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Understanding the sex crimes laws of indecent exposure in Florida

There are laws in place to prevent individuals from exposing one's "private parts" in the presence of someone and in a public location. When an individual is suspected of doing so in Florida, he or she may face sex crimes charges of indecent exposure. However, when an individual is charged, the prosecution must establish certain facts of the case in order to obtain a conviction.

In Florida, the prosecution must be able to prove that the individual had lewd, lascivious or indecent intent. Without this intent, the exposure of an inappropriate body part or nudity in public is not considered indecent exposure. In other words, if someone suffers a wardrobe malfunction while in public that displays a sexual organ, the situation lacks the intent that the prosecution needs to obtain a conviction. The same may be true with nudity on a beach.

Even if the prosecution can establish the required intent, it must also be shown that the crime charged was actually committed. Therefore, the prosecution will typically need a photo, video, witness statement or some other form of evidence that shows an indecent exposure. The prosecution must also prove that the alleged crime occurred in a public place or in an area where the accused would have known others could possibly see.

In Florida, indecent exposure charges are considered a first-degree misdemeanor. A conviction could result in 12 months of jail time, a fine of $1,000 or possibly both. It can be increased to a felony if a child under 16 years of age is victimized.

Charges related to sex crimes here in Florida are taken seriously, and the penalties can be severe. This is especially true since a conviction can result in a permanent mark on one's criminal record, making the possibility of obtaining good employment in the future difficult. However, with the proper knowledge of the law and one's rights, in addition to a carefully planned and successfully executed defense, a favorable result can be achieved.

Source: FindLaw, "Florida Indecent Exposure Laws", Accessed on April 24, 2015

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