Indecent Exposure Crimes and Penalties in Virginia

Indecent Exposure Paperwork and GavelIndecent exposure is a misdemeanor offense in Virginia. However, you should not take the charges lightly. You could face harsh penalties and long-term consequences if convicted of indecent exposure in our Commonwealth.

Indecent Exposure Offenses You Could Be Charged With Committing

There are two indecent exposure offenses in Virginia under Virginia Code § 18.2-387. They include:

  • Indecent exposure. Indecent exposure is defined as intentionally making an obscene display of a body or private part in public or in a place where other people are present. It is also a crime to encourage another person to expose themselves. Exposing breasts, buttocks, or genitalia or having sex in public are examples of what constitutes indecent exposure in our state.
  • Obscene sexual display. Under this law, making an obscene sexual display in public is also a crime. While it is similar to indecent exposure, this offense includes actual or simulated acts of masturbation in public places or places where other individuals are present.

What Are the Penalties for Indecent Exposure?

Both indecent exposure and obscene sexual display are Class 1 misdemeanors in Virginia. If you are convicted of one of these offenses, you could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

When You Would Be Required to Register as a Sex Offender

If this is a third or subsequent conviction for indecent exposure or obscene sexual display, you would be required to register as a sex offender on Virginia’s Sex Offender Registry. This is a public record that can be searched by employers, co-workers, friends, and family. In addition, you would have a permanent criminal record that could also affect your ability to obtain employment, housing, education, and more if you are convicted of this crime.

Have you been charged with indecent exposure or obscene sexual display in Virginia Beach or Norfolk? You may have strong defenses that could result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense—even if you believe you are guilty. To learn how our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers can mount an aggressive defense strategy for you, fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation today.


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