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California Penal Code Section 314(1) PC – Indecent Exposure

CALIFORNIA PENAL CODE SECTION 314(1) PC – INDECENT EXPOSURE

Los Angeles Criminal Defense LawyerIndecent Exposure, as defined under California Penal Code §314(1) (CPC), is characterized as exposing one’s naked body or genitals in front of someone who may find it offensive or disturbing. This offense can take place in various settings and is only deemed illegal if it is done purposely and in a suggestive manner.

Penalties for Indecent Exposure in California are contingent upon the specific circumstances of the case. For first-time offenders, the penalty usually involves a Misdemeanor sentence of up to six months in a county jail or a fine of up to one-thousand dollars. However, if an individual faces this charge for a second time, it can be considered a Felony offense, and they may face a State prison term. Additionally, those convicted of Felony Indecent Exposure are obligated to register as sex offenders, and this requirement may last for a minimum of ten years.

Penal Code 314 PC: Every person who willfully and lewdly, either: 1. Exposes his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where there are present other persons to be offended or annoyed thereby; or, 2. Procures, counsels, or assists any person so to expose himself or take part in any model artist exhibition, or to make any other exhibition of himself to public view, or the view of any number of persons, such as is offensive to decency, or is adapted to excite to vicious or lewd thoughts or acts, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Every person who violates subdivision 1 of this section after having entered, without consent, an inhabited dwelling house, or trailer coach as defined in Section 635 of the Vehicle Code, or the inhabited portion of any other building, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or in the county jail not exceeding one year.

Upon the second and each subsequent conviction under subdivision 1 of this section, or upon a first conviction under subdivision 1 of this section after a previous conviction under Section 288, every person so convicted is guilty of a felony, and is punishable by imprisonment in state prison.

Source: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=PEN&sectionNum=314

ELEMENTS PROSECUTION HAS TO PROVE

To be found guilty of Indecent Exposure under California Penal Code §314(1), the following elements must be satisfied:

  • Deliberately expose one’s genitals or naked body;
  • Perform the act in the presence of someone who could potentially be offended or annoyed by it;
  • Have the intention to draw attention to oneself; and,
  • Have the intention to either sexually gratify oneself or to offend another person through the act.
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If a defendant commits indecent exposure after unlawfully entering a house or other inhabited dwelling without consent, they can be charged with aggravated indecent exposure. This offense may be elevated to a felony charge.

EXAMPLES

After a full day of drinking at a football game, a young man finds the need to urinate in a parking lot. While he exposes his penis to relieve himself, a family happens to drive by and witnesses the act. Although the family might be offended, the man did not commit indecent exposure as he did not expose himself with the intent to sexually offend others or sexually gratify himself. However, he may face charges of creating a public nuisance under California Penal Code Section 270 PC.

PENALTIES, PUNISHMENT, AND SENTENCING

Misdemeanor Indecent Exposure can result in penalties such as up to six months in a county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and a requirement to register as a Sex Offender for at least ten years.

In cases where aggravating factors are present, Felony Indecent Exposure charges may be filed. Under Section 314(1), if the exposure occurs inside a home or an “inhabited” building, the offense becomes a “wobbler” offense, meaning it can be charged as either a Felony or a Misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. If charged as a Misdemeanor, the penalties remain the same, except that the maximum jail sentence is extended to one year.

For Felony Indecent Exposure, the potential penalties include sixteen months, two years, or three years in a state prison, fines of up to $10,000, and a mandatory duty to register as a Sex Offender for at least ten years. A Felony charge can apply if there are multiple violations of CPC §314 or if the person has a prior conviction for Lewd Acts With A Minor, as defined under California Penal Code §288.

Note: If you hold a professional license in California, many organizations requiring such licenses may subject you to disciplinary measures if you’re convicted of Indecent Exposure. However, a conviction for this offense does not necessarily lead to the revocation of your license. Typically, misdemeanor crimes convictions, including those involving Indecent Exposure, are an exception to the usual disciplinary procedures, which may otherwise entail the risk of losing one’s professional license.

