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Indecent Exposure – California Penal Code 314 PC

What is indecent exposure in California?

Under California Penal Code 314, it is illegal to willfully and lewdly expose your private parts in a public place or any place where people would be offended or annoyed by such conduct. The sentencing and punishment for indecent exposure can be severe and life changing. For example, if convicted of indecent exposure, you will be required to register as a sex offender under Penal Code Section 290. Thus, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney you can trust to represent you.

In order to convict you of indecent exposure in California, the prosecution must prove several elements

If you expose your genitals in a public place with intent to annoy or offend others, or to lewdly direct public attention to your genitals, you can be charged with Indecent Exposure under California PC 314.
Charged with indecent exposure in California for exposing yourself with lewd intent to direct public attention to your genitals?

Wallin & Klarich’s team of criminal defense attorneys are experienced in the laws pertaining to indecent exposure and sex offender registration in California, and we provide you with an overview of the elements that the prosecution needs to prove in order to convict you of indecent exposure. For example, the prosecution must prove:

  1. You willfully exposed your genitals in the presence of another person(s) who might be offended or annoyed by your actions  AND
  2. When you exposed yourself, you acted lewdly by intending to direct public attention to your genitals for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying yourself or another person, or sexually offending another person

If it is alleged that you entered an inhabited structure during the commission of this crime, the prosecution must also prove:

  1. The willful and lewd exposure occurred after you had entered an inhabited dwelling/building/trailer coach without consent


Defenses to an indecent exposure charge under California PC 314

There are a number of defenses to indecent exposure charges that a California criminal lawyer at Wallin & Klarich can raise on your behalf. Your attorney can argue:

  • You did not expose your genitals
  • The exposure did not occur in the presence of another
  • The exposure was not willful or lewd
  • Lack of intent
  • Mistaken identity


Each of these defenses can be raised depending upon the facts of your individual case. Be sure to consult a California sex crimes defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich to learn more.

California Indecent Exposure Sentencing and Punishment

Are you stressed about the possible sentence and punishment you face in California for a conviction of indecent exposure under PC 314?
If you are worried about the sentencing and punishment for an indecent exposure conviction in California.

The sentencing and penalties for indecent exposure under California Penal Code section 314 depends upon whether the offense is charged as misdemeanor or felony.

If this is your first indecent exposure offense, the crime will be charged as a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

If you have a prior indecent exposure conviction on your record, the offense can be charged as a felony punishable by 16 months, 2 or 3 years in county jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.

An aggravated indecent exposure conviction can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony and carries with it the same criminal penalties except that a misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to a year in county jail.

Regardless of whether the offense is charged as a misdemeanor or felony, an indecent exposure conviction will require you to register as a sex offender with local law enforcement agencies.

Examples of Indecent Exposure Under California PC 314

  1. Jacob spends his lunch break in his car and typically naps or spends time on his smartphone catching up on the news.  One day while seated in his car, he sees a woman he finds attractive walking by in a short skirt.  Jacob masturbates in his car as she approaches.  The woman sees what he is doing and calls the police.  The prosecution could charge Jacob with indecent exposure because he willfully exposed his genitals in a public place and the woman was offended by his actions.
  2. Joseph likes to make inappropriate sexually suggestive jokes around his office mates and considers himself the king of pranks.  One day he decides to play a prank on his fellow employees where he would be completely naked except for a baseball hat in the spirit of casual Friday.  Unbeknownst to him, Ruth, a new employee, enters the office and comes across Joseph as he stands naked and she is offended and calls the police.  The prosecution could charge Joseph with indecent exposure because he willfully exposed his genitals in a public place and Ruth was offended by his actions.
  3. Adam is an exhibitionist who enjoys approaching unsuspecting women leaving a yoga studio and exposes his genitals to them and runs away after hearing them scream.  One day his actions are caught on camera and police find and arrest him.  The prosecution could charge Adam with indecent exposure because he willfully exposed his genitals in a public place for the purpose of offending the women with his nudity.

California indecent exposure laws FAQs

To help you understand the various aspects of an indecent exposure charge, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions to the California indecent exposure laws in our FAQ section. There, you can find answers to questions like:

1. What part of my body needs to be revealed in order to be charged with indecent exposure?

2. Is indecent exposure charged as a misdemeanor or felony?

3. Do I have to register as a sex offender if I am convicted of indecent exposure?


Where can I find the most experienced California criminal defense attorneys?

indecent exposure attorneys
Contact and experienced indecent exposure defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich today

If you are confronted with accusations of indecent exposure, it is essential that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is practiced in indecent exposure cases.

With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, Wallin & Klarich has successfully represented clients facing indecent exposure charges for over 38 years. We have the knowledge and the know-how to win your case.

Call us today at (877) 4- NO-JAIL or fill out our client confidential form. We will get through this together.

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