By Carlos Gamino
We’ve all heard of indecent exposure, but in the state of Wisconsin, what does it really mean?
Wisconsin’s Legal Definition of Indecent Exposure
Under Wisconsin law, indecent exposure falls under the category of lewd and lascivious behavior. It’s a Class A misdemeanor, and it can apply to anyone who “Publicly and indecently exposes genitals or pubic area.”
It’s important to note that the law doesn’t apply to mothers who are breastfeeding their children; you can’t be charged with indecent exposure if you’re simply nursing a baby.
The term “publicly” is limited to the extent that it would protect kids or unwilling adults from that exposure, as well.
Consequences of Indecent Exposure in Milwaukee
If you’re convicted of indecent exposure in Milwaukee, you could be facing serious legal consequences. Naturally, the penalties vary based on the situation; some penalties will be harsher than others.
An indecent exposure conviction can include penalties such as:
- Jail time
- Sex offender registration
- Banishment from school areas or other areas kids frequent
Common Indecent Exposure Charges
While it seems obvious what indecent exposure includes, there might be more to it than you think. Remember, the law says indecent exposure applies to anyone who “indecently exposes genitals or pubic area.” That leaves a little room for interpretation – and what one person might find perfectly acceptable could offend the moral sensibilities of another.
Indecent exposure could include:
- Urinating in public
- Appearing nude or partially nude in public
As a side note, in the early 1900s, women could be arrested or fined for wearing bathing suits that showed their knees or arms. While indecent exposure has certainly evolved to cover less of the body than it did a century ago, the same idea stands: laws are designed to protect others from what they may find offensive.