Lewd Acts In Public
In California, Penal Code 647(a) specifies punishments for committing lewd acts or soliciting someone else to perform it while in public or someplace within public view. There are several ideas requiring further clarification in order to discuss this law. In this context, lewd acts include the stimulation of body parts for sexual arousal or deviance. This involves touching of the genitals, breasts, and buttocks. Furthermore, a public space is defined as a location open to all members of the public or within plain view of the public. Moreover, it becomes a punishable, public lewd act if the individual(s) is aware that there are others present who may take offense. Lewd acts are also associated with the sexual assault of a minor.
Punishment For Lewd Acts
Many people are caught committing lewd acts through undercover sting operations. Police officers, in public spaces, try to elicit sexual behavior from other individuals. These individuals then perform a sexual act and/or expose themselves to the police officer. At this point, the police officer arrests them for engaging in lewd behavior.
If caught committing a lewd act by a police officer in the aforementioned scenario or by another offended individual, you can be punished by a court of law. California Penal Code 647(a) states that any violations will result in a misdemeanor charge. This offense includes possible jail time and a fine. If found guilty, offenders can be sentenced up to six months in jail with a fine of up to $1000; however, violating this penal code does not result in having to register as a sex offender.
Possible Defenses For Lewd Acts
If you have an experienced attorney, they can raise numerous defenses (if applicable to your case) on your behalf. As explained previously, police officers can arrest individuals through undercover sting operations; however, many of these arrests can be a result of police entrapment or misconduct. Furthermore, if you never touched any of the aforementioned body parts or did touch them, but not for sexual stimulation, then your attorney will argue against the charges in court. Finally, if the act was committed in a non-public space or offended no one, then your attorney will use these as your legal defenses.