Lewd Conduct and Indecent Exposure
Oxnard Resource Center
Some of the most common types of sex crimes that people are arrested for relate to lewd conduct and lewd acts, and the stakes are high against them. This isn't just because of potential jail or prison time and fines; it's also due to a possibly tarnished reputation, the breakdown of personal relationships, and loss of employment opportunities. Facing strict California lewd conduct and lewd act charges is intimidating and stressful, but Oxnard defense lawyer Daniel E. Kann applies his many years of experience and extensive skills to each and every case to protect the rights of his clients so they can get their life back on track.
What is Lewd Conduct?
As one of the broadest types of crimes a person can be arrested for, as defined under California Penal Code Section 647(a) or (b), lewd conduct is a form of disorderly conduct and refers to several different types of sexual acts that occur in public places. An example of lewd conduct that could result in an arrest is having consensual sex in a public bathroom.
An arrest for lewd conduct in Oxnard can be charged as a misdemeanor. Although a lewd conduct conviction doesn't require a person to register as a sex offender, the consequences are still severe.
The actions or mere suggestive actions that a person can be charged with lewd conduct for can seem limitless, ranging from soliciting another to engage in lewd conduct in any public or exposed place to lodging in a public or private building or establishment without the permission of the owner. At the forefront of lewd conduct charges is prostitution, in which law enforcement aggressively conducts sting operations that are more like acts of entrapment to arrest those whom they believe have engaged in or will engage in lewd conduct with adults for money.
Indecent Exposure refers to sexual acts that are committed on or toward another person or with the intention of arousing another person. For instance, under California Penal Code Section 314.1, a person may be charged with indecent exposure, which is considered to be a misdemeanor in which one individual intends for others to see them engage in a sexual act, such as masturbation in a park.
If someone is charged with indecent exposure and they've been charged with this crime before, they can be charged with a felony the second time around. Since indecent exposure in California is a wobbler, it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A skilled Oxnard sex crime defense attorney will often attempt to negotiate an indecent exposure charge down to a lewd conduct, i.e. Penal Code Section 647(a), because under Penal Code Section 647(a), there is no requirement that one register as a sex offender under Penal Code Section 290, which is a lifetime registration requirement that carries with it a plethora of consequences, such as being listed in national databases which are accessible to the public on the Internet. In contrast to Penal Code Section 647(a), Lewd Conduct, where one is convicted of violating Penal Code Section 314.1, Indecent Exposure, they will be required to register as a sex offender for life pursuant to Penal Code Section 290 whether they are convicted of the charge as a felony or a misdemeanor.
Lewd Act as Opposed to Lewd Conduct
Lewd act on a child is another common sex crime that is defined under California Penal Code Section 288 as willfully committing any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child who is under 14-years-old. A complicated aspect of this crime is proving that a person had the intent of arousing, appealing to, or satisfying the lust, sexual desires, or passions of him or herself or the child. If convicted, a person will have a serious felony on their record and face three, six, or eight years in state prison. This offense can require someone to register as a sex offender if they are convicted. When two people knew each other and the sexual acts are theoretically consensual, the lewd act on a child charge may be lowered to statutory rape. Because statutory rape doesn't require a person to register as a sex offender pursuant to Penal code Section 290, an experienced attorney will often try to get the charge lowered to statutory rape.
An attorney who has successfully developed effective defense strategies to help others obtain positive case outcomes can anticipate a prosecutor's strategy and is more adept at securing favorable negotiations. A knowledgeable defense lawyer will also help you weigh the possible benefits of agreeing to a less serious charge in order for the requirement to register as a sex offender to be dropped. Sex offender registration is the scarlet letter of our time and stays with a person for their entire life, negatively affecting where they can live and what jobs they can acquire and exposing them to ridicule and harassment.
Of course, in any of these cases where there is an affirmative defense, such as "it never happened" or "it wasn't me", the best course of action in order to vindicate your rights may be to take the matter to trial.
Make the Responsible Choice - Defend Your Rights
The scope of lewd conduct and lewd act charges and penalties are very complex in that the information covered here is only the tip of the iceberg. If you or someone you care about is facing sex crime charges, the sooner you find a skilled and aggressive Oxnard lewd conduct lawyer to defend your rights, the better your chances are of having the penalties against you reduced or even dismissed.
Being proactive and taking as much control over your situation as possible is a choice that only you can make. To help guide you through the intricate maze that is the criminal justice system, Daniel E. Kann will ensure that your side of the story is heard and understood. To learn more about how to protect your rights and defend your good name, contact the Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann by calling (805) 290-4932 today for a free consultation.