WHAT IS AN INDECENT EXPOSURE CHARGE?

Have you been arrested or even just questioned by the police for a sex related crime such as indecent exposure?

California Penal Code 314  prohibits the sex crime of “indecent exposure”. This means willfully exposing your genitals to someone else, motivated by a desire to sexually gratify yourself or offend the other person.

Many people make a big mistake. They think that just because they are innocent, they don’t need the best criminal defense lawyer.

The Court system is designed to be “adversarial”. This means the District Attorney represents the government, not you. He has no obligation to tell you if there are holes in his case or weaknesses in the evidence. If the police violated your rights or made mistakes, the DA won’t tell you that a motion to suppress evidence or even to dismiss the case is appropriate.

The Judge can’t take sides, so he or she can’t tell you what to do either. The only person in the system who is on your side is your defense attorney.

So YES, you do need the best criminal defense lawyer.

You should also know that if you let the Judge appoint the Public Defender, then the Judge must order you to reimburse the county based on your ability to pay. You will be ordered to appear in Court and waste many hours away from work and family. In addition, the Public Defender is under a lot of pressure to get rid of cases. They work for the government just like the District Attorney. We don’t have that pressure and so we can do whatever is best for you.

Our goal is to get the case dismissed or reduced. No one can predict the future, but we have a lot of success stories and just a few of them are on our web site. If you don’t hire us, you will never know if your case could have been dismissed or reduced.

WHY IS THIS A SERIOUS PROBLEM?

The consequences of any sex crime conviction can be life changing. California indecent exposure law is broad but can also be tragically vague. Many people commit acts not intending to commit a crime.

You can face significant time in custody. More significantly, a Penal Code 314 conviction subjects you to a minimum ten (10) year duty to register as a sex offender.

If you are not a citizen, you can be deported, even if you are a “Lawful Permanent Resident” and have a “Green Card.”

WHAT ARE POSSIBLE DEFENSES?

Each case is unique, but there are two sides to every story. Attorney Mark Cantrell has licensed private investigators who will perform an independent investigation to find evidence to help you.

For a sex crime case such as indecent exposure, we often can find reasons that explain why false accusations are made. For example, innocent actions were misunderstood or exaggerated.

WHY SHOULD YOU CALL US IMMEDIATELY? 

A recent case illustrates why it is so important that you have a trial attorney by your side. Our client had some mental problems and did something that we all would agree was absolutely wrong. He drove up to women and asked innocent questions, such as for directions, and while he was doing this, he was masturbating. He filmed himself on his cell phone while doing this.

He was arrested and charged with Penal Code 314, indecent exposure. Because of the cell phone video evidence, the client believed he had no chance and his life was over. However, Attorney Mark Cantrell looked at the case from the point of view of taking this case to a jury trial. He pointed out to the DA the exact definition of the law as contained in the instructions the Judge would give to the jury:

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) 1160 - Indecent Exposure. “To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1. The defendant willfully exposed his genitals in the presence of another person or persons who might be offended or annoyed by the defendant’s actions; and 2. When the defendant exposed himself, he acted lewdly by intending to direct public attention to his genitals for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying himself or another person, or sexually offending another person.” (Emphasis added.)

Attorney Cantrell pointed out that the defendant did not intend to direct attention to his genitals – in fact the video clearly showed he was hiding his private parts from the other person’s view at all times. The indecent exposure charge was dropped, saving a young man’s life, and he was able to get the counseling he needed.

Many people are surprised to learn that the police are allowed to lie to the suspect in an attempt to obtain a confession or incriminating statements. This is just one more reason it is foolish to talk to the authorities. If you are under investigation call us immediately so we can protect you.

Sometimes the police will do what is called a “ruse phone call.” The alleged victim will call you on the phone and make statements about what happened and try to get you to make admissions.

Do NOT talk to the alleged victim or to anyone else about the case. The police are recording the call and many times defendants will say something just to try to smooth things over and those statements will later sound very incriminating.

Mark Cantrell is well known in the Riverside criminal defense community as a trial attorney with many successful cases to his credit. When you visit his office, he will be proud to show you newspaper articles about his cases - not paid advertisements.

The biggest mistake an accused person can make is to retain an attorney who does not do trials. The District Attorney has no reason to compromise and give you a break if your attorney is known as a “plea bargain” attorney.