Penal code section 647(a) in California is commonly referred to as “lewd act in public” and is a misdemeanor under California law.  This law reads:

“Every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, misdemeanor:

(a)    Who solicits anyone to engage in or who engages in lewd or dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to the public or exposed to public view.

The law makes it clear that yes, you can be convicted of lewd conduct in Riverside for masturbating in your home if your home is adjacent to a public sidewalk.  However, the prosecution would need to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that;

1.     The conduct you engaged in was lewd.

2.    That the place where you were masturbating was exposed to public view.  This is likely the issue that will determine the case.  The result will depend on what facts are established about where you were in the house when the masturbation took place.  Were you in front of a large window without any blinds or curtains that was exposed to public view such as a street or sidewalk?  If so, then this element could likely be met and you would likely be convicted.  On the other hand, if for example, you were masturbating in an area of your home which could only be viewed if somebody had to enter your property to see in to the area, and this can be established, then you would have a viable defense to these charges.

It is important to know that under facts such as these you could also potentially be charged with indecent exposure under penal code 314 which, if convicted, would require lifetime registration as a sex offender. You need an attorney who will work hard for you. With over 30 years of experience defending individuals facing sex crime charges, the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are highly qualified to win your case. Call us today at (877) 466-5245 or visit our website at www.wksexcrimes.com. We will be there when you call.

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