Indecent Exposure in PA (Maximum Penalties and Defenses)

Indecent Exposure is a criminal charge in PA. It is embarrassing without a doubt. With a conviction like that on your record, what employer will welcome you with open arms? Will your current job, when doing routine background check, feel “forgiving” or will HR decide to find other reasons to put you out? All of these things and more, no doubt you have been thinking about. It can carry with it a lifetime of problems…. if you choose the wrong attorney. When it comes to finding the best Pennsylvania Sex Crimes attorney, we are it. 


The Law

18 PS § 3127 (Indecent Exposure) is where you can find the exact text of the law. But let’s break it down into plain English.

Remember, being charged with a crime is just an accusation. It is not proof of anything. You are presumed to be innocent. It is the government’s job to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Let’s look at what it’ll take. The government has the burden to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the following:

  1. the accused
  2. exposes his or her genitals in any public place or
  3. in any place where there are present other persons
  4. under circumstances in which he or she knows or should know that
  5. this conduct is likely to offend, affront or alarm.

When selecting which attorney to hire, please consider:

  • Can you call anytime and talk to a live person?
  • Do they offer payment plans with no credit checks?
  • Will your attorney be attentive and explain what’s going on?

At The McShane Firm, we answer yes to all of these questions. We strive to provide you with a great customer service experience during this tough time.

The government doesn’t have to prove that the accused actually caused “affront or alarm.” The government only needs to prove that the conduct was likely to cause affront or alarm. So although subjective feelings by the viewer is a factor, overall it is an objective standard.

Further, urinating in public by itself is not a violation of Indecent Exposure. The appellate courts have held that there more or less has to be a sexual component to it. For men factors such as:

  • who was actually present and clearly seen by the accused,
  • what the accused said before during and after the exposure,
  • evidence of masturbation,
  • was there an erection, or
  • that he intended to arouse or gratify sexual desire on his or anyone else’s part

Statute of Limitations for Indecent Exposure

within two years of the offense date unless committed against someone under 18. If the victim is under 18, the prosecution must start by “the later of the period of limitation provided by law after the minor has reached 18 years of age or the date the minor reaches 50 years of age.” (So until the victim is 50 years old)

What is The McShane Difference?

  • We take time to understand your personal needs and goals. Then we cater our legal strategy to fit you.
  • We care about you. We listen and return phone calls. We will take time to explain things so you are not left anxious in the dark.
  • We will make this as easy as possible. We will try to minimize the number of times you have to be in court which means less disruption of your work and family life.

Does this sound like what you are looking for in an attorney? If yes, then take the next step and call (717) 657-3900.

Megan’s Law

For now, a conviction of Indecent Exposure does not trigger either Megan’s Law or an assessment by the Sex Offender Assessment Board to determine if you are a Sexually Violent Predator.

But you should worry about… Misdemeanor Conviction Consequences in Pennsylvania

Maximum Penalties

This is where having a lawyer who knows and makes the law can truly shine. Here is how it reads:

(b)  Grading.–If the person knows or should have known that any of the persons present are less than 16 years of age, indecent exposure under subsection (a) is a misdemeanor of the first degree. Otherwise, indecent exposure under subsection (a) is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

However, due to cases both in the Supreme Court of the United States and also the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the enhanced maximum for cases involving alleged victims less than 16 years old is very likely unconstitutional. The under 16 part is not an element of the crime and as such is never put or proven to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

A misdemeanor of the first degree has a possible maximum term of jail not to exceed five years and a max fine of not more than $10,000. (But keep in mind that this enhancement is presumptively unconstitutional)

A misdemeanor of the second degree has a possible maximum sentence of two years and a fine not to exceed $5,000.00

Our Clients are entitled to a Bill of Rights which states:

  • Our clients have the right to expect, we will be proactive in communication. You will hear it from us first. We will return all phone calls, texts and emails promptly.
  • Our clients have the right to expect plain speaking, straight shooting. No B. S.
  • Our clients have the right to expect us to do it right the first time, every time.
  • Our clients have the right to expect us to be on time and professionally prepared for all court appearances, and all meetings.
  • Our clients have the right to expect that they will be fully informed at all times.

This is our promise to you. Call today to get us on your side: (717) 657-3900.

Removable offense (Indecent Exposure and Immigration)

A very recent Third Circuit Court of Appeals case, Nouledo v. AG of the United States, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 3978 (3d Cir. Feb. 10, 2020), held that a lawful permanent resident was removable under 8 U.S.C.S. § 1227(a)(2)(E)(i) since his conviction under 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3127(a) and (b) categorically qualified as child abuse, and a conviction for indecent exposure satisfied the Board of Immigration Appeal’s mens rea requirement because such a conviction required at least criminal negligence.