I. California Penal Code 314(1): Indecent Exposure
Legal Definition: You willfully exposed your genitals in the presence of another person or persons and when you exposed yourself, you acted lewdly by intending to direct public attention to your genitals for the purpose of sexual arousal of either yourself or another person or to sexually offend another person.
1. You willfully exposed your genitals in the presence of another person or persons who might be offended or annoyed by your actions;
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.
In addition, if you are found to have entered an inhabited dwelling without the consent of the owner while committing the act, you could be found guilty of a more serious offense under this section.
II. What does this mean?
Contrary to common belief, it is not indecent exposure to simply urinate in public. The entire purpose of this section is that you are intending to draw attention to your genitals to either gratify yourself, or someone else, or to just offend someone.
This charge also requires that you expose yourself “willfully”. This means simply, that you must have done it on purpose. Therefore, if you leave your shower one morning with a towel to grab clothes, and the towel falls, and your friend who is staying the night sees you, you would not be guilty under this section. You need to have the “specific intent” to expose yourself to someone.
If convicted of a violation of PC 314(1), you could be sentenced to County Jail for up to six months. You would be required to serve 50% of that sentence. You would be required to register as a Sex Offender for 10 years under the Tier I system. However, if you were to have been convicted of a prior violation of PC 314(1) or a violation of PC 288(a) in the past, then your PC 314(1) offense would be considered a Felony offense, where you could face upwards of sixteen months, two years, or three years in State Prison.
Under PC 647.6(c)(1) if you are convicted of a violation of PC 647.6(a)(1), and you have previously received a Felony conviction for PC 261, 264.1, 269, 285, 286, 288a, 288.5, or 289, any of which involved a minor under 16 years of age, or a previous felony conviction under this section, a conviction under Section 288, or a felony conviction under Section 311.4 involving a minor under 14 years of age you could face upwards of two, four or six years in State Prison.
A violation under PC 647.6(b), it is considered a wobbler where you could face up to one year in county jail, or upwards of sixteen months, two years, or three years in State Prison.
IV. Common Defenses
- Statute of Limitations
- Insufficient Evidence
- Violation of your Rights
- False Accusations
- Coerced Confessions
It is important to note, as stated above, that simply peeing in public is not a crime. Most people who are accused of doing this are doing it for the purposes of sexually gratifying themselves. But is important to note the idea of annoying another person is also sufficient for a conviction here. Any accidental flashing of another person is not enough to convict you of this crime, and the Prosecution must show you intended to do this to annoy or sexually gratify yourself, or someone else.
V. Call Today
Although a charge under this section does not (generally) involve a lot of jail time, you could still face the horrible implications of becoming a registered Sex Offender. It is important to find an attorney that knows how to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case, and someone who can help humanize you to the District Attorney. Your intent is important here, so it is crucial to find an attorney who understands how to explain how your innocent actions could be misinterpreted under this section. I have helped hundreds of people accused of sex crimes throughout Southern California, and I will help you or your loved one too. Our PC 314(1) Ontario attorney has successfully defended numerous cases and personally specializes in all Sex Crimes including PC 314(1). The initial consultation is free and we are available to answer your questions 24/7. Call the Inland Empire Criminal Defense today at 909-939-7126! Located in Ontario, CA.