Definition of Indecent Exposure - Texas Penal Code Section 21.08

§ 21.08 INDECENT EXPOSURE.  

(a) A person commits an offense if he exposes his anus or any part of his genitals with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, and he is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by his act.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor.
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Comments (23) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Bill - November 27, 2007 10:50 PM

What distance restrictions are inforced for someone convicted or given differed adjudication for indecent exposure in regards to a "Child Safety Zone" ie: school in relation to said perpretrators work or home. I can not find any distance restrictions anywhere.

dallas yankee - July 14, 2008 3:20 PM

I can not believe that texas lists those convicted of indecent exposure on its public sex offenders database. Surely this naming and shaming is cruel and unusual punishment!

worried1 - October 21, 2009 3:49 PM

What do people do in this case. If this was the only thing on his record. and the atty didnt ask for Differed Aduhudication

maryrose burk - February 18, 2010 4:38 PM

My son served three years in prison for indecency with a child by contact. He was 18 and she was 15. He recently was charged with indecent exposure but is still awaiting his court date. Can he be sent back to the peniteniary for this charge. I know you dont have specifics. Just a general assesment. Thank you so much for any information. My imagination is running wild.

maryrose burk - February 18, 2010 4:38 PM

My son served three years in prison for indecency with a child by contact. He was 18 and she was 15. He recently was charged with indecent exposure but is still awaiting his court date. Can he be sent back to the peniteniary for this charge. I know you dont have specifics. Just a general assesment. Thank you so much for any information. My imagination is running wild.

David - February 26, 2010 11:20 AM

I have a question. if your in an open public area or in a car and you are wearing basketball shorts. Is it against to law to put pants on while you still have your basketball shorts on in the car or in a public parking lot or gas station?

Im not understanding how it is against the law when your not showing any body parts and you still got your shorts on and sliding the pants on top of the shorts..

Teri - March 31, 2010 1:13 PM

I want to know why Texas' definition of Indecent Exposure states "A person commits an offense if he exposes his anus or any part of his genitals with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person..."? What about the children who were forced to see Erica Badu on the street bearing all? What about the parents rights to protect their children from vulgar behavior?

We need to change that statement to read: "A person commits an offense if he exposes his anus or any part of his genitals." Period.

Who do I talk to? I will get a petition started to prevent this vulgar display from happening in Texas again. We ahve laws about drinking alcohol while walking down the sidewalk, but we cannot stop people from walking around naked because they are doing it for art? Crazy!!!

Teri - March 31, 2010 1:14 PM

I want to know why Texas' definition of Indecent Exposure states "A person commits an offense if he exposes his anus or any part of his genitals with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person..."? What about the children who were forced to see Erica Badu on the street bearing all? What about the parents rights to protect their children from vulgar behavior?

We need to change that statement to read: "A person commits an offense if he exposes his anus or any part of his genitals." Period.

Who do I talk to? I will get a petition started to prevent this vulgar display from happening in Texas again. We ahve laws about drinking alcohol while walking down the sidewalk, but we cannot stop people from walking around naked because they are doing it for art? Crazy!!!

Howard - April 18, 2010 6:54 AM

So if I am a man, and choose to jog early in the morning (before most are awake and headed to work) and I choose to wear only running shoes and a thong, would that be considered indecent exposure? Just curious... Forget personal taste/opinion, I just am curious if this is against the law here in North Texas.

Clarence - May 21, 2010 7:02 AM

If Erykah Badu does not get charged by Texas regarless whether or not any citezen comes forward,then continue to ignore this law or remove it and never charge any one with indecent exposure.

John D. Taylor - June 22, 2010 7:51 PM

I was arrested for Indecent Exposure in May of 1995, at an Adult Bookstore. I was given Deferred Dejudification and one year of Probation. How long will this remain on my Criminal Record?
Can I have this sealed or expunged from my record?
I will be finishing my degree, and would like to seek secure employment.

PMS - August 24, 2010 4:46 PM

I was fishing at Conn Brown Harbor, Aransas Pass, Tx - from the pier. There was a full moon, soft breeze, prime tide conditions, and the wonderful sound of popping trout. I cast my line and slid my pole into a provided holder, then SUDDENLY two large arms wrapped around me as unknown lips tried to kiss my neck and mouth and a male body rubbed against my backside. I screamed, swung around and shoved him with all my strength - separating us just enough for me to see his bare genitals and quickly get further away. I felt sexually assaulted, and I called 911 fully expecting the police to arrest this scum for sexual assault. To my surprise, I was told he could only be charged with indecent exposure, but only if I press charges immediately. Otherwise, he was free go. Upon pressing charges, it becomes public record and this man is allowed access to my personal info (address, phone #, work place, etc). US Law Enforcement?? - I DO NOT FEEL PROTECTED & SERVED.
Fishing alone late at night used to be my favorite way to relax - I doubt I'll ever be able to relax this way again. One question - why is it that the police can stack charges at any given time (ie speeding, but you also get charged with DUI by their word alone)? I feel sexually assaulted and its my responsibility to pres charges, so why can't I press sexual assaut charges? It may get reduced to indecent exposure, but the more severe charge may trigger a maximum penalty for the lesser offense conviction.

anonymous - February 11, 2011 9:23 PM

False sex offender allegation, DA did not allow Grand Jury to hear from defense so indictment was guaranteed, now facing choice of 25 to life in prison or deferred adjudication where the rules are impossible to follow and failure to follow yields life where a prison sentence = a death sentence in less than 6 months for a weak innocent boy. What would you do?

