Indecent exposure charge in McLennan County?
A conviction for indecent exposure in Waco can lead to serious repercussions and consequences. Thomas C. West is a board certified criminal defense lawyer and former McLennan County prosecutor. His experience in these cases can help provide important strategy and spot weakness in the prosecution’s case. An indecent exposure offense is generally considered a misdemeanor offense under Texas’ laws, which can unfortunately result in a criminal record, which will appear on background checks for jobs, educational opportunities and even housing applications. Additionally, this offense can lead to jail time, fines, and a possible requirement to register as a sex offender.
Remember – indecent exposure criminal charges do not necessarily have to lead to a conviction. The prosecutor must prove you committed every element to the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This can be a very difficult burden to meet, and if the judge or jury has any doubt, the charges against you can be reduced or even dismissed. Therefore, it is important to consult with an experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney to assist you develop your best legal strategy for your particular situation.
Texas Indecent Exposure Law
Indecent exposure is a sexual offense. In order for a defendant to be convicted on a charge of indecent exposure, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant exposed his anus or any part of his genitals with the intent to arouse the sexual desire of any person, and that he is reckless about whether another person is present who may be alarmed or offended by this act. If there is any unwanted touching involved (such as groping or attempted rape), then the much more serious crime of sexual assault will be alleged.
Defenses to Indecent Exposure Charges
Lack of intent – Since the intent must be to around sexual desire, urinating behind a dumpster likely would not be considered “indecent.”
Insanity – Someone with a diagnosed mental illness or disorder may not be held accountable for certain acts (i.e. he/she lacks capacity).
Intoxication – This is not a standard defense to charges, but intoxication may be a mitigating factor in some cases (thus reducing penalties)
Age – Children are less likely to have had intent to arouse another individual by such an act of exposure than an adult.
Penalties and Sentences in Texas, indecent exposure laws classify the crime as a “Class B” misdemeanor. This charge typically faces a penalty of not more than 180 days in a county jail and/or a fine of no more than $2,000. The sentence imposed will be at the discretion of the judge and will depend upon the circumstances of each defendant and the nature of the offense. For example, a defendant who has been convicted of the same charge in the past will likely face a harsher sentence than one who has not been convicted before.
If you have been accused of indecent exposure in Waco, you need an aggressive, experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Talk to a board-certified criminal defense lawyer before talking to anyone else. Former Waco prosecutor Thomas C. West is board-certified in criminal law and knows how to spot weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. Call him for a free case evaluation at 254-753-6437.