The law regarding indecent exposure differs greatly depending on the state that you live in. In Washington, it is considered indecent exposure when a person exposes his or her private parts in a public space, or in a place where other people are present. This can be an intentional exposure and sometimes even an accidental exposure in which a defendant had no intent to commit a crime but had knowledge that other may be able to see and be alarmed (i.e. Peeing in a public golf course and someone happens to observe you).
Washington state’s indecent exposure law makes it a misdemeanor offense to “make any open and obscene exposure of his or her person or the person of another knowing that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable affront or alarm.”
Nevertheless, in most cases there must be lewd or obscene behavior in order to get arrested. Another element of the crime is that a witness must be willing to come forward and complain and later appear in court to testify against the defendant.
In general, indecent exposure is a misdemeanor in the state of Washington. However, if the victim is a under the age of fourteen, the crime is considered a gross misdemeanor with enhanced penalties. If the defendant has been previously convicted of indecent exposure (or has a prior sex conviction), indecent exposure is punishable as a class C felony.
In addition to a state wide ban on public indecency, there are also local ordinances that citizens must abide by. Municipalities may also prosecute simple nudity under various’ disorderly conduct’ ordinances.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer.