When someone exposes his or her "private parts" in a public place and in the presence of one or more individuals, he or she can be charged with indecent exposure in North Carolina. There are, however, some stipulations that deal with specific parts of the definition of indecent exposure.
What is the definition of a public place in the indecent exposure law? The courts in North Carolina have ruled that a vehicle parked in a public parking lot is considered to be a public place. Another place that can be considered public is a creek embankment next to a backyard.
What is considered "private parts?" Most people have their own opinions of what private parts means, but in North Carolina in terms of the indecent exposure law, it means "female or male genitalia." A person's buttocks aren't considered to be private parts; neither are a woman's breasts. Some people are working to change the law to include a woman's breasts.
An associated charge is aggravated indecent exposure. This includes the element of exposing one's genitalia for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal in front of someone who is under the age of 16.
Possible penalties for indent exposure include probation, community service, a fine of as much as $1,000 and jail time of up to 30 days. Aggravated indecent exposure is considered a Class H felony. The state uses a sentencing grid for felonies, but the penalties can include prison time, community service, fines and sex offender registration.
Those who are facing indent exposure charges need to understand all of the nuances of the law. An experienced criminal defense attorney can give you more information on this specific charge and potential consequences.
Source: FindLaw, "North Carolina Indecent Exposure Laws" accessed Mar. 05, 2015