Indecent Exposure

Indecent Exposure


Indecent exposure is defined in Massachusetts law as an intentional act of lewd exposure, offensive to one or more persons.

Requirements for Conviction

In order to secure a conviction, the prosecution will need to prove that:

  1. the defendant exposed his or her genitals to one or more persons;
  2. the defendant did so intentionally; and
  3. that one or more persons were offended by the defendant exposing themselves.


For a first offense, a person can be punished by a fine of no more than $150.  For a second or subsequent offense, a person can be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for no more than 6 months or by a fine of no more than $200.

 Probation may also follow, as well as a permanent mark on your criminal record.

Further Facts & Considerations

There are two types of indecent exposure charges in Massachusetts.  One is a misdemeanor and the other is a felony.

The misdemeanor is labeled as indecent exposure and relates to the actual conduct of the accused.  When a person intentionally attempts to shock and alarm others with these actions, they can be charged with the more serious crime of open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior.

Examples of indecent exposure might include having exposed genitalia, urinating in public, lesser public sexual acts, masturbation in a public setting, or wearing little or no clothing in a setting where the public can see (even on private property).

Technically, indecent exposure is considered a sex offense.  However, someone who is convicted of indecent exposure is not required to register with the sex offender registry.  Neither does a first conviction for open and gross lewdness and lascivious conduct.  However, a subsequent conviction of open and gross lewdness and lascivious conduct requires registration as a sex offender.

Defense Attorneys for Indecent Exposure Charges

Being charged with indecent exposure is a serious allegation, with potentially life-altering consequences.  We are experienced criminal defense attorneys with proven success in difficult and complex sex crime allegations.  If you are or a loved one is facing charges, call us at 781-797-0555 today.  We can help.

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