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Facing Charges for Lewd Conduct in Public? Call Our Firm Today.
California law prohibits people from touching themselves or others in a sexual or offensive way. Engaging in such conduct is considered lewd acts in public, a misdemeanor. A conviction can lead to jail time and/or fines. If you were charged with the offense, you might have options for fighting it. The defenses that can be raised depend on your situation. A criminal defense lawyer can assess your case and determine a practical course of action to seek to avoid or minimize penalties.
The Law Offices of J. Patrick Carey provides sound advice and counsel to those facing serious charges. Our Torrance lewd acts in public lawyer served as a prosecutor for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for over 8 years. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist who has handled more than 7,000 cases. When we take on a case, we leverage our insights, knowledge, and skills to pursue optimal outcomes for our clients. Depending on how soon you hire us, we can seek to prevent charges from being filed. And if that’s not an option, we will negotiate with the prosecutor and are prepared to go to trial to resolve your case.
Lewd conduct in public is defined in California Penal Code § 647(a). The statute provides that a person commits a violation when they engage in or ask someone else to engage in dissolute acts in public.
More specifically, the crime involves:
- Touching one’s intimate parts: When a prosecutor brings a case, they must prove that the defendant participated in lewd or dissolute conduct. That means the defendant touched their own or someone else’s intimate parts or had another person touch their own or someone else’s intimate parts. Intimate parts include:
- Buttocks, or
- Female breasts.
- Intending to gratify another: Another element of the offense the prosecutor must prove is that the defendant engaged in lewd conduct to sexually arouse or gratify themselves or another person. Alternatively, the prosecutor can attempt to prove that the defendant acted to offend or annoy someone else.
- Being in a public place: Participating in lewd conduct is an offense if the act happened in a location accessible to anyone or somewhere members of the public could view it. The prosecutor might not have a case if the defendant was in a private area.
- Knowing someone else was present: The defendant may be convicted of a violation of California Penal Code § 647 if they engaged in the lewd conduct when they reasonably knew or should have known that another person was nearby who could have been offended by the act.
Backed by experience as a former prosecutor, our Torrance lewd acts in public lawyer understands the prosecutor’s burden of proof and works diligently to identify weaknesses in arguments.
Lewd acts in public is a disorderly conduct offense. These crimes are misdemeanors.
The potential conviction penalties include:
- Jail term: Up to 6 months
- Fine: Up to $1,000
What Defenses Are Available for Lewd Conduct in Public?
The path for fighting a charge depends on the specifics of the offense.
Possible defenses include:
- False accusations: A defendant might not have engaged in the conduct but was charged because someone else falsely accused them of the crime.
- No intent: The defendant might have touched themselves or another person’s intimate parts but did not intend to sexually gratify anyone. They also might not have intended to offend anyone.
- Reasonable belief that no one was present: The defendant might have engaged in the conduct but did not think anyone was around to see what they were doing.
Our Torrance lewd conduct in public attorney will examine the facts of your case to determine how to fight your charge.
Discuss Your Case During a initial Consultation
If you have been accused of lewd acts in public, retain legal representation right away. Our lawyer can protect your rights as early as the interrogation phase of the case and will continue to advocate for you every step of the way.
Get started on your defense by calling us at (310) 695-1118 or contacting us online.
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“Found Pat to represent me on a case after I made a dumb mistake. I was completely clueless. Pat made is so much less stressful and most of all he negotiated a deal that ended up getting my case dismissed.” - Kristin B.
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