What is Indecent Exposure in Texas? Indecent Exposure Defense

indecent exposure texas

What is indecent exposure in Texas?

In general terms, indecent exposure occurs when a person exposes themselves for sexual gratification to someone who might be offended or alarmed. Under Section 21.08 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits the offense of indecent exposure if  “he exposes his anus or any part of his genitals with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, and he is reckless about whether another person is present who will be offended or alarmed by his exposure.”

Indecent exposure is a serious criminal offense in Texas, even though it is a misdemeanor. This is because the offense carries a stigma that often results in snap judgments by others – not only upon conviction but on arrest. Prosecuting attorneys take these cases seriously, as will the entire court system. If you’ve been charged with indecent exposure in Texas, you’ll want the best attorney you can find at your side.

What is the punishment for indecent exposure in Texas?

Indecent exposure is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. An individual convicted of this offense may be sentenced to:

Confinement: No more than 180 days in jail
Potential fine: Up to $2,000.

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Can a college prank lead to an indecent exposure charge?

Generally no. While a mooning a person or flashing genitals may meet part of the definition of indecent exposure, prosecutors would have a challenging time proving that such acts were for the sexual gratification.

Can indecent exposure become a felony?

While indecent exposure is a misdemeanor, if the acts occur in the presence of a child under the age of 17, it can be charged as indecency with a child by exposure which is a felony offense.

What is the statute of limitations for indecent exposure?

The statute of limitations for a misdemeanor indecent exposure charge in Texas is two years.

Do you have to register as a sex offender if convicted of indecent exposure?

While charges for indecent exposure remain misdemeanor offenses, a second plea of guilty to the charge of indecent exposure will require registration as a sex offender unless the accused is placed on deferred adjudication for the second offense.

Indecent exposure and public lewdness are offenses that are taken seriously by prosecuting agencies throughout the state. If you are charged with a sex crime, even if it’s a misdemeanor, you will want a criminal defense attorney that is experienced in handling these types of matters. Combined, our attorneys have over a century of experience handling criminal cases. Call us at (817) 203-2220 to find out how our experience can help you.

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Benson Varghese

Managing Partner at Varghese Summersett PLLC
Benson Varghese is the founder and Managing Partner of Varghese Summersett PLLC. He is a prolific writer and has authored hundreds of articles about criminal law in Texas and at the Federal level. His articles have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Above the Law, and have been selected as Top Blogs by the State Bar of Texas. He was named the Young Lawyer of the Year in 2019 by the Tarrant County Bar Association. Benson led the firm to become one of the 500 fastest growing businesses in the United States by Inc 500 Magazine in 2018. In the same year, the firm was named the Best Law Firm in Fort Worth by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The lawyers at Varghese Summersett PLLC exclusively handle criminal defense matters.
Benson Varghese