Los Angeles Engaging in Lewd Conduct Lawyers
Some laws in the state of California are used to regulate the behavior of people in public spaces. These laws criminalize certain behaviors which are considered to be inappropriate or which are likely to cause offense or annoyance. One such law has to do with lewd conduct.
Lewd conduct is a term which is usually used to refer to sexual behavior that is not allowed in public places. However, the law can also refer to an attempt to solicit lewd conduct from another person when they do not wish to do so. Read on to find out how to avoid lewd conduct charges in Los Angeles.
Explaining the Crime
Section 647 of the California Penal Code specifically states that it is a criminal offense to engage in lewd conduct in a public place or to solicit such behavior in public. A person who engages in the following actions in public may be arrested and prosecuted:
- Touching your genitals, buttocks or breasts in a public place
- Engaging in lewd touching for the purpose of sexual gratification
- Engaging in lewd behaviors for the purpose of annoying someone else
- Inappropriately touching another person in public
Essentially, this law criminalizes certain types of sexual behavior that are unwanted, annoying or undesirable in public. While certain sexual activities are not specifically prohibited in all public places, engaging in such behaviors when they could be considered offensive to others is illegal.
Examples of Lewd Conduct
Maria is doing some shopping at the mall. She approaches a man in a store and asks him if she can touch his genitals. She also gratuitously touches her breasts even after the man asks her to stop and leave him alone. Maria may be prosecuted for engaging in lewd conduct.
In another scenario, Dave and Jose are also at the mall when they see a group of women passing by. They grab their genitals and show their buttocks to the women, in the hopes that they will get a response from the women. The women are annoyed and offended. Dave and Jose may also be arrested and charged with a crime.
Under Los Angeles law, engaging in lewd conduct is a misdemeanor offense. A person who is convicted of this crime may face:
- Up to six months in county jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
It should be noted that, by itself, a conviction for lewd conduct in public is not sufficient to require a person to register as a sex offender. However, certain other actions that sometimes accompany lewd conduct may require such registration. For example, being convicted of indecent exposure along with lewd conduct may be punished with a mandatory sex offender registration requirement.
If you have been charged with lewd conduct in Los Angeles, then you need a tough legal defense strategy. Our law firm will stand up for you in court and help you to build a competent defense plan. For example, our lawyers may use evidence and arguments to convince a jury that:
- You did not actually engage in lewd conduct
- You were mistakenly identified by the alleged victim
- You engaged in touching but not for the purpose of sexual gratification or to annoy another person
If these defense strategies prove successful, you may avoid a conviction for lewd conduct. This can help you to avoid jail and the public stigma of a lewd conduct conviction on your record.