Los Angeles Lewd Conduct Defense Attorneys
Under the California Penal Code 647(a), “lewd or dissolute conduct” is a misdemeanor offense. The essence of the law is that a lewd act occurred in a location where another person present could have been offended by viewing it. The charge may be filed against a person if it is alleged that he or she engaged in sexual activity in a public place. The types of sexual activities include intercourse, oral sex, exposing the genitals, or masturbation, or touching the genitals, buttocks, or breasts in a public place, or within public view.
A charge of lewd conduct, even when not yet resolved in or out of court, is a source of embarrassment, and poses risk of damaging the reputation and professional standing of the accused. If you are accused of committing the crime of lewd conduct, you need to ensure you are represented by an accomplished sex crime defense attorney in Los Angeles, who will manage every detail of defending against the charge with discretion.
Unfortunately, while the crime is a misdemeanor, the penalties can include up to six months in custody and fines up to $1,000. In some cases, lewd conduct is charged with another sex offense, and if convicted, could lead to a lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender.
To prove that an individual was guilty of committing “lewd conduct,” the prosecuting attorney must establish that:
- The accused individual performed the act willfully. The types of acts that could lead to this charge involve touching the genitals (the defendant or another person’s), buttocks, or breasts.
- The intent behind the act was to sexually arouse or gratify the defendant or the other individual, or to annoy or defend another person.
- The act occurred in a public place or in an area that allowed the act to be publicly visible.
- At the time the act occurred, another person who might be offended by observing the act was present.
- The accused individual knew, reasonably should have known that the other person might have been offended by witnessing the act.
After an arrest and charge for lewd conduct, you will be taken to the police station to be booked for the crime. Once this process is complete, call an attorney. Exercise your right to remain silent and avoid trying to defend yourself in conversations with law enforcement. Your future reputation, standing in the community, and freedom are all at stake.
When a “lewd conduct” charge is defended by the legal team at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, you are represented by a team, not just a single attorney. The firm has a reputation for excellence in criminal defense, and has achieved many remarkable victories in difficult, high-profile cases. The earlier the legal team gets involved the better, as they can take advantage of opportunities only available early in the game.
As the basis of a charge of lewd conduct may be difficult to prove, as it must be fully established that the accused was aware that another person, who might be offended, could observe the accused touching the breasts, buttocks, or genitals, with the intent to sexually gratify. There are many alternative reasons a person may touch another person’s body that are not related to sexual gratification.
- As the prosecutor must establish that the act took place in a location open to public view, these facts could be challenged on the basis that the accused person could not have reasonably known that another individual could view the act and would be offended.
- In some cases, it can be proven that law enforcement engaged in entrapment. In some police sting operations, police operatives are tasked with convincing another person to perform a sexual act, and once the target of the operation agrees and removes their clothing, exposing breasts, buttocks, or genitals, an arrest is made. If it can be proven that the entire incident would not have occurred without the invitation from the police officer, it may be entrapment.
- The charges are false, and the accused did not touch the breasts, buttocks, or genitals of another within public view. In some cases, a person is falsely accused of lewd conduct.
- If the private parts were touched by the accused person, the reason behind the action was not related to achieving any type of sexual gratification.
Charged with lewd conduct? Connect with Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP for a free initial consultation at (213) 688-0460.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.