You were recently charged with lewd acts in public under California Penal Code section 647(a) after another individual allegedly witnessed you masturbating in a public park. If convicted, your sentence can be harsh. It is important you have an experienced sex crimes defense attorney who knows the defenses to lewd acts in public charges on your side to help you with your case.
Lewd Acts in Public Punishment
Before knowing the defenses for a charge of lewd acts in public, it is necessary to understand the punishment you face if convicted. If you are charged with lewd acts in public, you need to contact the law offices of Wallin & Klarich immediately. A conviction under PC 647(a) may affect your family life, social life and ability to remain gainfully employed. A skilled lewd acts defense attorney can aggressively advocate on your behalf to ensure that you avoid these severe consequences.
If you are convicted of lewd acts in public, you may face up to one year in county jail and up to $1,000 in court fines.
If the court places you on probation, you may face up to three years of informal or summary probation. Furthermore, the court may require the following terms as part of your probation:
- Obey all court orders;
- Do not violate any laws;
- Disclose your probation terms to a law enforcement officer when asked;
- Use your true name and date of birth at all times;
- Pay all court-ordered fines; AND
- Attend and complete therapy with a mental health professional
Fortunately, PC 647(f) is not an enumerated offense under PC 290(c), so a conviction for lewd acts in public will not make it mandatory for you to register as a sex offender. However, the court has discretion to order you to register as a sex offender under PC 290.006. In addition, many individuals charged with lewd acts in public are also often charged with indecent exposure under PC 314. If you are convicted of indecent exposure, you will be required to register as a sex offender.
Defenses to Lewd Acts in Public Charges
Simply being accused of lewd acts in public does not mean that you will be convicted. The lewd acts defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich know how to beat a PC 647(a) charge. We are familiar with all of the defenses to a lewd acts in public charge and can raise one of the following defenses on your behalf:
- Accidental touching
- You may not be convicted of lewd acts in public if you accidentally touched your own or another person’s intimate part(s) in a public area.
- Example: During a game of flag football at the local park, you accidentally touched an opponent’s groin area while reaching for his or her flag. Since the touching was accidental, you may not be convicted of lewd acts in public.
- Lack of sexual gratification or intent
- If you did not touch your own or someone else’s intimate part(s) in a public place in order to gratify your sexual desires, the prosecutor may not convict you under PC 647(a).
- Example: Your friend fell off of his bike while riding on a public trail. You touched his groin in order to clean the wound and apply first aid. Since you did not touch his groin area in order to gratify your sexual desires, you may not be convicted under PC 647(a).
- Not a public area
- In order to be convicted of lewd acts in public, you must touch your own or someone else’s intimate part(s) in an area that is open to public view.
- Example: You touched your penis in a private enclosure such as a bedroom. Since your bedroom is not a public area, you may not be convicted of lewd acts in public.
- No other person present
- A prosecutor may not convict you of lewd acts in public if another person did not witness your act.
- Example: You touched your girlfriend’s vagina at a movie theater. If you two were the only individuals inside of the theatre at the time of the touching, you may not be convicted of lewd acts in public.
Contact the Experienced Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you are charged with lewd acts in public under California Penal Code section 647(a), the skilled lewd acts defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich will passionately defend you from the moment that you retain us. Our Wallin & Klarich attorneys know the elements of a lewd acts in public offense and will provide you with an aggressive defense.
Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients who face lewd acts in public charges and helping them avoid jail time. We have the skill and experience needed to help you win your case.
Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We will get through this together.