Cited for indecent exposure!
Hey all, I also posted this in a hiking group forum but just noticed this section so I'm reposting... I've been exploring SW florida and looking for places to safely hike nude. A few days ago I pulled into a national preserve that is in the middle of nowhere and very infrequently visited. I was already nude in the car when I pulled up, and there were no other cars in the lot, no people present, and nobody attending the property. So I got out of the car nude to look at the trail map. I happened to look up and noticed a trail cam pointed right at me, so I immediately turned around, got back in my car, and put on my shorts. I guess it was pretty stupid of me not to consider that there would be abundant trail cams, but I did nothing offensive and immediately covered up when I realized.
3 days later I received a call from a conservation officer who had pulled my license plate off the camera, found my contact info, and was issuing me an indecent exposure citation. He repeatedly said that the law stated that nudity on federal land is strictly prohibited, and despite my pleas he refused to give me a break. I haven't received the ticket in the mail yet, so I don't know how much the fine is, but I really don't want to pay this, nor do I want indecent exposure on my record when that was clearly not the case!
In my research I have found no example of this law, most everything I read says the laws are very vague and there has to be lewd or sexual behavior/intent, or that the individual refuses to cover up in front of other people in order for this to be an offense.
I welcome any advice here. While I'm most likely just going to pay this ticket since I can't imagine the embarrassment of standing in a full court room to defend this, I'd really like to know if I have any other options.
Thanks everyone, be safe!
UPDATE: I heeded the advice of several people here and I contacted the AANR. Not only were they interested in helping, one of the directors is a local practicing lawyer in the district this case was appointed to. They were able to contact the District Attorney and get him/her to agree to recommend dropping the case. Then they proceeded to get approval from the court clerk to represent me at the hearing, without me needing to be present. They sat in court all day for me, because it was the last case heard and the ONLY one for the entire day that was dismissed. Amazing...
All of this was done free of charge to me in return for simply letting everyone know how great AANR is, and to encourage everyone to join!
Thanks again to everyone for all of the advice and interest, this all turned out way better than I could have hoped.
Only a lawyer can tell you if have any other realistic options. Since there's camera evidence that you were alone with no intent to expose yourself to others, and not being lewd, you might have a fair chance of getting the ticket dismissed. It would be a noble deed, of course, for you to go to court to get the issue settled.
I'd always understood that there are NO anti-nudity laws on federal land, whereas state land usually has such laws.
I hope you get with a lawyer, and if you could get him/her to clarify that position, we'd all like to know the legal details!
You shouldnt feel any embarrassment about defending yourself against this nonsense. Doing so is tantamount to admitting wrongdoing. What you did is entirely harmless, and should be vigorously defended.
The Florida statute reads:
Chapter 800.03, Exposure of sexual organs. It is unlawful to expose or exhibit one's sexual organs in public or on the private premises of another, or so near thereto as to be seen from such private premises, in a vulgar or indecent manner, or to be naked in public except in any place provided or set apart for that purpose.
Which may be enforced on Federal property in a Florida. There is no Federal law prohibiting nudity on Federal property.
If you werent behaving in a vulgar or indecent manner you may be OK, but the last part, or to be naked in public except in any place provided or set apart for that purpose. is problematic.
Good luck, and let us know how this turns out.
Just last week, I was cited because a neighbor looked into the 1 portion of my back yard that is not sight protected. i immediately contacted the AANR Government Affairs Tem (GAT). The head is a Fl licensed lawyer. They have contacts with attorneys in individual states. I am expecting a referral call today or tomorrow. The AZ law leaves lots of wiggle room. It has to be reckless but the whether or not if the viewer may be offended is wide open to personal interpretation.
Arizona ARS 13-1402. Indecent exposure; exception; classification Note: para C - felony if viewed by someone 15 or younger
A. A person commits indecent exposure if he or she exposes his or her genitals or anus or she exposes the areola or nipple of her breast or breasts and another person is present, and the defendant is reckless about whether the other person, as a reasonable person, would be offended or alarmed by the act.
B. Indecent exposure does not include an act of breast-feeding by a mother.
C. Indecent exposure to a person who is fifteen or more years of age is a class 1 misdemeanor, except that it is a class 6 felony if the defendant has two or more prior convictions for a violation of this section or has one or more prior convictions for a violation of section 13-1406. Indecent exposure to a person who is under fifteen years of age is a class 6 felony.
D. A person who is convicted of a felony violation of this section and who has two or more historical prior felony convictions for a violation of this section or section 13-1403 involving indecent exposure or public sexual indecency to a minor who is under fifteen years of age is guilty of a class 3 felony and shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment as follows: blah blab blah.
I am going to see this through BUT, i have been far to lackadaisical in that section of my yard. NO More! I measured the distance and they were, at a minimum 136 feet away if standing at their 6 ft fence. therefore, completing my fence has become priority #1 neighbor and i ha now talked, he says their primary concern is over their grandkids. i'll concede that point.
more to come as it plays out,
Being nude in public but not at a place specifically intended for nude use is itself not the wisest thing to do. If it goes to court, you risk the possibility of getting a judge who throws the book at you and makes you register for life as a sex offender or worse.
Like others have already suggested, I also suggest you consult an attorney, who will likely tell you to pay the fine and don't do that again. You're not going to receive the kind of sympathy you do here when facing a judge, jury, lawyer, etc.
Either way, what you did was irresponsible. That's the kind of behavior that sets our "movement" (if there is such a thing) back.