Florida lawmaker seeks to upgrade flashing, indecent exposure from a misdemeanor to a felony
A Florida senator is seeking to make flashing a felony.
State Sen. Linda Stewart announced she is pushing to increase penalties for flashers after the Orange County Sheriff’s Office after receiving reports that a man exposed himself to children.
The Sheriff’s Office said the man opened the driver-side door of a car and started touching himself. He reportedly drove away when one of the children said they were going to call 911.
That spurred Stewart to introduce SB 1018, which would make flashing a third-degree felony. The bill would make it unlawful to be naked in public except in places that are designated for nudity, like a nude beach. The bill would charge a mother who is breastfeeding her child with flashing.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina supports the bill, telling News 13 in Orlando, “This bill will give law enforcement additional tools to act swiftly against those who victimize our residents and visitors with these disturbing lewd acts.”
Florida law defines indecent exposure as the accused exposing his or her sexual organs in a vulgar or indecent manner in any public place, on another person’s property or any place that can be seen from private premises. It is a first-degree misdemeanor under state law. Potential consequences include jail time for up to one year and fines up to $1,000.
Lewd and lascivious exhibition is defined by Florida as the intentional masturbation, exposure of genitals in a lewd manner or committing a sexual act in th presence of someone younger than 16. The offense is a second degree felony. If the accused is younger than 18, it becomes a third degree felony.
Upgrading indecent exposure to a third-degree felony would make the crime punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
The bill notably would not make a flasher register as a sex offender.
Whether or not indecent exposure is upgraded from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, it is best to not be naked in front of other people without consent or in an environment where it is appropriate.