Homosexuals in California have long endured persecution from state law enforcement officials. One of the biggest threats, however, involves undercover sting operations designed to bait gay men and women into engaging in sexual behavior in public. When you masturbate, expose your genitals, or propose a sexual act, you could be arrested and charged with soliciting or engaging in lewd or lascivious behavior.
California Penal Code 647 addresses the crime of lewd conduct and states that anyone who touches or stimulates his or her genitals in public for the purpose of sexual gratification or to annoy someone else is guilty of lewd conduct.
In general, this law seems to attack homosexual and heterosexual couples who may get a little "hot and heavy" in a public place. While having sex in a public is not necessarily a crime, if you had reasonable knowledge that others would be offended by your conduct, then you could be found guilty of lewd conduct.
While lewd conduct convictions are considered misdemeanors, they are typically charged in conjunction with other more serious crimes, such as indecent exposure, prostitution, or sexual assault.
There are many defenses your lawyer can employ to have the charges of lewd conduct dismissed. First and foremost, if your arrest was part of a sting operation, your lawyer could raise the question of entrapment. Undercover police officers embellish and lie about what really happened all the time and your Oakland sex crimes defense lawyer should investigate closely to get to the bottom of entrapment and police misconduct.
If you made reasonable attempts to be in a discrete area, such as behind bushes or in the backseat of a car, then you were not in a public place and thus, not trying to offend another person. Also, if you did touch your genitals, but it was not for sexual gratification, then you cannot be convicted of lewd conduct.
If you are facing charges of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor, there is no time to delay. These are extremely serious charges and are not taken lightly by law enforcement officials or prosecutors.
In order for you to be convicted of committing a lewd and lascivious act with a minor, the prosecution must prove:
If this behavior continued more than 3x within a 3-month period of time, then you could be charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child.
If you are convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on a child, then you face the following penalties and consequences:
Lewd and lascivious conduct charges are very serious and require the skills and experience of a veteran Oakland sex crimes defense lawyer. Call me at (510) 907-6600 or send me an e-mail to learn how my team can fight for you.