Legal Question in Criminal Law in Wisconsin

statue 947.01

can I be put in jail for indecent exposure ?

Asked on 9/20/07, 4:16 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

JAY Nixon nixon law offices

Indecent Exposure Statue

Yes, misdemeanor indecent public exposure can result in up to nine months jail and a $10,000.00 fine. The term "indecent," however, is the subject of much litigation. Simple nudity, depending upon the circumstances, is rarely sufficient to support a conviction and can sometimes be a constitutionally protected right of free expression. If the charges are challenged in court, laws typically require an additional element of the seeking or soliciting some sort of sexual gratification from the exposure. Public exposures of nudity for innocent purposes such as breast feeding an infant, or any level of exposure at an established nude beach, rarely will stand up in court if challenged by a good criminal defense attorney. “Grey areas” might include removing a bikini top at certain U.S. public beaches in extremely conservative communities. Such conduct would rarely even be noticed in countries other than the U.S. or in more liberal U.S. communities, but local standards of decency control in such prosecutions. Non-sexual exposure at private exotic dancing establishments can also sometimes be constitutionally protected, although municipalities get around this by tying liquor licensing to local standards of propriety.

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Answered on 9/21/07, 8:52 am

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