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Public Lewdness

Houston Public Lewdness Attorney

In Texas, public lewdness is defined as sexual acts or activities that are done in the presence of others. And while this includes behaviors like intercourse and indecent exposure, less extreme behavior may also be considered public lewdness.

The technical definition according to Texas Penal Code is as follows:

Sec. 21.07. PUBLIC LEWDNESS. (a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly engages in any of the following acts in a public place or, if not in a public place, he is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by an act of:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Deviate sexual intercourse
  • Sexual contact
  • Contact between a person’s mouth or genitals and the anus or genitals of an animal or fowl

Possible Penalties for Public Lewdness in Texas

Public lewdness is typically considered a Class A misdemeanor. A person who is deemed guilty of public lewdness could incur the following:

  • Mandatory sex offender registration
  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Up to one year incarceration (prison)
  • Up to $4,000 in fines

Special considerations may be made for a minor; it can be requested that the charges be “sealed” or erased from his or her permanent record at a certain age.

Further Ramifications

Beyond the punishments given through a court of law, the accused person may be the target of social criticism, thereby damaging his reputation in the community. The social stigma is often particularly strong when the incident involves a minor.

Other consequences that can arise include:

  • Barring from the location of the incident
  • Loss of friends
  • Tarnished reputation
  • Termination from employment (getting fired)
  • Loss of child custody or the right to visit
  • Loss of professional licensing

The Best Defense Against Charges

Public lewdness often arises from bad decisions made in the spur of the moment. The courts are often more lenient to those people who merely made bad choices, and did not intend to harm or offend anyone. However, some state prosecutors pursue public lewdness cases very aggressively, so it is important to have a headstrong public lewdness attorney to ensure you get a fair trial and the best judgement possible. A public lewdness lawyer like Rand Mintzer may be able to ask that a jail sentence be taken off the table, to reduce the charges, to bargain for probation rather than jail-time, or to call for the criminal charges to be dropped all together.

A hardworking and knowledgeable defense attorney is key to ensuring your case has the most positive outcome possible. If you have been accused of any sex crime, get in touch with Rand Mintzer, Attorney at Law at 713-862-8880 to get a free legal consultation.