Exposing one’s private parts in public is considered a misdemeanor in most states. The laws and standards regarding indecent exposure have changed and evolved over time, although some countries still maintain that violating a certain level of “modesty” is a form of this crime. In the United States, indecent exposure encompasses anything from intentionally revealing one’s genitalia to masturbation or performing sexual acts in a public place.
In California, the first indecent exposure offense is considered a misdemeanor by law. It is a minor criminal act, and is punishable as such. However, the second and every subsequent violation of this law is considered a felony and is punishable by time served in prison. Exposure in front of a minor, however, may have more serious charges.
Indecent exposure also carries with it social effects, aside from any punishment dealt by the law. Many times, people who have been charged with this criminal act suffer shunning from friends and loved ones. An indecent exposure charge may also affect one’s ability to gain employment in the future. Since these crimes can sometimes result in the violator being filed as a sexual offender, most employers would prefer to avoid giving him or her a job.
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