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Defense for Maryland Indecent Exposure Charge

Unfortunately, a silly prank like “mooning” someone at a public event could result in a criminal charge in Maryland for indecent exposure. State law defines indecent exposure as exposing one’s private parts or genitals in a public setting where other people are also present and could witness your actions.

This is not something to take lightly, as an indecent exposure charge is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to three years in a Maryland prison and a fine of up to $1,000. If you or a loved one has been charged with indecent exposure in Maryland, it is important to speak with a Charles County criminal defense attorney right away.

Aggravating Circumstances can Increase Sentence

Like many other criminal offenses, there is something called aggravating circumstances. In the matter of an indecent exposure charge, the presence of young children during the incident can carry extremely serious consequences, including the legal requirement to register yourself as a sex offender in Maryland. A misdemeanor can carry lifelong consequences, but needing to register as a sex offender can be even more devastating.

Are There Exceptions to an Indecent Exposure Charge?

There is one main exception to what can result in being charged with indecent exposure in Maryland. This exception involves a mother who is breastfeeding in public. A mother has the legal right to breastfeed in public, even if her breast is exposed.

Yes, many people do opt to cover their breast while nursing their child, but it is important to know that this is not a legal requirement under the law in Maryland. They often choose to do so for their own comfort level or privacy. The visibility of a nursing mother’s breast is not considered obscene and will not result in an indecent exposure charge.

Is there a Difference Between Indecent Exposure on Private Versus Public Property?

While you might believe you can do as you wish on your own private property, you still need to be mindful of who can see you. If you want to sunbathe nude in your backyard where no one in the neighborhood can see you, you are not likely to be charged with indecent exposure. However, if you pull a chaise lounge out into your front yard, which is visible to all the neighbors and people passing by, you could be charged with indecent exposure. In this case, you are in the view of others who have not consented to seeing your private parts.

Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney

In order to be convicted of indecent exposure in Maryland, the prosecution has to meet the burden of proof for all three elements of the crime. This includes exposure of your private parts, it has to occur in a public place with others present, and there has to be willful intent. This means that you had the intent to expose yourself; it does not mean there was a further intent to gain any type of sexual gratification from the act itself.

Because aggravating circumstances can result in a more severe sentence for an indecent exposure conviction in Maryland, you should not try to represent yourself in court. Contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro today at 301-705-5137 to schedule an initial consultation. Let one of our Charles County criminal defense attorneys prepare the best defense possible.