Los Angeles Criminal Defense Firm

Lewd Conduct in Public

Lewd Conduct in Public in California is:

  • the touching of his or her own or another person's genitals, buttocks, or female breast;
  • with the intent to sexually arouse, gratify, offend, or annoy another person;
  • while in a public place or a location that is accessible to the public;
  • at the time the person engaged in this conduct, someone else who might have been offended was present; and
  • the person engaging in the conduct should have known that another person might have been offended by his or her conduct.

There is no requirement of skin-to-skin contact for Lewd Conduct in Public. A "Public Place" refers to any area that is accessible or open to the general public, including but not limited to offices, parks, museums, public bathrooms, schools, shopping centers and malls, theatres, parking lots, supermarkets, and bathrooms in the beach areas. Lewd Conduct in Public is a misdemeanor prosecuted under California Penal Code section 647 (a) and comes with a potential sentence of six months in county jail. The majority of Lewd Conduct in Public cases in Los Angeles are a result of undercover sting operations conducted by law enforcement. These sting operations have targeted unlawful sexual activities in public places by gay men.

If you or someone you know is facing charges of Lewd Conduct, contact an experienced sex crimes defense attorney to learn about your rights and defenses. Although a lewd conduct conviction does not require sex registration in California, the stigma may follow you for the rest of your life.