Maryland has a pretty broad definition of indecent exposure, and it doesn’t take much to end up with charges. All the state has to claim is that you intentionally exposed your genitals, buttocks or (if you’re female) your breasts in a public place where other people were present.
If you’re convicted of indecent exposure, you could face up to three years in prison, a significant fine and the potential added penalty of being registered as a sex offender.
The law can end up punishing people for harmless or foolish actions
People end up charged with indecent exposure all the time because of overreactions by members of the public and the police. Consider, for example, the following situations that could lead to charges:
- Losing your pants because they’re too big when you’re not wearing underwear
- “Mooning” someone with your buttocks out the window of your car as a prank or an insult
- Urinating in a back alley on your way home from a bar because you can’t find a bathroom
- Having your genitals fall out of a rip in your pants or a too-small speedo and then adjusting yourself as you put them back in
- Having a “wardrobe malfunction” with your blouse, bra or bathing suit that exposes your breast to public view
- Stopping by the side of what you thought was a vacant road to use the bathroom in an emergency
You may have had no intention of exposing yourself, genuinely believed you were alone or were just being foolish for a moment – but that hardly deserves a criminal record and inclusion on a sex offender registry.
If you have been charged with indecent exposure in Maryland over what seems like a trivial event, make no mistake: You need experienced legal guidance to explore all of your potential defense options.