Public Lewdness In Texas
Public lewdness, which may be referred to as indecent exposure, is a criminal offense in Texas. It involves exposing yourself or performing an act of a sexual nature in a public place. The act may be done intentionally with the intention of leading to sexual arousal or to offend people.
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Public lewdness forbids any sexually explicit activity that can be viewed by those who are not participating in the activity. A public lewdness charge typically may be brought where a person performs an act of a sexual nature with another person in a public place. (This issues also tends to come up in Family law custody cases as well. If that is they case, you may also want to consult with your divorce lawyer. We recommend this attorney.)
Public lewdness may also be done in a reckless manner where the offender does not care if another party is present and may be alarmed or offended by the commission of the act. Public lewdness is classified in Texas as a class A misdemeanor.
‘Public Place’ and Public Lewdness
There is some controversy about what constitutes a ‘public place.’ The term according to the Texas Penal Code means any place where the public or a ‘substantial group’ of the public has access. For instance, an apartment could have a gate and fence around it, but the parking lot is a public place because the residents of the complex are a ‘substantial group.’ The interior of a car is a personal place of the owner, but the car itself is still in a public place if it is in a parking lot or on the road side.
A possible defense here could be that you did not know you were in a public place. A criminal defense attorney then may argue that you did not commit the act knowingly. State law requires that the person knowingly committed the act.
Penalties for Public Lewdness
If you are convicted for public lewdness in Texas, you could face up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $4000. A conviction for public lewdness also can have negative effects on your reputation and career. You may be required to be registered as a convicted sex offender. This carries an extremely negative social stigma, and may place strict limits upon where you can live and where you can work.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately
Have you been hit with a public lewdness or indecent exposure charge in Texas? It is important that you get connected with a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Public lewdness is a serious sex crime that can have devastating repercussions and criminal penalties. The sooner that you contact an attorney, the sooner your legal rights can be safeguarded.
For example, a common defense in these cases is that the lewd act was not intentional. The prosecutor may actually lack physical evidence of the crime and may only have witness testimony. In this or a similar scenario, your defense attorney may have success in challenging the allegations.
Do not allow a public lewdness conviction to wreck your life and career. You need to take immediate, aggressive action by retaining a Texas criminal defense lawyer to provide you with the best defense. Please contact our office today (281) 853-8537.