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What is indecent exposure and what are the potential penalties?

There are a number of acts that are considered sex crimes in South Carolina. Indecent exposure is one of those acts. This week, we are going to cover what constitutes indecent exposure and what the potential consequences are if a conviction is secured by prosecuting attorneys.

Generally speaking, indecent exposure occurs when an individual knowingly and purposefully displays his or her private parts in a public setting with the intent to alarm or offend others. In some states, this is considered a crime only when sexual gratification is the intent of the offender. However, in South Carolina, the sexual gratification aspect is not required for a conviction to be secured. There are instances that do not qualify as indecent exposure. For example, a woman breastfeeding her child is not considered to be committing a crime.

According to state laws, this type of charge is generally considered a misdemeanor, and the potential consequences typically include a fine and/or prison time. If a prison sentence is given, the length of the term can last up to three years. However, the consequences associated with an indecent exposure charge can vary based on the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Acts of indecent exposure are not taken lightly in South Carolina. Those accused would likely benefit from a strategic criminal defense on their behalf. As will all sex-related criminal accusations, these cases can be sensitive and deserve proper attention to detail. An experienced criminal defense attorney can review any evidence offered against the accused and help him or her make informed decisions regarding the best legal avenue to pursue for his or her specific situation.

Source: FindLaw, "Indecent Exposure", Jan. 2, 2015

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