Orange County Indecent Exposure Lawyers

If you have been detained or arrested in Orange County for willfully exposing your genitals in the presence of another person who might be offended by your conduct, your freedom, reputation and future is on the line. As a result of this conduct, the police most likely will arrest you and the District Attorney will prosecute you for indecent exposure. To prove the crime of indecent exposure, the prosecution will have to demonstrate that your lewd conduct was intended to draw attention to what you did and for your sexual gratification. 

Though this crime may not seem serious when compared to crimes of violent acts, the consequences and penalties you face if convicted for indecent exposure are severe and will likely have a negative impact on your life for years to come. To protect you now and for the future, the experienced Orange County attorneys at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian will listen to your story and help you construct a defense against this serious charge based on the facts of your case.

What is Indecent Exposure Penal Code § 314?

Under California Penal Code § 314, indecent exposure is a misdemeanor sex crime. This crime is defined as willfully and lewdly exposing one’s private parts in the presence of a person who might be offended or annoyed, and acting in a way to direct public attention to the lewd act with the specific intent to arouse yourself or another.

If you have been convicted of indecent exposure previously or if you exposed yourself while trespassing in a residence, this crime may become aggravated and can be charged as a felony. If convicted, you could be sent to state prison.

Types of Exposures

The different types of exposures have been given names and adopted by our culture. Though the names themselves are intended to be humorous nicknames for lewd conduct, the law does not view them humorously. Whether they qualify as indecent exposure depends on the circumstances surrounding the event and the intent of the perpetrator. 

  • When most people think of flashing, they picture a man opening his raincoat to reveal his naked body, or a woman lifting her skirts to expose her genitals or pulling down her top to expose her breasts. In general, flashers try to shock, surprise, or impress, which may or may not be interpreted as being done for sexual gratification.
  • Mooning is exposing one’s buttocks by the lowering of the pants or underpants. Mooning can be intended to provoke, to express scorn toward the viewer, to make a joke and create an air of fun, or express disrespect. In California mooning may be construed to be indecent exposure if it can be proven that the act was sexually motivated.
  • Streaking is the act of running naked through a stadium, political event, or other public space. Streakers may intend to prank the audience, dare someone else at the event to do something, or make a protest against something or someone. Once again, the act of Streaking may or may not be interpreted as being done for sexual gratification.

What Must the Prosecution Prove for Lewd Conduct?

To be found guilty of California Penal Code § 314, the prosecution must prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt the following two elements: 

  • You willfully exposed your genitals in the presence of another who might be offended or annoyed by this action. The exposure cannot have occurred by accident, such as your bathing suit accidentally falling off in the surf. 
  • You exposed yourself and acted lewdly by intending to direct public attention to your genitals for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying yourself or another person, or sexually offending another person. You do not commit indecent exposure if you walk around naked in your own house, private garden, or similar location. 

Penalties for Indecent Exposure

First-time offenders of California Penal Code § 314, indecent exposure, will usually be prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense. A repeat offense may be prosecuted as a felony. Misdemeanor indecent exposure is punishable as follows:

  • Six (6)  months in the county jail and a fine not exceeding $1,000
  • A minimum of 10 years of registration as a sex offender 

If you are convicted of felony indecent exposure (repeat offense; indecent exposure while trespassing in a residence) you may be punished as follows:

  • One (1) year in the county jail or a state prison term of 16 months, 2 or 3 years
  • A fine not exceeding $10,000
  • A minimum of 10 years of registration as a sex offender

If you are convicted of indecent exposure and fail to register as a sex offender, you may be charged with failure to register as a sex offender. The penalties for failing to register as a sex offender range from one year in county jail to three years in state prison. If you hold a professional license, you may face revocation of that license to practice. However, a misdemeanor offense of lewd conduct may not always have the effect of such revocation. Our office recommends you obtain an opinion by a qualified administrative licensing attorney should this be your situation.

Orange County Indecent Exposure Lawyers


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During the consultation, we will help you understand your rights and the charges against you.

Common Defenses for Indecent Exposure

As attorneys experienced in defending clients charged with indecent exposure, we at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian in Orange County thoroughly examine the evidence against you, including witness testimony, to best evaluate a factual and/or legal defense to the prosecution’s case. Based on this analysis, we begin working to formulate a defense that best fits the facts of the case and the intent of the act that is alleged against you. Successful defenses could include: 

  • The Viewer(s) Consented — For example, someone dancing or performing naked as part of a show where the public expects nudity may have the consent of the audience. Note, however, that some viewers, such as minors, are not legally able to willingly consent.
  • No Sexual Motivation — If, for example, you pulled to the side of the road to relieve yourself and someone passing by saw you, there would be no sexual motivation and, therefore, this act could be an affirmative defense to the indecent exposure charge against you.
  • No Intent to Expose to Third Parties — You may have created an inadvertent exposure. For example, while dressing in a private bathroom, someone inadvertently sees you naked.
  • Mistaken Identity — A wide range of reasons exist that may have caused a witness to identify you in error, such as poor lighting, the witness being impaired by alcohol or drugs, an obstructed view, the distance between the viewer and the perpetrator was great.

What is Considered a Public Place?

Any site accessible to the general public, such as malls, restaurants, hotels, stores, and parks are considered “public places”. Even if you exposed yourself somewhere not accessible to the public, such as a hospital, you may still be found guilty of indecent exposure if you offended a member of the public who observed you. 

Consequences of Conviction for a Sex Offense

The possible results of being convicted of Indecent exposure may go far beyond a term of incarceration and fine. Not only do you become labeled a sex offender and must register as one, you may suffer life-changing consequences such as:

  • Loss of your job
  • Rejection by employers for a job, even if you are qualified
  • Revocation of your professional license 
  • Being precluded from being around children, even your own (you may be barred from public places where children gather, such as playgrounds, libraries, schools, theaters, bus stops, etc.)
  • Being precluded from renting or leasing a residence
  • Being forced to move from your residence

Protect your Rights

Regardless of the circumstances of your arrest, you deserve the services of an aggressive, experienced defense attorney. Led by former Orange County Deputy District Attorney Bryan R. Kazarian, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian will work with you to construct the best possible defense and help you avoid the worst consequences of a conviction. If you have been accused, arrested or charged in Orange County under California Penal Code § 314 for indecent exposure, protect your rights by calling 855-918-4253 or scheduling a consultation right away with The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian.

We have offices in Santa Ana, Westminster, Newport Beach and Fullerton to serve clients with matters heard at the Central, West, Harbor, and North Justice Centers, respectively, for all of Orange County.  The lawyers at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian are here to help!  Book an online consultation to get started today.
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