Fighting Indecent Exposure Charges in Houston, Texas
March 8th, 2018 by Tad Nelson in Sex Crime
If you have been charged with indecent exposure in Houston, Texas, you have been charged with a sex crime. A sex crime conviction has the potential to ruin your life and make it nearly impossible for you to find a decent job, sustain healthy relationships, or even make friends. That is not to mention the time you will have to spend in jail or the fines you will have to pay as punishment.
When Indecent Exposure Stems From Innocent Mistakes
Unlike the lewd and inappropriate actions people typically think of when they hear the term “sex crime,” indecent exposure is often a crime committed by the innocent. Many individuals charged with this crime were merely in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe they were engaging in a prank outside of a friend’s home, or they decided to go skinny dipping on a public beach at midnight. These individuals had no intention of offending others or of inflicting harm; rather, they just made poor choices at the wrong times.
Intentional or not, the Texas courts take indecent exposure very seriously and are not hesitant to dole out hefty fines and jail time even to first time offenders. If you have been charged with indecent exposure in Texas, an aggressive Houston indecent exposure attorney can help you fight the charges and regain control of your future.
Consequences of Indecent Exposure
Whether your actions were intentional or not, if you are found guilty of indecent exposure, you face jail time, fines, probation, and more. According to Texas Penal Code, Section 21.08, indecent exposure is a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a jail sentence of up to 180 days and a maximum fine of $2,000. However, indecent exposure in front of a child, on a playground, or near a school is a felony of the second degree, which carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison but not less than two years, and a fine of up to $10,000 (21.11). In either instance, you would be required to register as a sex offender upon your release from jail or prison.
Neither outcome is good, and in either situation, you stand to lose a good portion of your life, a substantial amount of money, and the respect of your community. For these reasons, you should not face a judge and jury on your own. An experienced sex crimes lawyer can help you build a defense and fight for your freedom.
Defenses for Indecent Exposure
Fortunately, there are viable defenses to indecent exposure. In order for a prosecutor to get a conviction, he or she must prove that your act was intentional. If he or she cannot do that, then they may try to reduce your knowing to recklessness, meaning that you did not care if another individual might be present at the time of and offended by the incident. This is referred to as mens rea. Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates would strive to go beyond mens rea and have the charges dismissed entirely. Some ways in which we would try to do that include:
- Showing lack of intent;
- Proving mental disability or illness;
- Proving intoxication;
- Showing that you were too young to know better; or
- Showing that breastfeeding is not crime.
Though some of these defenses may not serve to dismiss your charges entirely, one could help to reduce them.
Get the Help of an Aggressive Sex Crimes Lawyer
If you were charged with indecent exposure in Texas, your future may be on the line. Do not leave the fate of your future up to fate and retain the help of an aggressive Houston indecent exposure lawyer as soon as you receive news of the charges. The more time we have to prepare your case, the better. Call the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates now to get started (713) 802-1631.