When people think about lewd acts, they often think about sexual acts in public. However, there are many different types of lewd acts. Some are considered misdemeanors while others are felonies. Most can get you on the sex offenders registry for the rest of your life.
So, what could be considered lewd acts?
- According to California Penal Code 314.1, showing your genitals in public (indecent exposure) is a form of lewd acts. This is especially true if it was done to get yourself aroused or upset someone else. Fondling your genitals in public can also be considered indecent exposure.
- Possession or distribution of child pornography could be considered lewd and lascivious behavior. According to the Department of Justice’s guide regarding child pornography: “Visual depictions include photographs, videos, digital or computer generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor, and images created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict an identifiable, actual minor. Undeveloped film, undeveloped videotape, and electronically stored data that can be converted into a visual image of child pornography are also deemed illegal visual depictions under federal law. Notably, the legal definition of sexually explicit conduct does not require that an image depict a child engaging in sexual activity. A picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive. Additionally, the age of consent for sexual activity in a given state is irrelevant; any depiction of a minor under 18 years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct is illegal. Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, reception, and possession of an image of child pornography using or affecting any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce (See 18 U.S.C. § 2251; 18 U.S.C. § 2252; 18 U.S.C. § 2252A). Specifically, Section 2251 makes it illegal to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for purposes of producing visual depictions of that conduct. Any individual who attempts or conspires to commit a child pornography offense is also subject to prosecution under federal law.”
- Another common act that could be considered lewd is making “annoying” sexual phone calls to a minor. According to Penal Code 647.6 “Every person who annoys or molests any child under 18 years of age shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both the fine and imprisonment.”These are “annoying” prank calls that have gone a little too far. Whether you make rude sexual remarks or harass them for your own pleasure, these calls could get you in serious trouble. You could also be charged with stalking if you continue to make call after call to the same person.
- Peeping, or looking through someone else's window, is a form of lewd acts. Penal Code 647(i) makes it illegal for anyone “Who, while loitering, prowling, or wandering upon the private property of another, at any time, peeks in the door or window of any inhabited building or structure, without visible or lawful business with the owner or occupant.” In addition, Penal Code 647(j), makes it a crime for “a person who looks through a hole or opening, into, or otherwise views, by means of any instrumentality, including, but not limited to, a periscope, telescope, binoculars, camera, motion picture camera, camcorder, or mobile phone, the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, or tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which the occupant has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of a person or persons inside. This subdivision does not apply to those areas of a private business used to count currency or other negotiable instruments.”
Since there are so many forms of lewd acts, there are just as many punishments. Punishments can include a lengthy jail sentence, large fines and being placed on the sex offender registry. For this reason, you need to have a good lawyer on your side.
At the Law Office of Nic Cocis, we understand that sometimes good people make bad decisions. If you have been arrested and charged with lewd acts or any other sex-crime arising from Temecula,Menifee, Murrieta, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Hemet, Perris, Corona, Winchester or any other surrounding Riverside County city, it's important that you obtain the best representation from an effective and experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact us immediately to schedule a free consultation.