California Penal Code section 647(a) provides that it is illegal for you to engage in or solicit anyone else to engage in lewd conduct in a public place, or a place that is open to the public. A lewd act is the touching of the genitals, buttocks, or female breast of either the prostitute or the customer for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification. If you have been charged under California Penal Code section 647(a), you face severe consequences. For this reason, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you present a solid defense and possibly get the charges against you reduced or dismissed.

What must the prosecution prove?

If you have been charged with engaging in lewd acts in a public place, the prosecution must prove all of the following elements in order to convict you:

(1) You willfully engaged in the touching of your own, or another person’s genitals, buttocks, or female breast;
(2) You committed the touching with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify yourself or another, or to offend another person;
(3) When you engaged in the conduct, you were in a public place;
(4) When you engaged in the conduct, another person who may have been offended was present; and
(5) You knew or reasonably should have known that the other person would be offended.

If the prosecution cannot prove all of the above elements, you cannot be convicted of engaging in lewd acts in public, and will not be subject to the harsh consequences of a conviction for engaging in lewd acts in public.

Sentence for engaging in lewd acts in a public place

A conviction of engaging in lewd acts in a public place is a misdemeanor. If you are convicted of engaging in lewd acts in public, you face imprisonment in county jail for up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both a fine and imprisonment.

In addition to a possible jail sentence and large fine, charges for engaging in lewd acts in a public place may have a negative effect on your personal and professional life. Charges for sex crimes generally carry a social stigma and may affect your reputation. Given that charges under California Penal Code section 647(a) can carry significant consequences, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you defend yourself against the charges.

If you are convicted of engaging in lewd acts in a public place, the court has the discretion to order you to register as a sex offender under Penal Code Section 290.006. The court must find that your actions of engaging in lewd acts in a public place were committed as a result of sexual compulsion or for the purposes of sexual gratification to order you to register as a sex offender.

Sex offender registration will have a profound impact on your life. Your personal information, such as your name, address, and photograph, will be released to the public through a sex offender website. Also, you will be required to annually update your registration with your local law enforcement agency for as long as you work, live, or attend school in California. It is important that you contact a Wallin & Klarich defense attorney to help you avoid the terrible consequence of sex offender registration.

Call Wallin & Klarich

If you or a loved one is facing charges for engaging in lewd acts in a public place, it is vital that you speak with an experienced lewd acts criminal defense attorney about your options. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich will discuss with you what options and defenses you have available under the circumstances of your case. We understand that charges for a sex crime like engaging in lewd acts in a public place can result in severe consequences, which include more than a potential jail sentence.

The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience and will help you achieve the best possible result in your case. Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance and Sherman Oaks. Call Wallin & Klarich today at (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.