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New York Penal Law § 245.01: Exposure of a person

Exposure of a person is a violation that involves showing your intimate parts in public. This offense is similar to the crime of public lewdness. However, the difference is that public lewdness requires some sort of lewd act, while exposure of a person requires the mere exposing of intimate parts in public. Public can mean almost any place that is open to the general public such as a park, subway station, bus, train, library, or public restroom. But it can also mean a place that while not open to the public is not private. Under New York Penal Law § 245.01 you could be charged with exposure of a person if you appear in a public place with exposed or unclothed private or intimate parts of your body.


For example, in People v Gowdy, 2013 NY Slip Op 50263(U), defendant Vernon Gowdy exposed himself in an office cubicle and was charged with exposure of a person.

Related Offenses
  1. Public lewdness: New York Penal Law § 245.00
  2. Promoting the exposure of a person: New York Penal Law § 245.02
  3. Public lewdness in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 245.03
  4. Offensive exhibition: New York Penal Law § 245.05

Under this statute, you are not guilty of exposure of a person if you are breastfeeding in public. In addition, if you expose your intimate parts as part of a play, show or some other type of entertainment, then you have not committed the offense of exposure of a person.


Exposure of a person is a violation. If convicted the possible sentence is up to 15 days in jail and a fine of up to $250. However, a conviction for a violation will not result in a criminal record.

New York Penal Law § 245.01: Exposure of a person

A person is guilty of exposure if he appears in a public place in such a manner that the private or intimate parts of his body are unclothed or exposed. For purposes of this section, the private or intimate parts of a female person shall include that portion of the breast which is below the top of the areola. This section shall not apply to the breastfeeding of infants or to any person entertaining or performing in a play, exhibition, show or entertainment. Exposure of a person is a violation. Nothing in this section shall prevent the adoption by a city, town or village of a local law prohibiting exposure of a person as herein defined in a public place, at any time, whether or not such person is entertaining or performing in a play, exhibition, show or entertainment.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Even though exposure of a person is not a crime but a violation, you could still end up in jail and you will have to pay a fine. In addition, if you are accused of exposure of a person, the prosecutor may end up charging you other offenses that are misdemeanors or felonies. Thus, if you are accused of exposure of a person it is important that you contact an experienced attorney who will help make sure that your rights are protected. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been accused of public lewdness, indecent exposure, fondling, sex crimes and other criminal offenses. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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