Here are the different types of indecent exposure you could be charged with depending on where you live.

Exposure of Any Private Areas

Some jurisdictions make any exposure of your private areas a crime without regard to motivation.

For example, under NY Penal Law Section 245.01, indecent exposure is defined as someone appearing “in a public place in such a manner that the private or intimate parts of his body are unclothed or exposed.” New York’s law also makes clear that “for purposes of this section, the private or intimate parts of a female person shall include that portion of the breast which is below the top of the areola.”

This offense is a violation in New York. The law does carve out exceptions for breastfeeding or nudity in a play.

Exposure To Annoy or Alarm

Other states will charge you with indecent exposure only if your goal is to offend or frighten someone.

Delaware Code Section 764 states that men are guilty of indecent exposure for revealing their genitals or buttocks, and women are guilty of the offense for revealing their genitals, breasts, or buttocks under circumstances when they know that the “conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to another person.”

The offense is a second-degree unclassified misdemeanor unless the defendant exposes themselves to someone under age 16, in which case it becomes a Class A misdemeanor under Code Section 765.

Exposure With Lewd or Lascivious Intent

Sometimes, lewd or lascivious intent is required to charge you with this offense.

For example, Georgia defines the crime of public indecency in Section 16-6-8. The Georgia statute states that you commit the offense of public indecency if you engage in acts of sexual intercourse, indecent caresses or fondling in public or if you perform “a lewd exposure of the sexual organs;” or “a lewd appearance in a state of partial or complete nudity.”

The offense is a misdemeanor, although repeat offenders with three or more offenses can face felony charges.

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Last Update: June 21, 2024