Willful Exposure & Indecent Acts

Any allegation of sexual offending such as willful exposure or indecent acts can be devastating for your future and even result in a term of imprisonment.

If you find yourself accused of committing Willful Exposure or  Indecent Acts,  careful preparation and presentation of your case is vital to achieving a positive outcome.

Have You Been Charged?

It’s imperative that you seek legal advice if you’ve been accused/charged with a sexual offence.

Contact Criminal Defence Attorney Michael McMillan for assistance and legal advice on (07) 5619 6860 or 0409 273 430.

What the Law Says

In Queensland, there are two offences that criminalise public conduct in which genitals are exposed.


Willful Exposure

The lesser of the two (wilful exposure) is found in the Summary Offences Act.

It criminalises public exposure of genitals. But it only attracts upon conviction a small fine. Imprisonment for such offending can only be imposed if such offending was done with the intention of offending or embarrassing another person.

Even then, the maximum is imprisonment for only 1 year.


Indecent Acts

The other offence (indecent acts) is found in the Criminal Code.

It criminalises at least the same conduct but casts arguably a wider net attempting to catch any acts (whether the alleged offender is clothed or not) in public that offend current standards of decency.

If that offending was intended to offend other people or not, it still carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 2 years.

Similar overlap can be found in the New South Wales offences of Committing a Sexual Act and Willful and Obscene Exposure.

An interesting point about the Willful Exposure offences on both sides of the State border is that neither requires any person to have witnessed the exposure.

What is in reality criminalised is the risk that another member of the community will have seen the exposure.

Plea Bargain

Given that the offence of Willful Exposure only carries a small fine as a maximum penalty, my experience with this type of offending is success flows from encouraging the prosecutor to apply the principles found in the Case Conferencing chapter of their Operational Procedures Manual and ask they consider offering the Summary Offences Act offence as an alternative to more serious Criminal Code one.

Once again, a similar approach in New South Wales usually results in the lessor offence being preferred.

Although there are other reasons to attempt to have the charge for which you are convicted reduced to its lowest form, an obvious one is that being convicted of an offence that carries with it a maximum of more than a fine, you may be risking the security of your current employment.

A couple of simple examples come from the Architects Act 2002 where under s.28 your licence is cancelled if you are convicted of an indictable offence. Pursuant to section 77 of the Property Occupation Act 2014 a Real Estate Agent can have his or her licence cancelled if you are convicted of an offence carrying 3 or more years as a maximum period of imprisonment.

Or, under section 48 of the Queensland Building & Construction Commission Act 1991 a builder’s licence will be cancelled if he or she is convicted of an indictable offence.

Clearly, it is tangibly beneficial to have your criminal conduct shoehorned into a much less serious offence.

Will a conviction be recorded?

Despite the normally limited occasions in which an offender in New South Wales can avoid a recorded conviction for various crimes, the sentencing statistics show that about 20% of those sentenced for Willful and Obscene Exposure avoid a conviction being recorded.

Of course, the position in Queensland is a little easier but expert assistance in addressing the concerns the court will have dramatically enhances your prospects of success.

If you require any assistance at all with this these types of charges I am only too willing to impart my years of experience.

Need help with your sexual offence matter?

Michael McMillan is experienced with cases relating to sex offences such as willful exposure or indecent acts.

Contact Michael McMillan immediately on (07) 5619 6860 or 0409 273 430. Alternatively, you can send an enquiry online to discuss your criminal matter..