Florida Statute §800.03 details the rules surrounding indecent exposure in the state, and the penalties are fairly harsh. Many people don’t realize that what they think are just funny pranks could land them in jail.
Florida’s Indecent Exposure Laws
Florida code states, “It is unlawful to expose or exhibit one’s sexual organs in public or on the private premises of another, or so near thereto as to be seen from such private premises, in a vulgar or indecent manner, or to be naked in public except in any place provided or set apart for that purpose.”
Indecent exposure is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. In the state of Florida, that could mean up to a year in jail or $1,000 in fines.
If the indecent exposure takes place in the presence of an individual younger than 16 years old, the accused can face charges of lewd and lascivious exhibition. This is a second-degree felony, and punishment can include up to 15 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
Types of Actions Considered Indecent Exposure
Any type of action that fits the description above can be considered indecent exposure. Examples of behavior for which people may be charged include:
- skinny dipping;
- masturbating in public;
- urinating in public; and
- nude sunbathing.
The law stipulates that breastfeeding is not considered an act of indecent exposure.
Elements of Proving Indecent Exposure
In order for a suspect to be convicted of indecent exposure, the prosecutor will have to prove that the suspect:
- exposed his or her private parts;
- did so willingly;
- exposed him- or herself in a public place; and
- did so in a crude or offensive manner.
Drunkenness isn’t a defense for indecent exposure. However, there are other possible viable defenses, which you can discuss in detail with a criminal defense attorney.