Lewd and Lascivious Behavior

Touching yourself or someone else in a sexual way in public can lead to arrest. Even without exposure to another, groping someone or touching your genitals may be considered lewd and lascivious behavior. Lewd conduct in public can lead to jail time, fines, and a criminal record.

An arrest for lewd and lascivious behavior can be very embarrassing. Many defendants charged with lewd behavior plead guilty to avoid dealing with the criminal case. However, an attorney may be able to help you avoid a conviction and keep your record clean. If you are arrested for lewd behavior, contact an experienced lewd and lascivious behavior lawyer for legal advice.

What Is Lewd and Lascivious Behavior?

Lewd and lascivious behavior is a legal term that refers to offensive sexual conduct. Generally, lewd conduct involves touching the genitals, buttocks, or breasts of a female in a sexual way. The touching may be done with an intent to sexually gratify one’s self or to sexually arouse another person. Sexual touching done in public and witnessed by another person who might be offended is considered lewd conduct.

Sexual acts in public could include seemingly private spaces. For example, if someone is masturbating in front of the window in their apartment building with people walking by, it may be considered lewd and lascivious behavior, even though the touching was done inside the defendant’s home.

What Does It Mean to Be Lewd?

Conduct that could be perceived as lewd and lascivious is not that uncommon. However, most of the time no one reports the acts or does not consider them to be offensive enough to call the police. For example, touching yourself suggestively while at a dance club could be considered lascivious. Two people making out on a park bench could also be lewd or lascivious behavior if they are groping each other.

Criminal Penalties for Lewd or Lascivious Acts

Depending on the state, lewd and lascivious behavior is generally a misdemeanor offense. A misdemeanor conviction may be punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine. The defendant may also face additional indecent exposure charges if they exposed themselves.

Lewd or Lascivious Behavior Involving a Child

Lewd and lascivious behavior involving a child is a much more serious crime. Lascivious conduct involving a child generally involves touching the child for sexual gratification or causing the child to touch the offender’s body for sexual desire. This does not necessarily have to involve touching the genitals, buttocks, or breasts and may include any touching of a child for arousal.

Also known as lewd or lascivious battery, lewd acts with a child is generally a felony crime. Different state laws that apply depending on the age of the victim. Depending on the state, there may be additional penalties if the child is under 16 years old, under 15 years old, or under the age of 14 at the time. The penalties may also be based on how much older the perpetrator is than the child. Consent is not a defense to lewd conduct with a child because a minor cannot legally consent to such activity.

In most cases, lewd, indecent, or obscene acts involving a minor is a “registerable offense.” After a conviction, the defendant may have to register as a sex offender. After release from prison, offenders have to register with the police within a few days. Sex offenders will have to re-register every year or anytime they move.

As a sex offender, the defendant’s status and personal information may be available to the public. On the state’s sex offender registry is public, anyone can search and find the offender’s:

  • Name
  • Physical description
  • Current photograph

Attorney Defense Strategies to Lewd Conduct Charges

An arrest for lewd conduct does not have to result in a conviction. Any sexual acts or suggestive action could lead to an arrest even if it is not lewd or lascivious. For example, if the touching was not done for any sexual purpose or to offend, it should not be against the law. This could include scratching an itch or adjusting your clothing to be more comfortable.

Keeping Sex Crimes Private

An arrest for lewd behavior can be extremely embarrassing. It may have been caused by a misunderstanding or after having too much to drink. It may be difficult to deal with the criminal charge but fighting the charges may be the only way to keep the conviction off your record. You don’t have to worry about feeling ashamed when talking to an attorney with experience defending clients in lewd and lascivious behavior cases. The attorney-client relationship will protect your privacy. Contact a criminal defense lawyer for advice.

Speak to an Experienced Lewd and Lascivious Behavior Attorney Today

This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified lewd and lascivious behavior lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local lewd and lascivious behavior attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.

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