Florida indecent exposure laws prohibit the display, exhibition, or exposure of an individual's sexual organs in a public place or while in public view. To prosecute a defendant for indecent exposure, the state prosecutor must establish the defendant's unlawful intent, the act of exposure, and the location of the act.
The state law regarding indecent exposure requires the prosecutor to prove the defendant's lascivious, lewd, or indecent intent. Nudity, public undress, or an exposed body part without the required intent or state of mind generally does not qualify as indecent exposure. For example, an accidental clothing slip or "wardrobe malfunction" likely lacks the required intent for a criminal prosecution. Public nudity on a beach or public urination also likely does not qualify as indecent exposure if the state cannot establish the individual's lascivious intent.
A Florida prosecutor must also prove that the defendant displayed a sexual organ in public. The prosecutor can meet this requirement by showing that the defendant engaged in the activity while in a public place or on private premises belonging to someone else. Florida state laws also allow for the prosecution of an indecent exposure occurring in a private place belonging to the defendant, however, if the defendant knew that others would be able to see the exposure. For example, the state might prosecute an individual who displayed his sexual organs while standing at a window within his own home.
The box below contains important information regarding Florida's indecent exposure laws and penalties. Remember, if you are accused of this crime you should always seek legal advice before entering a plea bargain or pleading guilty.
Florida Statutes Section 800.03
Elements of Indecent Exposure
- Sexual organs were exposed by accused
- Accused was in a public place, on the private premises of another or near the private property of another as to be seen from those private locations
- Accused intended exposure in a crude, offensive, lewd or lascivious method
- The exposure was enacted in a vulgar, indecent, lewd or lascivious manner
Penalties and Sentencing
- Florida state laws prosecute indecent exposure as a first degree misdemeanor. A conviction may result in a sentence of imprisonment for up to one year, a fine in an amount up to $1,000, or both. However, if you engage in certain types of lewd exposure involving minors under the age of 16, then the charges can rise to the level of a felony
- Possible mandatory sex registration depending on circumstances
Defendant (over the age of 18) exposes genitals in a lewd manner or masturbates in front of an individual under the age of 16 either in person over online.
Penalties: Possible second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If this offense is committed by a person under the age of 18, it can be a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Lack of lascivious, lewd, or vulgar intent
- Mother breastfeeding her baby
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Florida Indecent Exposure Laws: Related Resources
Charged Under Florida Indecent Exposure Laws? Talk to an Attorney
Indecent exposure is considered a sex crime in Florida and carries some pretty severe consequences. But the good news is that you may have several defenses available to you which mitigate your consequences or help exonerate you altogether. Contact a local criminal defense attorney today to learn more about Florida indecent exposure laws and how they affect your case.