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Sexual Assault, Megan's Law, and Other Sex Crimes: Indecent Exposure

The crime of indecent exposure is a sex offense that carries fines and possible prison time in New Jersey. If you have been charged with indecent exposure, you need to understand the consequences and the potential defenses you have available, and this means speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, we represent individuals charged with indecent exposure and other sex offenses throughout New Jersey. We can fight to keep you from getting convicted; or, if necessary, to minimize the consequences of your arrest.

New Jersey’s Indecent Exposure Law

In New Jersey, indecent exposure is considered a form of lewdness. The lewdness statute (N.J.S.A. Section 2C:14-4) states:

  1. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if:

      (1)  He exposes his intimate parts for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of the actor or of any other person under circumstances where the actor knows or reasonably expects he is likely to be observed by a child who is less than 13 years of age where the actor is at least four years older than the child. 

    (2)  He exposes his intimate parts for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of the actor or of any other person under circumstances where the actor knows or reasonably expects he is likely to be observed by a person who because of mental disease or defect is unable to understand the sexual nature of the actor's conduct. 

As a result, there are two ways a person can face conviction for indecent exposure in New Jersey: (i) exposing himself or herself to a child under the age of 13, or (ii) by exposing himself or herself to a person with a mental disability.

Under New Jersey’s lewdness statute, both forms of indecent exposure are fourth-degree offenses. This means that they carry the possibility of 18 months of imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.

What You Need to Know if You Have Been Charged with Indecent Exposure

When facing indecent exposure charges, there are some important facts to keep in mind. For example:

  • New Jersey’s indecent exposure law does not distinguish between public and private locations. In other words, you do not have to commit the act in public in order to face conviction.
  • The law only applies if a person exposes himself or herself, “for the purpose of arousing or gratifying . . . sexual desire.” It also only applies where the actor “reasonably expects” to be observed by a child or a person with a mental disability.

If a person exposes himself or herself without the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire and without a reasonable expectation that a child or a person with a mental disability is present, he or she can be charged with lewd conduct. Lewd conduct is classified as a disorderly persons offense.

Contact Us about Your Indecent Exposure Case

For more information about defending yourself against indecent exposure charges in New Jersey, contact the law offices of Helmer, Conley & Kasselman. To speak with one of our defense lawyers in confidence, call 1-877-435-6371 or request an appointment online now.

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