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Los Angeles Lewd Conduct in Public

Lewd Conduct in Public: Breaking Down the Law

Lewd conduct is prohibited by the California Penal Code under section 647(a). The law forbids engaging or soliciting in lewd acts in public or anywhere in plain view. A conviction for this crime may result in imprisonment, damage to reputation, and lost job opportunities. It’s vital to seek legal representation if charged with lewd conduct in public as the penalties are severe.

What Constitutes Lewd Conduct?

The law defines lewd conduct as any sexual action or activity that aims to achieve sexual satisfaction or gratification. The conduct should be immoral and device to attain sexual arousal. Conducts such as touching, fondling, or molestation of a child or any other person with the aim to sexually arouse oneself are examples of lewd acts.

It’s worth noting that lewd conduct in public is not limited to sexual acts involving children. Any intentional sexual behavior or action, such as public masturbation in a bar or movie theater, can qualify. Besides, any physical contact that involves another person’s buttocks, breasts, or genitalia may also be considered a violation of Penal Code Section 647(a).

Elements of Proof

To secure a lewd conduct in public conviction, the prosecutor must establish that:

– The defendant willingly touched, sexually stimulated, or fondled their genitals, female breasts, or buttocks, or those of another person.
– The defendant had the intent to sexually arouse or gratify themselves, someone else, or to offend or annoy someone.
– The conduct transpired in a public place where the defendant knew or should have known that third parties were present.
– The act occurred in the presence of someone who might have been offended by it.

It’s essential to understand that the conduct must either be sexual in nature or offensive to qualify as a lewd act. Second, public places are those locations where anyone can visit, such as sidewalks, movie theaters, or public restrooms. Lastly, there must be a third party present during the actions, and the defendant must be aware or should have been aware of their presence.


A skilled attorney can help you explore several defense strategies against a charge of lewd conduct in public. This typically involves challenging every element of the crime. Here are some potential defense strategies:

– Prove that the conduct was accidental and, therefore, not intentional.
– Argue that there was no intent to sexually arouse or offend anyone.
– Dispute that the act took place in a public place, or that there was no third party present when it happened.


Lewd Conduct in Public is a misdemeanor offense, and a conviction may earn the defendant six months imprisonment or a fine of $1,000.00.

We are Here to Help

If you find yourself charged with Lewd Conduct in Public in Los Angeles, it’s essential to seek experienced legal representation. Skilled attorneys can provide a strong defense for your case that can potentially result in your acquittal. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss the options for your legal representation.

Different Types of Lewd Conduct

Lewd conduct is any sexual conduct that deviates from societal norms, regardless of the location. It encompasses several actions such as public indecency, sexual harassment, pornography, and solicitation/exploitation of minors. This article will delve into these different types of lewd conduct, the potential consequences, and possible defense strategies.

Public Indecency

Public indecency involves performing sexual acts in public, including touching the genitals, sex organs, or buttocks. It also involves exposing private parts in public, such as nudity, public urination/defecation, or sex in public places like parks, restrooms, and parking lots.

In California, public indecency is a misdemeanor and attracts different penalties, depending on the circumstances. First-time offenders face a $1,000 fine or up to six months imprisonment. If the act involves minors or occurs in schools, the fine increases to $2,000 or one year imprisonment.

Lewd Acts with a Minor

Lewd acts with a minor is a form of sexual offense that involves an adult and a minor. Depending on the severity of the offense, it can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. In most cases, the adult commits the offense by using their authority to coerce the minor. Other times it is through physical contact, with the intention of sexual gratification.

If convicted, the punishment for lewd acts with a minor can be severe. The defendant may face years of imprisonment and a lifetime listing as a sex offender. The defense strategy in this case is to work towards coerced testimony or argue that the alleged offense was unintentional.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any form of conduct that seeks to intimidate, offend, or humiliate an individual of the opposite gender. In this context, lewd conduct involves offensive comments or titles, sexual misconduct, or sexual advances. The law prohibits any action that creates a hostile environment or unwarranted negative attention towards the victim.

Sexual harassment charges can lead to severe economic consequences, loss of reputation, and punitive legal action. If convicted, a defendant can be forced to pay damages in the form of lost wages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees.


Exhibitionism involves exposing oneself for sexual pleasure. It’s usually a misdemeanor, and the penalties depend on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the offense. In California, exposure of the genitals in public areas is considered a felony-level issue.

Exhibitionism can lead to hefty fines, community service, and even exclusionary orders. The defense against such a charge may include proving that the exposure was an accident or the identity of the perpetrator was mistaken.

Solicitation/Exploitation of Minors

Solicitation of minors involves soliciting, arranging, or engaging in sexual activities with minors. It is a heinous crime that leads to severe consequences for the offender. In California, it is considered as a form of lewd conduct, and the charges range from misdemeanors to felonies.

A conviction for soliciting minors may result in loss of employment opportunities, social stigmatization, and inclusion on sex offender lists. The defense strategy includes arguing that there was no intent, the accused believes that the individual was an adult, or that the evidence was obtained illegally.


If charged with lewd conduct, it is crucial to work with a reputable criminal defense attorney. With an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can challenge the charges and protect your rights. They can help you minimize the potential consequences or dismiss the charges altogether. Remember, failing to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney could lead to harsher penalties or life-impacting consequences.

Table: Different Types of Lewd Conduct and Their Penalties

| Lewd Conduct | Description |Penalties |
| :————- | :———-: | ———–: |
| Public Indecency | Sexual acts or nudity in public| $1,000 or imprisonment (midemeanor), $2,000 or year imprisonment if minors are present.
| Lewd Acts with a Minor | Sexual offense between an adult and a minor | Years of imprisonment, lifetime listing as sex offender
| Sexual Harament | Sexual misconduct, advances, or offensive commentaries towards a victim | Lost wages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees.
| Exhibitionism |Visible exposure of genitals in a public place. |Hefty fines, community service, exclusionary orders, and even imprisonment for felony violations.
| Solicitation/Exploitation of Minors | Soliciting, arranging, or engaging in sexual activities with minors | Charging varies from misdemeanors to felonies – loss of employment opportunities, social stigmatization, and inclusion on sex offender lists.


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