Defending Against Indecent Exposure in Hawaii

Every criminal charge is different. The details of your case will determine which defense strategy is most likely to result in your acquittal or other favorable outcome. The prosecutor will need to prove that you intended to offend someone by exposing your genitals. Your defense lawyer may argue a lack of intent – you did not intend to offend anyone.

Arguing a lack of intent is common in indecent exposure defenses. There are many other potential defensive options that could work for your case.

Mental Defect

A lack of mental capacity can be a compelling defense. Do you have a previously diagnosed mental health condition or illness? Were you under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the alleged crime? Even certain sleep medications may cause you to act unnaturally.

Procedural Errors

Attorney Fayard will look at your arrest for irregularities, mistakes, or misconduct. Did an officer read you your rights? Did you ask for a lawyer during questioning and were denied? These factors may produce a defense based on procedural errors.

Evidentiary Errors

A sex crimes defense attorney can seek for evidence to be discarded if there are mistakes and errors. A common error is a lack of chain of custody for evidence that opens the door to contamination and incorrect results.

Mistake of Fact

It is more common than you might think for people to be wrongfully accused of indecent exposure. Witness statements are not always the most reliable. You could be the victim of mistaken identity or false accusations by an individual with sinister motives.


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Hawaii Indecent Exposure Laws

Under Hawaii Code §707-734, you can be charged with indecent exposure if you intentionally expose your genitals to someone in a way that is likely to be offensive. The law does not apply to people who are married. Further, you can be charged with indecent electronic display to a child if you intentionally expose your genitals to a minor online or digitally.

Indecent Exposure Penalties

If you are found guilty of indecent exposure, your entire life could be destroyed. The criminal penalties are harsh. Indecent exposure in Hawaii is a petty misdemeanor. You could spend up to 30 days in jail and be ordered to pay fines of up to $1,000.

Depending on the details, additional penalties could include:

  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Completion of a drug or alcohol treatment program
  • Restitution

Although indecent exposure charges do not require you to register as a sex offender, you could still feel humiliated and experience a loss of reputation. The stigma related to an indecent exposure conviction is devastating. Your reputation will likely be destroyed. Your ties with family and friends could suffer. Your professional image could be ruined. You might lose your job.

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Hawaii Indecent Exposure FAQ

If you have additional questions not answered on this page, call our law office for a free consultation.

Can I Be Charged With Indecent Exposure in a Car?

It is possible that you could be charged with indecent exposure in a car. It depends on the details of your case. You must have intentionally exposed your genitals to be convicted of indecent exposure.

If you were engaged in sexual conduct in a car, you would probably not be charged with indecent exposure. This is in part because there was no intent to offend anyone. Instead, you might face open lewdness charges, which is also a petty misdemeanor. Open lewdness is not a sex crime under Hawaii law, and you would not have to register as a sex offender.

What if There Is a Warrant for My Arrest for Indecent Exposure?

In our experience, it is better for you to turn yourself in than wait for the police to arrest you on an active warrant. Going to the police voluntarily shows that you understand the gravity of the situation. An attorney can accompany you when you turn yourself in.

You may still qualify for bail if you turn yourself in for an indecent exposure warrant.

Can I Be Charged With Indecent Exposure in My Own Home?

In certain situations, it is possible that you could face indecent exposure charges even if you were in your own home. For example, you could be charged with indecent exposure if you walk around naked in front of a large window in your home. Hawaii’s indecent exposure law does not say that indecent exposure can only occur in a public place. The requirement for an indecent exposure charge is that you intentionally exposed your genitals to someone in an offensive way.

Using the example above, you can always argue reasonable expectations of privacy, but that may not prevent you from being charged with indecent exposure.

Can I Be Charged With Indecent Exposure for Nursing in Public in Hawaii?

You should not be charged with indecent exposure for nursing in Hawaii. Nursing is legal in Hawaii, and mothers have the right to breastfeed in any public place. You are under no legal obligation to use a covering to feed your baby. You have the right to breastfeed uncovered. Indecent exposure laws in Hawaii do not apply to breasts. They only apply to genitals.

Contact a Hawaii Indecent Exposure Lawyer

If you have been charged with indecent exposure in Hawaii, your reputation is on the line. You could be facing serious criminal penalties as well. Fortunately, you could have Michael Fayard, Criminal Defense Attorney, by your side. The sooner you call for a free consultation, the sooner we can begin on your defense.

Call 808-445-6708 or fill out our convenient contact form.