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DEFENSES AGAINST INDECENT EXPOSURE CHARGES

There are multiple viable defenses that individuals facing Indecent Exposure charges can utilize in their case. Some of these defenses include:

  • Insufficient Evidence: The defense of insufficient evidence is a claim that the prosecution hasn’t presented enough evidence to secure a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. If the evidence against the accused is weak or insufficient, a skilled defense attorney may seek a dismissal of charges or achieve an acquittal.
  • False Accusation: The defense of false accusation is a claim that the crime never occurred, and the accuser is deliberately making false statements. This defense can be potent, especially when the accuser had an ulterior motive, such as revenge, extortion, or attention-seeking.
  • Mistaken Identity: The defense of mistaken identity is based on the assertion that the individual accused of Indecent Exposure was not the individual who committed the crime. Cases of mistaken identity can arise when the incident happened in a crowded place with many people who might have resembled the accused. A defense attorney can present alibis, eyewitness accounts, or other relevant evidence to support the claim of mistaken identity.

IMMIGRATION CONSEQUENCES

When someone is charged under California Penal Code Section 314(1) for Indecent Exposure, it’s important to consider the immigration consequences, especially for non-U.S. citizens. Indecent Exposure is generally classified as a misdemeanor under California law, but it can be elevated to a felony under certain circumstances, such as if the defendant has prior convictions for the same offense.

For non-U.S. citizens, including legal permanent residents (green card holders), a criminal conviction can lead to serious immigration consequences, including deportation, inadmissibility (being barred from re-entering the United States), and denial of naturalization. The immigration impact of a conviction depends on the specific facts of the case and the individual’s immigration status. It’s vital for anyone facing criminal charges, especially non-U.S. citizens, to seek competent legal advice. An attorney skilled in both criminal and immigration law can help navigate the complexities of the case to minimize the immigration consequences. If you do not have or know of an immigration lawyer, the Tabibnia Law Firm can refer you to one.

EXPUNGEMENT

According to California law, a conviction for Penal Code Section 314(1) can be expunged provided the convicted person meets the general eligibility criteria for expungement. Still, it’s essential to distinguish between simple indecent exposure and aggravated indecent exposure. The latter may involve more severe penalties and could affect eligibility for expungement, especially if the conviction requires registration as a sex offender under California’s Megan’s Law.

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Given the complexities surrounding sex crime convictions and the potential impact on expungement eligibility and outcomes, it’s highly advisable for individuals seeking expungement for a conviction under Penal Code Section 314(1) to consult with a legal professional specializing in California criminal law.

RELATED CRIMES

WHAT TO DO IF I AM CHARGED WITH INDECENT EXPOSURE?

When facing a charge of Indecent Exposure in California, it is important to recognize the seriousness of sex crimes in the state. To protect your rights, freedom, and livelihood, it is crucial to retain the services of a skilled and dedicated criminal defense attorney without delay.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can potentially assist you by:

  • Negotiating a plea bargain leading to a lesser charge
  • Working to reduce your sentence if conviction occurs
  • Striving to have the charges dismissed entirely

At Tabibnia Law Firm, Cyrus Tabibnia is a highly capable attorney with in-depth knowledge of California’s criminal justice system and extensive experience representing clients in Los Angeles and numerous other cities in Southern California. If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with Indecent Exposure, Attorney Tabibnia will thoroughly analyze the facts of your case and develop a strong defense strategy aimed at achieving the best possible outcome.

Take the first step towards resolving your legal situation by contacting Tabibnia Law Firm today. Schedule a free and confidential consultation by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 866-713-2159

Sources:

  1. CALCRIM 1161
  2. CALCRIM 1110
  3. CALCRIM 1700
  4. CALCRIM 2931
  5. CALCRIM 2690
  6. CALCRIM 2689
  7. CALCRIM 1154
Cyrus Tabibnia

Cyrus Tabibnia

Cyrus Tabibnia, also known as Shahrooz Tabibnia, is a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, California. With a law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, he has been practicing law since 2005 and holds license #237348. With over 18 years of experience, Cyrus specializes in various misdemeanor and felony criminal Law including Domestic Violence, Theft Crime, Sex crime, DUI & DWI, Personal Injury, Employment Law, and Cannabis & Marijuana Drugs Law. Being bilingual in English, Persian, and Spanish enables him to effectively communicate with a diverse range of clients. From 2014 to 2018, he served as a board member of the Iranian American Bar Association. An expungement attorney in Los Angeles who can assist you in clearing your criminal record in the state of California.

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