What Are Nudity Laws?

Public nudity laws and public sex acts make it illegal to display nudity publicly, meaning they prohibit you from walking around in public without clothes. Walking naked or the lack of clothes is unlawful if it’s intended to arouse sexual gratification or make people attracted to you.

If you’ve been charged with indecent exposure in your backyard, you may want to know what the law says about public nudity. It’s advisable to consult a skilled Seattle criminal defense attorney. We can provide legal guidance and help you understand how to fight the charges.

What Are Indecent Exposure Crimes in Washington State?

In Washington State, it is considered indecent exposure if you expose your private parts in a public space or an area where other people are present. The indecent exposure law in Washington considers it a misdemeanor to make an open and obscene exposure while knowing that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable alarm or affront.

Generally, lewd or obscene behavior must be present to get arrested for indecent exposure. Additionally, a witness must be willing to come forward, complain, and testify against you in court for the authorities to press charges. If these circumstances surround your case, contact an experienced Seattle indecent exposure lawyer immediately.

What Is Considered a “Public” Place?

The laws in most states prohibit nudity in public places. Your backyard is considered a public place if your nudity is visible to others, for example, through an open window or sunbathing in the yard while naked. While the law may conflict with the freedom of expression, nudity meant to arouse is against the law.

A public place is any location visited or accessed by the public. It’s also a place where the public can be expected to observe or visit. They include:

  • Private business areas such as restaurants or bars
  • Private events such as music festivals
  • Sidewalks
  • Amusement parks
  • Shopping malls
  • Streets

Exemptions to this definition include restrooms, doctors’ offices, and other places where privacy is expected.

Is It Okay to Pee in My Backyard?

There’s a lot to unpack as far as urinating in your backyard is concerned. While you can urinate in your backyard as long as nobody sees you, things can be different if a neighbor catches you. They might decide to report to the police, and you can face charges for public urination even if it was on your private property.

Besides, public urination is a crime punishable by law in all states. You could face hefty fines if convicted of the offense. Enlist the services of a skilled indecent exposure lawyer in Seattle as soon as possible after the arrest. They can investigate the case and help you create a strong defense strategy to have the charges dropped.

Can You Go to Jail for Urinating in Public?

Peeing in public, including in your backyard, is an offense, especially if children are around. The outcome of your charges for urinating in public depends on the circumstances of the case. If you were trying not to be seen while relieving yourself, you may not go to jail but get a fine instead.

The situation is different if you make a scene while urinating in public, being aware that people can see you. You can get additional charges for public nuisance and indecent public exposure, which is a sexual offense.

Do I Have to Be Completely Nude To Violate Nudity Laws?

Partial nudity and the display of sexual body parts is an offense under Seattle nudity laws. Showing your breasts, genitals, or buttocks can cause you to be investigated by the police, especially if your conduct while nude causes alarm.

For example, flashing or inappropriately touching yourself while nude can lead to an arrest and charges for indecent exposure. If you want the best outcomes, get a skilled indecent exposure lawyer in Seattle to represent you during the trial.

What If I Refuse to Wear Clothes as a Political Statement?

Nudity is only protected under the First Amendment, which recognizes the right to freedom of expression. State laws will take precedence if the question of nudity arises in public places. Courts are less likely to enforce nudity laws when nudity is intended to make a political statement.

Political speech is one of the most protected types of speech. Therefore, actions considered political may be protected by the First Amendment. If you were caught naked in your backyard as a political statement, you could use this as a defense in your case to avoid facing penalties.

Is Breastfeeding Infants in Public Indecent Exposure?

According to RCW 9A.88.010, someone is guilty of indecent exposure if they intentionally make any open and obscene exposure of their person, knowing that such behavior is likely to cause reasonable alarm. Expressing milk or breastfeeding in public is not considered indecent exposure.

What Are the Penalties for Indecent Exposure?

Intentionally exposing your private parts in a public place or making any open and obscene exposure is a general misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of:

  • 90 days in jail
  • A thousand-dollar fine

An experienced criminal defense attorney in Seattle can investigate the case and help you build a strong defense strategy against the charges.

Fight for Your Rights in Seattle With Professional Help

While the constitution recognizes the right to freedom of expression, it doesn’t give you the right to indecent exposure in public places, including your backyard. If you’re naked and your neighbors spot you, they can report you to the authorities, subjecting you to a criminal investigation.

You want to avoid that at all costs, so hire a Seattle indecent exposure lawyer to defend you. We can investigate your case and help you fight the charges by showing that you didn’t intend to cause any alarm or affront to anyone who saw you. Contact us to schedule a FREE in-depth case assessment.