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What is indecent exposure?

As a rule, social convention has made it commonplace for Americans to ensure that they are fully dressed when they walk out of their homes. Stated differently, Mesa residents generally do not go out in public naked or without articles of clothing on that hide from view their private body parts. This is because doing so is considered rather embarrassing for many people, but also because failing to wear clothes is a potentially illegal action.

Indecent exposure laws impose sanctions and punishments on individuals who allow private parts of their bodies to be seen by others in public. The act of exposing one’s private parts generally must be intentional in order for the crime to arise, and often the defendant must have the intent to sexually gratify themselves through the exposure. Other intents, such as the offense of the alleged victim of the exposure, may serve to satisfy this portion of the crime’s elements.

A single act of indecent exposure may not, on its own, cause a person to become a life-long registered sex offender. However, subsequent arrests and convictions for indecent exposure may force an individual to include their name on the sex offender registry and have that status attached to their name for the rest of their life.

As such, an arrest based on indecent exposure can have very serious and long-term consequences on an individual’s life. Fighting a claim of indecent exposure can, in some cases, cause individuals to have their charges dropped and their legal headaches resolved. Criminal defense strategies against indecent exposure and other sex crime charges will need to be considered by defendants.

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