As the summer season comes to a close, everyone is anxious to soak up those last few rays of sun while they still can. However, at least primarily for women, sunbathing always brings the issue of tan lines. During summer, many want to look like they were born with a natural, everlasting sun-kissed glow – but if you’re pale (like some of us), that simply isn’t the case. So how can you get the most convincing tan possible, free of tan lines?

The answer seems simple: tan naked! If you’re in your own backyard, you can do whatever you please. Besides, you aren’t bothering anyone if you’re just lying in the sun, minding your own business. It’s the best of both worlds – naked tanning offers the benefits of a full tan without the hassle of those pesky tan lines! …Right?

Actually, that’s wrong. While the internet may deem this acceptable behavior, the State of Maryland doesn’t really agree. Don’t start stripping in your yard just yet – in this situation, the answer isn’t so clear cut. Being naked outside, even in your own yard, is considered indecent exposure if other people can see you. If your neighbor happened to look over into your yard and saw you sunbathing naked, it would be perfectly lawful for him or her to have you arrested. However, if absolutely no one could see you, (e.g. if you have a yard completely enclosed by a tall fence) then it isn’t an issue.

Maryland’s indecent exposure law is actually pretty vague. While intentionally exposing one’s private parts in public is definitely illegal (Dill v. State, 24 Md.App. 695 (1975)), the lines blur around breast and rear exposure. A 2006 Washington Post article asserted that showing one’s rear in public is, while distasteful, not illegal. Additionally, some argue that banning public female toplessness and not male toplessness violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of laws. Evidently some controversy surrounds this topic.

While Maryland law surrounding indecent exposure is somewhat vague, it clearly bans the exposure of private parts. It may seem tempting, but it’s not worth the risk. Indecent exposure is a serious misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of three years in jail and a $1,000 fine. In certain cases, you may even have to register as a sex offender (for example, if you were exposed in front a minor). Simply put, tanning naked isn’t a good idea for most people; do yourself a favor and keep your clothes on.

If you have been charged with indecent exposure, don’t take a chance; contact the attorneys at Carey Law Office, LLC. We have been handling criminal citations such as this for over 30 years, and we have an excellent reputation for a reason. To speak with an experienced lawyer in our Bowie or Crofton office, call us at 301-464-2500 or fill out our contact form.