The legal system in California has taken serious steps to protect the well-being of children in the state. California Penal Code Section 273(g): Lewdness or Drunkenness in the Presence of a Child is one law created to offer protection to minors.
PC 273(g) draws a distinction on the kinds of behavior that are permissible around children in Los Angeles and throughout California. Under this legal code, some actions that you would otherwise be able to engage in are forbidden if you are caring for a minor.
Lewdness or drunkenness in the presence of a child is a criminal act that comes with harsh legal penalties. However, there are some controversies surrounding PC 273(g). The Simmrin Law Group can help you understand the intricacies of this law and possible defenses to PC 273(g) charges.
Defining PC 273(g): Lewdness or Drunkenness in the Presence of a Child
The charge of lewdness or drunkenness in the presence of a child may cover a wide variety of actions, including acts that are:
PC 273(g) may also be used to prosecute individuals who are habitually drunk around children. In order to face a charge under PC 273(g) an individual must have custody of a child or be responsible for the care of a minor.
Controversy and Defenses for PC 273(g)
As mentioned, PC 273(g) can punish individuals who are “habitually drunk” around minors. This vague statement has been argued as unfair in front of the California Court of Appeals. However, the law was never amended to address this vagary, leaving a degree of uncertainty with the application of PC 273(g).
A Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer may be able to use this ambiguous language to defend clients charged with lewdness or drunkenness in the presence of a child. Some cases may even be dismissed due to this vague and uncertain language.
An additional defense for PC 273(g) could involve arguing that you were not aware that a child was present while behaving in a lewd way. Individuals may not be convicted if they did not know they were around children at the time when lewd or drunken behavior occurred.
Penalties for Lewdness or Drunkenness in the Presence of a Child
Individuals in Los Angeles may be charged with a misdemeanor for violating PC 273(g). The penalties for a conviction for drunkenness or lewdness in the presence of a child can include:
- Jail Time
Furthermore, the court can notify the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services after a PC 273(g) conviction. This department could remove children from the custody of their parents in certain circumstances.
Charges Similar to PC 273(g)
PC 273(g) is only one of the many legal codes California uses to punish drunkenness. Depending on the exact circumstances, individuals could also be charged with:
- Drunk in Public
- Driving Under the Influence
- Driving Under 21 with a Blood Alcohol Content between 0.05-0.07 Percent
There are also a number of laws dedicated to protecting minors. Examples can include:
Any of these charges can lead to serious legal consequences. Many times, a conviction will lead to fines and time spent in jail or prison. In some cases, an individual could even be forced to join California’s sex offender registry after a conviction.
Getting professional help right away will improve your odds of beating any criminal charge in the Los Angeles area. Learn more about your legal options before it’s too late.
Defending Against a PC 273(g) Charges
Individuals charged under California Penal Code Section 273(g): Lewdness or Drunkenness in the Presence of a Child often find themselves quickly overwhelmed by the legal system. The vague wording of this charge can make it difficult to know what to do next. Fortunately, the Simmrin Law Group can provide you with the professional legal advice you need. You can reach out to us by calling (310) 997- 4688 or completing our online contact form.
Make sure you’re ready to handle accusations of lewdness or drunkenness in the presence of a child by contacting us today for a FREE case evaluation.