Lewd conduct, also known as public indecency, occurs when a person solicits or participates in some type of sexual conduct in a public place or an area open to public view. While the crime sounds pretty straight forward, there are actually a lot of specific aspects of the incident that must occur in order for the prosecution to secure a conviction. If you have been accused of lewd conduct in public, a criminal lawyer can help you fight these accusations.
Penalties for Lewd Conduct in Public
While this charge does not result in your being labeled a sex offender, it is often charged with indecent exposure, which can land you on the sex offender registry. Even if you are only charged with public indecency though, you can still receive a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000, so it is critical you take such accusations seriously and speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Fighting Public Indecency Charges
In order for someone to be convicted of lewd conduct in public, the prosecution must prove that you willfully solicited or engaged in the touching of your own or another person’s genitals, buttocks, or breasts in order to sexually arouse or provide sexual gratification to yourself or someone else or in order to annoy or cause offense to others, and the act must have occurred somewhere within public view of another person who was offended. Additionally, you must have known or should reasonably should have known that someone present might be offended by the conduct.
There are a lot of aspects to a public indecency charge that must be true in order for the prosecution to prove you guilty. If you did not realize someone could see you, you did not commit a lewd act. If you touched yourself or someone else sexually, but never actually touched genitals, buttocks or breasts, this charge does not apply. A good criminal attorney will work to show that all of these criteria were not meant so a prosecution cannot be made. If you were arrested as part of an undercover sting operation, your lawyer may be able to show it was entrapment.
If you have been accused of lewd conduct in public or any similar crime, please call Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.