Indecent exposure is a criminal offense in Maryland that can carry significant consequences, including fines, the possibility of jail time and, in some instances, the requirement to register as a sex offender even though it is a misdemeanor. To obtain a conviction for indecent exposure offense, prosecutors must prove that the circumstances leading to the arrest and charge meet certain criteria.
Under Maryland Criminal Law Section 11-107, a person is guilty of indecent exposure if they “intentionally, in a public place, expose their private parts or the private parts of another.”
To convict for indecent exposure, the prosecution must prove three specific elements:
- The defendant exposed their genitals or the private parts of another in public
- The exposure occurred in the presence of another person who is not a spouse
- The defendant acted intentionally. This means that you intended to expose yourself or knew that the conduct was likely to result in exposure
Wardrobe malfunctions, nudity on your property and nudity in places where no one else is present may not meet the criteria for the indecent exposure charge.
Basically, if the exposure is done in a way that can be casually observed by others, the behavior may constitute indecent exposure.
Mothers who breastfeed their children in public may face accusations of indecent exposure. However, breastfeeding in public is allowed under Maryland law.
A “public place” is defined as a place where the conduct can be reasonably expected to be viewed by others. A public place can include not only streets, parks, and stores but also private properties if the exposure can be seen by people outside the property.
To defend against the charges, you will need to prove one or more of the following:
- The indecent exposure did not happen
- The action did not occur in a public place
- There was no intent to shock or harm anyone
If you are facing indecent exposure charges, an Ocean City indecent exposure attorney can help. The attorneys at Maronick Law LLC have experience with Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh indecent exposure matters.
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