California Lewd or Dissolute Conduct Lawyer
California considers lewd conduct to be sexual in nature. Lewd acts typically take place to arouse or gratify your or someone else’s sexual desires. Dissolute conduct is defined as conduct that lacks morality or principles. These acts are not inherently illegal. They take place consensually in private all the time. However, lewd or dissolute acts that take place in public can lead to criminal charges.
You can be accused of a lewd or dissolute act if there is evidence you acted in a sexual or offensive manner to fulfill your own sexual desires or someone else’s while in public. You can also be accused of asking someone else to engage in lewd activities in public for your own or another person’s sexual gratification.
If have you been charged with committing or asking someone else to commit lewd or dissolute conduct, you need to speak with a sex crime lawyer right away. Our legal team at Silver Law Firm is ready to help. Call us at (510) 995-0000 to schedule your initial consultation.
Lewd Conduct Definition
Under California Penal Code Section 647(a), you can be charged with disorderly conduct for committing lewd or dissolute acts in public. Section 647(a) specifically states if you engage in, or solicit anyone to engage in, lewd or dissolute conduct in a public place, you can be charged with a misdemeanor.
Examples of Lewd Behavior
- Touching your own genitals, buttocks, or breasts, with or without exposure, in place where members of the public can see you.
- Fondling a woman’s breasts in public.
- Grabbing a man’s penis where others can see.
- Masturbating in a public space.
- Masturbating in a private establishment open to the public, like a strip club.
The Elements of Proving You Committed Lewd Conduct
If prosecutors charge you with committing lewd or dissolute conduct, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You acted intentionally
- Your actions involved touching your’s or another person’s genitals, buttocks, or a woman’s breasts
- You intended to sexually arouse or gratify yourself or another person, or offend another person
- You were in public, an area open to the public, or in a place where people could see you
- Someone else, who could have been offended by the lewd conduct, was present at the time of the act
- You knew or reasonably should have known another person could see you
The Elements of Proving You Solicited Lewd Conduct
If you are charged with soliciting someone to engage in lewd or dissolute conduct, the elements of the case are similar, yet not exactly the same. The prosecutors must show beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You asked someone to touch their own or someone else’s genitals, buttocks, or breasts
- You made the request while you were in a public place
- You requested that the person do so in a place accessible or visible to the public
- You intended for the conduct to take place in public
- You made the request with the intention of arousing or gratifying yourself or someone else, or offending someone
- You knew or reasonably should have known that at least one other person was likely to be present
- The intended individual received the request
Consequences of a Lewd Conduct Conviction
If you are convicted of lewd or dissolute conduct, this misdemeanor offense can lead to up to six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
There is a chance you can avoid incarceration if convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct, especially if you hire a seasoned criminal defense attorney like Elliot Silver. The court has discretion to order an alternative punishment, which includes probation, a work release program, counseling, and community service.
Having this offense on your permanent criminal record can impact obtaining private financial aid. It can also make it difficult to find a job or to obtain certain professional licenses. It could impact your immigration status. Additionally, this type of offense could affect your custody agreement. Your children’s other parent could use it to limit your custody or visitation or even request that you have supervised visitation, or none at all.
This Offense Does Not Require Sex Offender Registration
Fortunately, a conviction for lewd conduct does not require sex offender registration. However, related offenses like indecent exposure do require registration.
Prosecutors are known to threaten individuals charged with lewd conduct with a related offense in addition to or instead of just lewd conduct. This is one of the many reasons why you need to immediately contact an attorney when you are arrested for this type of offense. Having an experienced attorney by your side early on increases the chance that you can avoid sex crime charges.
Let an Attorney Defend You
If you are accused of committing or requesting lewd or dissolute conduct or lewd acts with a minor, your first call should be to an experienced and aggressive attorney. There are many potential defenses to this offense, and it takes a knowledgeable attorney reviewing the facts of your case to offer you an objective opinion on the best way to defend yourself. Some of your defense options include establishing:
- You were not in a public place.
- You reasonably believed no one else would be present or be able to see you.
- You were not touching your genitals, buttocks, or breasts.
- Your actions were not motivated by sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or the desire to offend.
- You did not touch another person’s private parts.
- You accidentally touched your own or another person’s private parts.
- You did not ask someone to commit an act related to sexual arousal or gratification.
- You did not intend for the other person’s actions to take place in public.
- No one else was present for the conduct.
Contact Silver Law Firm Today
With an attorney from Silver Law Firm on your case right away, you have an experienced eye reviewing every detail of the situation and an objective mind questioning every piece of evidence. Attorney Elliot Silver will begin your defense by fighting to have the charges dropped. If prosecutors decide to push forward, then he will build you the strongest defense.
To learn more, contact us at (510) 995-0000 to schedule an appointment.