If you have been charged with lewd conduct in Los Angeles, you need to defend yourself—hard. Los Angeles’ lewd conduct laws make it possible to convict you even if you engaged in non-graphic, consensual sexual touches of any kind. Many people are also convicted after being wrongly arrested with no sexual intent, or entrapped by law enforcement. Don’t let an incident like this derail your life. You need to talk to a Los Angeles lewd conduct lawyer.
The Simmrin Law Group can help you. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you successfully fight a lewd conduct charge. We have devoted our law firm to one goal: helping those who are accused, and helping you move forward with your life. That’s why we offer a FREE, no obligation consultation. This is your chance to get professional legal advice, learn how strong the case against you is, and plan your defense. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.
What counts as lewd conduct in Los Angeles?
Under California law, lewd conduct can mean any of the following:
Touching your own private parts in a public place,
Touching the private parts of another in a public place, or
Asking or encouraging someone else to touch your private parts (or if you can touch theirs) in a public place;
…If the touching or request is for the purposes of sexual gratification or to offend someone else.
Like prostitution, this is one of the California laws that applies to two different parties: the person officially committing the violation (the touching) and the person requesting it. This is known as “soliciting lewd conduct.” Both people can be charged under the same crime and both can receive the same punishment.
What counts as “touching private parts” in a lewd conduct charge?
The “private parts” mention in the law can mean:
The buttocks, or
The female breasts.
This makes it much easier to be convicted of lewd conduct than it is for other, more serious charges such indecent exposure. In fact, no one’s genitals have to be exposed for a “lewd conduct” charge. Even lewd touching through clothing can count.
What are the penalties for lewd conduct in Los Angeles?
Lewd conduct is a misdemeanor and the penalties include:
Up to 6 months in jail
Up to $1,000 in fines
In some cases, a judge may grant you no jail time as long as you complete your probation successfully. Judges do not always offer this, and having a good lawyer on your side can improve your chances of walking away with no jail time.
You may also be required to be tested for HIV, to go to counseling or to stay away from the place where the incident happened.
If I’m convicted of lewd conduct, do I become a convicted sex offender?
No, you are not required to register as a sex offender for a lewd conduct conviction. However, the conviction will be on your public criminal record for anyone who runs a background check to see. Additionally, many employers, colleges, universities and other applications processes require you to disclose any criminal convictions you’ve had. This means that a lewd conduct charge can be highly visible. It could affect your career or life even though you are not a convicted sex offender.
No matter the circumstances, a conviction for lewd conduct is hard to explain to others. This is why it’s so important to avoid conviction in the first place, and to have a good lawyer defend you.
What if the prosecutor is threatening me with an indecent exposure charge?
Indecent exposure is a much more serious charge that does require you register as a sex offender. Often, prosecutors or the police will threaten you with this. They use this as a way to pressure you to plead guilty—they’re hoping to get an easy conviction on lewd conduct just because you’re scared of the indecent exposure charge.
In most cases, if the prosecutor had enough evidence to pursue indecent exposure, they would charge you with that from the start. The reality is that, if you are charged with lewd conduct, you probably never exposed your privates or your actions don’t meet the legal definition of indecent exposure.
That does not mean you should rest easy—you need to fight hard to avoid any conviction. However, it means you should not fall for a simple strong-arm tactic designed to scare you when you are most vulnerable.
What defenses can I use against a lewd conduct charge?
The defense depends on what happened. Some of the strongest defenses include:
You didn’t do what you are accused of doing. It’s up to the prosecution to prove what happened. If they can’t prove it, you cannot be convicted.
The touching was not sexual. Whatever happened, if you weren’t doing it for sexual gratification or to offend people, it’s not illegal.
Not in public. It’s possible to make a case that you were not in public view or did not know anyone was observing.
Entrapment is a very powerful defense used when police set up a “sting” or undercover operation and arrested you. The law allows them to set up the encounter, but not to pressure or lead you into breaking the law. Undercover officers are often too zealous in getting arrests and will cross the line into entrapment, meaning your arrest was illegal and you cannot be convicted.
No single defense is right for every case. You need to talk to a lawyer to build the right defense for your situation.
Talk to a Los Angeles Indecent Exposure Lawyer for Free
No one should go up against a prosecutor without a good lawyer on their side. Let us help you. At the Simmrin Law Group we have dedicated our entire practice to helping those who are accused. Let us give you a FREE consultation and help you get started defending yourself. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.