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Exposure of Sexual Organs

According to an email on file with the Judiciary Committee from Sarah Naf Biehl, Chief of Legislative Affairs, Office of State Courts Administrator, RE: Arrest and Convictions-Exposure of Sexual Organs, dated December 15, 2017, the number of convictions in Florida for exposure of sexual organs totaled:

  • 381 in Fiscal Year 2015-16; and
  • 331 in Fiscal Year 2016-17.

The crime of exposure of sexual organs is sometimes called “indecent exposure” or “flashing.” Exposure of sexual organs is charged as a first degree misdemeanor. Although the offense is not classified as a “sex crime” for most purposes, it requires proof of a vulgar or indecent act.

Attorneys for Exposure of Sexual Organs in Tampa, FL

If you were charged with the crime of exposure of sexual organs under Section 800.03, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss the case.

During the initial consultation, we can help you understand the charges pending against you, the potential penalties that apply to the charges, and the best ways to fight the charges for an outright dismissal.

Other ways of resolving the case might include a pre-trial diversion program for a first offense. In other cases, the goal should be an outright dismissal if the prosecutor has insufficient proof to prove each element of the crime.

With offices in Tampa and New Port Richey, we fight these cases throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.

We are familiar with the ways these charges are prosecuted in Tampa and Plant City in Hillsborough County, New Port Richey and Dade City in Pasco County, in Brooksville in Hernando County, in St. Petersburg and Clearwater in Pinellas County, and in Bartow and Winter Haven, FL.

Call (813) 250-0500.


Elements of Exposure of Sexual Organs under Section 800.03

Section 800.03, F.S., prohibits the following conduct:

  • Exposure or exhibition of sexual organs in public in a vulgar or indecent manner;
  • Exposure or exhibition of sexual organs on the private premises of another person, or so near thereto as to be seen from a private premises, in a vulgar or indecent manner; or
  • Being naked in public, except when in a place provided for that purpose.

A violation of the law is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine as provided in SS. 775.082 and 775.083, F.S. The law prohibiting the exposure of a sexual organ specifies that a mother’s breastfeeding of her baby is not a violation.

The Florida Supreme Court has defined the term “indecent” in this context to be synonymous with a “wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious, or sensual design on the part of the perpetrator.” See Boles v. State, 158 Fla. 220, 221(Fla. 1946). Other Florida courts have clarified that public nudity alone does not violate s. 800.03, F.S.; rather, such nudity must be accompanied by a “lewd or lascivious exhibition or exposure of the sexual organs.” Goodmakers v. State, 450 So. 2d 888, 891 (Fla. 2d 1984).

Florida law has been interpreted to include a distinction between conduct that occurs in public places and conduct occurring in private places. Generally, if the vulgar or indecent conduct occurs in a public place it is viewed as objectively offensive, and therefore, criminal. On the other hand, if the vulgar or indecent conduct takes place in a private place, the state must make the additional showing that someone was offended by the alleged conduct in order to obtain a conviction. State v. Kees, 919 So.2d 504, 506-507 (Fla. 5th 2005).


This article was last updated on Monday, December 17, 2018.

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