Indecent Exposure


Indecent Exposure Solicitors

Our specilaist sexual offence solicitors regularly represent clients for this offence at the Magistrate’s Court and at the Crown Court.

A conviction for exposure (previously known as indecent exposure) will potentially have very serious consequences including a conviction for a sexual offence, a requirement to sign on as a registered sex offender and a possible prison sentence.

As such if you have been charged with indecent exposure it is vital that you receive expert advice as soon as possible.

Indecent exposure is a crime of ‘specific intent’ which means that you have a defence unless you intended to expose your genitals and you intended that somebody would be seen them and be caused alarm or distress.

In all cases the evidence must be considered very carefully and detailed instructions taken. Even if the case is watertight and you will be pleading guilty it is still crucial that you are properly represented by a specialist sexual offence solicitor  to limit the damage and maximise your chances of retaining your liberty and avoiding prison.

Call now to speak to the owner of the firm Joe Happe. Your initial call is completely confidential and free of fees. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the punishment for indecent exposure in he UK?

Indecent exposure carries a maximum sentence of 2 years imprisonment. However with the correct mitigation put forward by an experienced lawyer prison can often be avoided even in respect of repeat offenders. McMillans Solicitors have represented numerous clients for this offence and have NEVER had a client sent to prison.

Can I receive a caution for indecent exposure? 

You can receive a caution for indecent exposure in certain circumstances. Ordinarily you would need to admit the offence in your police interview, have no previous convictions and there be no aggravating factors as listed in the sentencing guidelines below indicating higher culpability and / or a greater degree of harm. This is why it is vital that you are properly advised and represented at the police station in order that the possibility of a caution can be fully explored and appropriate representations made to the police and / or CPS.

Do I have to sign on as a registered sex offender if I am convicted of an offence of indecent exposure?

If you accept a police caution you will generally NOT have to sign on as a registered sex offender and be subject to the notification requirements. If you are convicted at court you will only be required to sign on etc if either the victim was under 18 or if you receive a community sentence of at least 12 months or any term of imprisonment. As such it is crucial that you are expertly represented at court by a specialist lawyer to avoid the stigma of becoming a registered sex offender if at all possible.

Can you accidentally  commit an offence of  indecent exposure?

No you can not. We have had many cases of individuals being ‘caught short’ and exposing themselves solely in order to go to the toilet. In all such cases you would have a defence as it has to be proved that you ‘intentionally’ exposed yourself and you ‘intended’ that somebody would be caused ‘alarm or distress’

The Law

Sexual Offences Act 2003, s 66(1)

66.—(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he intentionally exposes his genitals, and

(b) he intends that someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress.

Either-way, 6 months/£5,000 (2 years).

Gender: This offence is committed where an offender intentionally exposes his or her genitals and intends that someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress. It is gender neutral, covering exposure of male or female genitalia to a male or female witness.

Sentencing repeat offenders: The Sentencing Guidelines Council guideline provides that, when dealing with a repeat offender, the starting point should be 12 weeks’ custody with a range of 4 to 26 weeks’ custody. The presence of aggravating factors may suggest that a sentence above the range is appropriate and that the case should be committed to the Crown Court.

Full sentencing guidelines can be found here and the magistrate’s guidelines are outlined below:

Magistrate’s Court Sentencing GuidelinesOffence seriousness (culpability and harm)

  1. Identify the appropriate starting point

Starting points based on first time offender pleading not guilty

Examples of nature of activityStarting pointRange
Basic offence as defined in the Act, assuming no aggravating or mitigating factorsLow level community orderBand B fine – medium levelcommunity order
Offence with an aggravating factorMedium level community orderLow level community order– high level community order
Two or more aggravating factors12 weeks’ custody6 weeks’ custody – Crown Court


Offence seriousness (culpability and harm)

  1. Consider the effect of aggravating and mitigating factors (other than those within examples above)

The following may be particularly relevant but these lists are not exhaustive

Factors indicating higher culpability

  1. Threats to prevent the victim reporting an offence
  2. Intimidating behaviour/threats of violence

Factor indicating greater degree of harm

  1. Victim is a child


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