to reduced charges or fighting for your acquittal in court, you can count on us to capably handle all aspects of your case.