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District of Columbia Indecent Exposure Laws

Streaking may be considered "old school" in this day in age, but those looking to revive the lost art of running through a town square naked should consider indecent exposure laws first. Although streaking is only one form of indecent exposure, the District of Columbia's indecent exposure laws encompass much more than just exposing one's genitalia in public. The codification of indecent exposure as a crime is intended to eliminate any unnecessary disturbances of public peace that people may find offensive. This is a quick summary of the indecent exposure laws in the District of Columbia criminal code.

Lewd And Obscene Acts: Indecent Exposure Laws in the District of Columbia

In the District of Columbia, indecent exposure is defined as lewd and obscene sexual acts that are performed in public places. The District of Columbia defines a sexual act as any penetration or contact of an anus, vulva, or penis with one's hand, mouth, or any other object however slight. While the indecent exposure of private parts and obscene sexual acts in public places are the most common violations, Washington, D.C. also consider any indecent sexual proposal to a minor, whether in public or private, a violation of this crime.

The following table outlines the specifics of Washington, D.C.'s indecent exposure laws.

Code Sections

District of Columbia Official Code §22-1312: Lewd, Indecent, or Obscene Acts

What's Prohibited?

Under District of Columbia indecent exposure laws, it is considered unlawful for a person to make an obscene or indecent exposure of his or her genitalia or anus, to engage in masturbation, or to engage in a sexual act in public. The statute also makes it unlawful for a person to make an obscene or indecent sexual proposal to a minor.


In Washington D.C., an individual who violates any provision of this law will be guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, a person guilty of this crime may be fined up to $500, imprisoned for up to 90 days, or both.

Research the Law

Exposing yourself to others in public is a crime in almost every state in America. The District of Columbia is not an exception. If you have been convicted of lewd, indecent, or obscene acts and would like additional legal assistance, you can contact a District of Columbia criminal defense lawyer through FindLaw. Visit FindLaw's sections on indecent exposure and criminal charges for more articles and information on this topic.

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