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What are the Consequences of Indecent Exposure in SC?

According to South Carolina Code §16-15-130, you will be found guilty of indecent exposure if you “willfully, maliciously, and indecently” expose yourself in “a public place, on the property of others, or to the view of any person on a street or highway.”

Indecent exposure involves revealing your private parts or other sexual anatomy to others, excluding breastfeeding. South Carolina harshly punishes anyone who commits indecent exposure with fines, jail time, and mandatory registration on the sex offender registry.

If you have been accused of indecent exposure, our South Carolina criminal defense lawyers are here to protect your reputation.

Examples of Indecent Exposure

Certain situations can result in an incident exposure charge, such as:

Public Urination

If you have to urinate in the middle of an outdoor activity (i.e., hiking) but have no access to a restroom, you will likely choose to stand behind a tree before unzipping your fly to relieve yourself.

Public urination is illegal in every state, and while your intention may have been innocent, you may be cited for indecent exposure.


Streaking is most often seen at sporting events. Whether you are doing so as a prank, on a dare, or in protest, streaking may result in criminal charges.

Changing Clothes

If you need to change your wardrobe, it may be best for you to do so in the privacy of your home. While some women have perfected the art of changing under a towel, a miscalculation may result in embarrassment. Further, making matters worse, you could be charged with indecent exposure if someone sees you in the act.

What Must the Prosecution Prove To Convict You?

Each crime has components, known in the law as elements, which must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. For a prosecutor to secure an indecent exposure conviction, the following elements must be satisfied:

Penalties for Indecent Exposure

Under South Carolina law, indecent exposure is generally considered a class A misdemeanor. Even as a misdemeanor offense, you could be imprisoned for three years and have to pay fines as specified by the court. If convicted, you may have to register on the sex offender registry.

The sex offender registry is readily available to the public. With one click, your name and picture will be visible to anyone who searches for you. In extreme cases, South Carolina law requires offenders to be registered for life. Employers often conduct background checks on job candidates. If you are listed on the sex offender registry, an employer is unlikely to hire you.

Do Not Delay: Contact a South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer

The law does not tread lightly on those charged with indecent exposure. If you are facing indecent exposure allegations, our legal team wants to hear from you. Contact us online or by phone today to schedule your free consultation.