Lewd Acts in Public – California Penal Code 647(a) PC
Facing charges of soliciting or engaging in lewd acts in public?
California Penal Code section 647(a) prohibits a person from soliciting or engaging in lewd acts in public or in a place within public view. A conviction of this crime carries with it the possibility of jail time, as well as negatively impacting your reputation and your employment. As such, it is important that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich to represent you when facing charges of soliciting or engaging in a lewd act in a public place.
California Penal Code Section 647(a) is straight forward, but the complexity is in the definition of the word “lewd.” Simply put, Penal Code Section 647(a) punishes an individual 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.”
A lewd act is defined as any conduct that involves sexual gratification or other forms of sexual deviancy. In other words, any conduct in which moral principles are abandoned for some sort of deviant, sexual gratification is considered “lewd.” Most often, lewd acts are associated with child sex crimes, such as child molestation or touching a child in a sexual manner with the intent of sexual arousal.
Of course, Penal Code Section 647(a) is not limited to children, as you can be charged with a violation of Penal Code Section 647(a) for masturbating in a strip club or adult movie theater with other adult patrons nearby. Any sort of touching of the genitals, buttocks, or breast area of another person or yourself, can be a violation of Penal Code Section 647(a).
Defenses to a charge of soliciting or engaging in lewd acts in public
There are a number of defenses that an experienced California criminal defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich can raise on your behalf. Your attorney can argue that the touching was accidental, there was no sexual intent behind the touching, the lewd act did not take place in a public area, or there was a lack of a third party present during the alleged lewd conduct.
Of course, not all defenses will apply. These defenses can be raised depending on the facts of your case. It is imperative that you consult a sex crime defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich to learn more.
Punishment and Sentencing for Soliciting or Engaging in Lewd Acts in Public
In California, Penal Code Section 647(a) is punishable as a misdemeanor, which includes imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both. Also, You will likely be placed on informal probation.
Soliciting or engaging in lewd acts in public place FAQs
What exactly is a “lewd act” as defined under Penal Code Section 647(a)?
How would someone know if the touching was the result of sexual gratification?
Can my attorney get the misdemeanor charges reduced or dismissed?
What is a willful act?
Where can I find the most experienced soliciting or engaging in lewd acts in public in California?
If your are faced with criminal charges of soliciting or engaging in lewd acts in a public place, it is important that you contact an experienced California defense lawyer who is experienced with these cases. With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville and West Covina, Wallin & Klarich has represented numerous clients faced with the charges of soliciting or engaging in lewd acts in a public place for over 30 years.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.