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Indecent exposure charges and punishments

In the state of Minnesota and elsewhere, it is considered a crime to intentionally show one's genitals in a public place, especially with the intent to alarm or offend others. In many cases, indecent exposure is often committed with the intent to get sexual gratification or to elicit a sexual response.

In order to be charged with indecent exposure, a person must show his or her bare genitals. A bare breast is not considered to be indecent exposure in Minnesota if a mother is breastfeeding a child as the state allows breastfeeding in any private or public location. Further, showing someone underwear, no matter how revealing, is also not considered to be indecent exposure. However, if a person does expose his or her genitals while making physical contact, that person could potentially face sexual assault charges.

Those who are facing their first indecent exposure charges may likely be charged with a misdemeanor, which could include a jail sentence of several months, court fees and fines. A second offense is likely to be considered a felony, potentially resulting in a state prison sentence. In Minnesota, the court may potentially order an assessment to determine if the person needs sex offender treatment. Those who are convicted of felony indecent exposure will be required to register as a sex offender.

Indecent exposure and other criminal sex charges can have a major impact on a person's life. If people are convicted and required to register as a sex offender, they could be limited to where they can work and live. However, there are several defenses a criminal law attorney could utilize for those who are facing these types of charges. In some cases, the attorney could argue that the crime never occurred or that the person's exposure of a body part was not indecent, especially if the person was breastfeeding.

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