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Public Lewd Conduct

Were you accused of engaging in lewd conduct in public in California? If so, you could face serious criminal charges under California Penal Code 647(a) (PC 647(a). This section of state law makes it a criminal offense to engage in or solicit inappropriate sexual conduct in a public setting. Public lewd conduct is generally a misdemeanor criminal offense.


At Strongest Defense, our California sex crimes defense attorney is a strong, aggressive advocate for clients. We have extensive experience handling the full range of sex-based charges, including lewd conduct charges under PC 647(a). If you or your loved one was arrested and charged with lewd conduct, call our Ventura law office today for a confidential consultation.

In general, public lewd conduct offenses are charged under California PC 647(a). Here are some of the most important things that defendants should know about lewd conduct charges in California:

  • Lewd conduct is defined as touching your private parts or the private parts of another person—genitals, buttocks, and female breasts.
  • Lewd conduct may be a criminal violation if committed in a public place where reasonably between would likely be offended.
  • In most cases, public lewd conduct is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.
  • A person accused of lewd acts with a minor could face far more serious felony criminal charges under California PC 288.
  • Registration as a sex offender is generally not required of those convicted of a lewd conduct offense under PC 647(a).

It would be a mistake to view a misdemeanor sexual crimes violation—such as a public lewd conduct charge—as a minor issue. Not only could a conviction still result in prison time, but it could show up on your criminal record for many years to come. As an experienced Ventura County criminal defense lawyer, David Lehr has the professional skills and legal expertise to protect your rights in a lewd public conduct case.

Not every public lewd conduct charge is fair or legitimate. It is not uncommon for overly aggressive prosecutors to bring trumped up charges against innocent people. There are several potential legal defense available against a lewd conduct charges, including:

  • Reasonable Belief of a Non-Public Act: PC 647(a) prohibits lewd public acts. If you had a reasonable belief that your act was in a private setting, you can defend charges on those grounds.
  • Mistaken Identity/Innocence: If you did not commit the lewd act in question, either because of mistaken identity or a false allegation, you should defend the charges.
  • Entrapment: If a law enforcement officer entices a person into committing an offense that they would not have otherwise—such as in a sting operation—they may have a valid entrapment defense.

If you or a loved one is facing lewd conduct charges under California’s PC 647(a), we are more than ready to get started on your case. Call our Ventura law office now to get immediate legal help.

If you have been charged with

public lewd conduct in California, call 805-477-0070 now.

Our law firm provides free, confidential case evaluations. 

At Strongest Defense, our California criminal defense lawyer provides aggressive, results-driven legal representation to individuals facing misdemeanor criminal charges for public lewd conduct. From our Ventura law office, we serve the entire region, including Camarillo, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Oxnard. Call our legal team today for your free, no obligation consultation. Please beware: visiting this website does not establish an attorney/client relationship.

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