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How seemingly innocent acts can lead to indecent exposure charges

With the sweltering heat and humidity of summer descending on Maryland, many people are understandably wearing as few clothes as possible when they go outside. However, before you go skinny dipping at the beach or take off your bikini top while sunbathing to prevent tan lines, be careful of where you are and who may be around.

In Maryland, you can be arrested for indecent exposure if you expose what are considered "private parts" -- genitals, buttocks or breasts -- in public where other people witness it. Many people associate indecent exposure with flashers and those who commit sex crimes. However, seemingly harmless activities like streaking at a Ravens game, urinating outside or mooning a friend can land you in jail. It should be noted that there is an exception. Under Maryland law, women are allowed to breastfeed infants in public.

Even if the alleged act was not sexual in nature, if it occurred in front of children, you could find yourself designated as a registered sex offender. Even if the circumstances didn't involve children, indecent exposure is a misdemeanor that can carry as much as a three-year sentence and a $1,000 fine. A lapse in judgment can have life-altering consequences, including making it difficult to get a job.

Our law firm can work to get the charges dropped if they are unfounded or to seek the minimum possible penalty if they aren't. Charles L. Waechter has over three decades defending clients against these and other criminal charges. It's essential to take indecent exposure charges seriously because law enforcement officers and Maryland prosecutors do.

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