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Is Streaking Considered Indecent Exposure?


Streaking – or running naked through a public space – may seem like a harmless act. Tons of movies show characters bearing it all at football games, in school buildings, at parks, and other places. However, the reality is that exposing your genitals in a public place could be charged as indecent exposure, which is punished by harsh penalties and could result in sex offender registration requirements.

What Is Indecent Exposure?

Under California Penal Code 314 PC, a person commits indecent exposure when they willfully expose their genitals with the intent to gratify themselves sexually or to offend others. It is also illegal to ask someone else to expose themselves.

What Are the Potential Penalties for a Conviction?

For a first offense, you will be charged with a misdemeanor.

Conviction penalties include:

  • 6 months in jail
  • A $1,000 fine
  • 10-year minimum requirement to register as a sex offender

For second and subsequent convictions, the following penalties apply:

  • Up to 3 years in prison
  • A $10,000 fine
  • 10-year minimum requirement to register as a sex offender

What Are the Possible Defenses?

To land a conviction, the prosecutor has to prove that you exposed your genitals with specific intent. Various defenses can be used to get your charges dismissed or dropped, preventing the life-altering consequences you could be facing.

Possible defenses include:

  • Not intending to arouse yourself or offend anyone
  • Not meaning to expose yourself
  • Not intending for members of the public to see you
  • Mistakenly being identified as the alleged perpetrator

Contact Appel & Morse for a free criminal consultation

While streaking may seem trivial, engaging in this act could land you in serious trouble. If you were arrested, contact our team. We have years of experience defending the rights of individuals charged with criminal offenses. Our team will use our considerable knowledge and skill to fight the prosecutor’s case against you.

Let our team provide the legal help you need. Call us at (805) 467-6060 or contact us online.

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