647(a) Lewd or Dissolute Conduct in Public
Criminal Defense Attorney in Los Angeles
California Penal Code § 647(a) makes it illegal for any individual to engage in or to solicit another person to engage in an act of lewd or dissolute conduct in public. CPC § 647(a) is a type of sex crime typically prosecuted as a misdemeanor and punishable by fines, probation, community service, and / or terms of imprisonment of up to one year. Although lewd or dissolute conduct is not currently an offense that requires convicted individuals to register as sex offenders, prosecutors may push for additional charges and / or heightened penalties to warrant sex offender registration.
In order for law enforcement officers and prosecutors to prove that a person committed a lewd or dissolute act, they must establish several legal elements. These include proving that a person touched their private parts or the private parts of another, that they did so for sexual gratification, that they committed this act in public, and that the person knew or should have known that others would have been offended by this conduct. As defined by the statute, "public" refers to any public place, any place open to the public, or any place in public view.
In many cases, arrests for CPC § 647(a) come as the result of sting operations conducted by undercover law enforcement officers, many of which specifically target homosexual men. Many of these sting operations lure men into committing lewd or dissolute conduct, or into committing acts that they later allege to have been lewd or dissolute conduct. Additionally, these types of cases may arise when couples of any sexual orientation engage in sexual acts in public, such as in a park. Whatever the particular situation or case may be, our firm's Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys make sure to personally evaluate all circumstances surrounding an arrest and allegation to ensure that our clients receive the effective defense they need.
Defending Against Sex Crime Charges
Sex crime charges are among the most serious allegations one can face, particularly because they have such a negative connotation in society. Although charges for 647(a) may not be as serious as sexual assault or child pornography offenses, those who conduct background checks – including potential employers and landlords – may not be aware of what the charge means. As a result, they may view "lewd and dissolute conduct" in a much harsher light, which can have a serious and negative impact on your future well-being.
If you or your loved one has been charged with lewd or dissolute conduct in public, please be aware that these charges can be fought with the assistance of proven and experienced criminal attorneys. Challenging the essential legal elements in this case – such as whether the place was "public" and whether the conduct was "lewd or dissolute" – is crucial to having charges dismissed or reduced. It is important to note, however, that the particular facts in your case will always influence the trajectory of your defense strategy.
Learn more about your particular case during a consultation or contact a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer from Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP today.
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Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP is a firm that was established on the belief that clients deserve personalized attention and genuine support throughout each step of their legal journeys. Should you choose to work with our firm, you can rest assured that your case will be in capable hands and that you will always be kept well-informed and involved in your defense. Whether you believe that these charges arose from entrapment, whether these charges entail additional sex crime allegations, or whether you believe that there is nothing you can do, you should always bring your case to the attention of an attorney who has the ability to evaluate your situation, inform you about your rights, and explain how you can defend against the charges and penalties you face.
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