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Is indecent exposure a serious crime in Virginia?

Is indecent exposure a crime that can really result in you facing sex crime charges? The fact is that indecent exposure can get you into trouble with the law, and that can mean you could be charged with a misdemeanor or even force you to register as a sex offender.

Indecent exposure takes place when a person exposes his or her genitalia in public. This act could be performed to illicit a sexual response or to receive sexual gratification from the actions. Depending on where you are, the charges you face could vary. For instance, in some states, you must be convicted of intending to sexually arouse, offend or insult someone with your nudity in order to be charged and found guilty of indecent exposure.

In other states, it's a crime to expose your genitalia to anyone else, whether it's as an insult or for your own gratification. Of course, there are instances when neither of these reasons will be why you were nude in public. For example, if you were urinating in public, you may have been doing so simply because you needed to, not because you wanted to illicit any kind of response. In those cases, you may be able to argue against the charges, since no harm was intended.

While you work with your attorney on a defense for your case, it's important to remember that if any contact took place, you could see the charges raised to sexual assault. Make sure you spend time developing a defense that can take that into consideration, so you can protect your good name.

Source: FindLaw, "Indecent Exposure," accessed Oct. 14, 2015

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