Can You Skinny Dip Legally in Washington State?
Can you skinny dip legally in Washington State? There are a lot of places that are KNOWN for skinny dipping in Washington State but that doesn't make it perfectly legal. The answer to that question is complicated, so if swimming naked is something you HAVE to do read on!
According to Washington State law on Findlaw.com, indecent exposure is " a person exposes his or her private parts in a public space, or in a place where other people are present." Also, a person is found charged for misdemeanor indecent exposure if found to "make any open and obscene exposure of his or her person or the person of another knowing that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable affront or alarm." That means to be arrested, the act needs to be "lewd or obscene". Also, a witness must testify in court against the defendant.
If you get caught, most likely the charge will be a misdemeanor unless it was witnessed by a minor under the age of 14. Then the charge will be a gross misdemeanor with more severe penalties. Here is the exact definition of penalties for the law.
|Code Section||RCW 9A.88.01|
|What is Prohibited||Intentionally exposing your private parts in a public space or place where other people are present and making any open and obscene exposure of his or her person or the person of another knowing that the conduct is likely to cause reasonable affront or alarm.|
|Penalties||Generally a misdemeanor offense punishable by a maximum of ninety (90) days in jail and a thousand dollar ($1000) fine.|
|Enhanced Penalties||Intentionally exposing your private parts to a child under 14, or if you have prior convictions you can face enhanced penalties including felony charges.|
|Exceptions||Breast feeding in public|
After the State law, you will have to worry about the individual city or campus laws with their own penalties. If you are charged with indecent exposure in Washington State, it is a good idea to hire a sex crimes lawyer that specializes in these kind of complicated cases.
There is also a lot of questions on if or where women can go topless in the State. Even though it seems to be legal with the law, there is still debate on the issue. Most people don't know that it was illegal for ALL MEN to be topless until the 1930's according to cdpress.com. Men then protested and earned the right quoting the constitution and the law was changed. Now it is normal for men to be topless.