Wondering - February 22, 2011 8:15 AM

Can you be charged with indecent exposure going nude in your home with the doors and windows open? The public can see inside your house.
Can you work in your yard in the nude?

Bill - June 16, 2011 12:47 PM

The sexual assault (unwanted contact) might amount to a class C misdemeanor where the indecent exposure is a HIGHER class B misdemeanor.

Enrique - July 11, 2011 2:31 PM

Was just checking out this law to see how much trouble i'd get in if i ran naked after winning the lotto. Thankfully i havent won yet :).

dee - August 20, 2011 9:13 AM

Any sex offender law between a 15 to 17 year old is stupid, they need tounderstand that times has changed and these young girls know way more about sex now then they did back in the day, it's to many good men lifes getting ruin behind THESE young girls who lie about there age, IF YOU PUNISH THE ADULT FOR NOT KNOWING HER REAL AGE THEN YOU SHOULD PUNISH THE TEEN, IT ALL STOPS WHEN TEENS START GETTING PUNISH AS WELL FOR LYING ABOUT THERE AGE....It's ashame how the law can let lying females BE ABOVE THE LAW..CAUSE IF SHE HAD SEX WITH ONE ADULT THEN SHE SHE HAD SEX WITH MULTIPLE ADULTS, these teen girls get mad because they fall in love and the guy don't want them so they go to the law because you guys are the only dummies to believe them...TIMES HAS CHANGE WE NEED NEW AND YOUNGER GOVERNMENT WHO UNDERSTAND THE PEOPLE TODAY NOT THE PEOPLE BACK THEN!!!

Speeqtruth - June 13, 2012 2:29 PM

My wife who has so many issue was in the tubb with a friend who stays in the my house, the friend is a female. they were both completely nude nipple showing and my 6yr old son walked on after him and I arrived from the store. He asked me why is mommy in the tub with #### I went up stairs to see and they were both there they acted like it was no thing and continued on in the tub. Is this indecent exposure to a child?

JackB - June 24, 2012 4:32 PM

I believe people need to lighten up about exposing nudity to children. Children know better than adults that nudity can easily be non-sexual. They do it more often than adults do! The naked body in itself is not indecent, and if it makes you uncomfortable, you should get over it. There's nothing harmful about seeing a nude body. You just feel the way people told you to feel. I find this law to be the minimal acceptable level of nudity. Personally I might revise the "recklessness" section to be less limiting. I think if we want to make any progress, we need to get people a little out of their comfort zones, so they'll learn it really doesn't hurt that much. If I hear of any sort of plans to ban nudity altogether, I will certainly take action to prevent it.

Donald Newsom - January 27, 2013 8:00 AM

Both here and in Disorderly conduct: Texas Criminal Laws and Penalties, I don't see anything about getting into any kind of trouble exposing butt cleavage in public, or, am I missing something.

Lauren Lane - February 11, 2013 2:22 PM

If someone is charged with indecent exposure with a child how long are they required to be registered as a sex offender? And does this affect them being able to be around children who are not blood related to them but are blood related to their spouse?? Please help I need to know what this means and if should go ahead am marry my fiance or if it will affect my relationship with my friends children and my sisters children??

Lauren Lane - February 11, 2013 2:23 PM

If someone is charged with indecent exposure with a child how long are they required to be registered as a sex offender? And does this affect them being able to be around children who are not blood related to them but are blood related to their spouse?? Please help I need to know what this means and if should go ahead am marry my fiance or if it will affect my relationship with my friends children and my sisters children??

EX "Sex Offender" - March 18, 2014 1:25 PM

I have been convicted of this in the past and automatically assumed that I was guilty of indecent exposure, because I was naked in a public place. THIS is NOT what the law in the penal code states!
The Texas Penal Code SPECIFICALLY states that
Sec. 21.08. INDECENT EXPOSURE. (a) A person commits an offense if he exposes his anus or any part of his genitals with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, and he is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by his act.
NOTE THE WORDS INTENT AND SEXUAL GRATIFICATION. Which must be PROOVEN!
IF you are simply Naked in a public place then you are guilty of
DISORDERLY CONDUCT!!!
Chapter 4201 section 10
10) exposes his anus or genitals in a public place and is reckless about whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by his act;
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. DON’T automatically assume you are guilty of indecent exposure!

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