Lewdness, lewd and lascivious conduct, open and gross lewdness, or indecent exposure are all similar charges that involve public sexual activity or exposure in public.
Behavior that can result in a lewdness charge can be exposing your genitals, buttocks, or breasts, touching yourself, public masturbation, urinating in public, or sexual activity between two people in public. The sexual activity does not have to be intentionally on display for others. Having sex in a car, or oral sex behind a building, or in any public area could result in a criminal charge.
Under the law, the display of lewd behavior must be deliberate and potentially visible to someone who does not consent (or cannot legally consent, such as a minor child).
State laws vary considerably on lewdness and related charges, but most are misdemeanor offenses, with a maximum penalty of up to 1 year in jail.
Most commonly, you face an education program (counseling), fines, and probation for a lewdness or public sex act charge.
You could also face the requirement to register as a sex offender.
Criminal Lewdness Charges – Defense Strategies
Defenses against a lewdness charge may involve arguing that the alleged exposure was unintentional or inadvertent. For example, if you were peeing behind a building, or having sex in a car, you probably did not intent to deliberately expose yourself to public viewing.
The goal of any lewdness/indecent exposure charge is to both get criminal offenses dropped or reduced, and get registered sex offender status off the table as a possible penalty.
Please contact us for a free legal case evaluation if you have been arrested for any lewd sexual behavior. We can help!