Philadelphia Defense Lawyer for Lewd Acts
Being charged with criminal offenses related to lewdness or indecency can be very embarrassing, and the penalties are harsh. If you are in such a position, call a lawyer for assistance right now.
A lewd act might involve exposing private parts of your body or engaging in private or sexual acts in public. You might be charged if you are accused of exposing yourself to people who did not consent to such actions. Defending yourself against such allegations depends on exactly what you stand accused of. You might argue that you were not in public or that the exposure or lewdness was accidental. You should talk to an attorney about how to defend yourself because the penalties for these crimes are harsh. Your defense attorney can help you develop effective defense strategies or advocate for more lenient sentencing.
Contact our Philadelphia defense lawyers for lewd acts by calling The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 and set up an appointment for a free review of your case to get started.
Why You Might Be Charged with a Lewd Act in Philadelphia
There is no specific definition of a “lewd act” in Philadelphia. As such, when and whether people are charged with offenses related to lewdness tends to involve a fair bit of discretion from law enforcement and prosecutors. Even so, lewdness largely involves sexual acts, nudity, and pubic spaces. In short, a person might be charged with an offense related to lewdness if they are believed to have exposed themselves in a public place to an unwilling viewer or participant.
Lewdness and lewd acts might also be referred to as indecent exposure. However, indecent exposure, while a lewd act, is a more specific act of purposefully exposing private body parts to an unsuspecting or unwilling person. This is sometimes called flashing, depending on the situation.
Lewd acts might also involve public displays of sexual acts. For example, two people might engage in sexual activity in a public park and be charged with a criminal offense for lewd acts. It does not matter that both people involved were willing participants. The fact that it happened in public is the offense.
According to 18 Pa.C.S. § 5901, open lewdness is a criminal offense in Pennsylvania where someone performs a lewd act in a way they know is likely to be seen by others who would be alarmed or outraged. Again, even this definition of a specific offense is somewhat vague and might include a variety of inappropriate behaviors.
How to Defend Yourself Against Criminal Charges for Lewdness in Philadelphia
Although the nature of a lewd act varies from case to case, certain elements should be present when you are charged. Many defendants facing charges for lewd acts are accused of some sort of nudity or sexual activity in a public place. Many others involve supposed victims who did not want to observe the nudity or sexual acts. Our defense lawyers for lewd acts can help you challenge these allegations by undermining the necessary criminal elements.
Many people are charged with acts related to indecent exposure, but they did not intentionally expose themselves. One possibility is that a defendant experienced an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. Others might have intentionally taken off their clothes for a legitimate reason. For example, when administering an Epi-pen for a severe allergy, people often need to remove clothing like pants or skirts to inject their upper thigh.
Perhaps you were not in public when the alleged offense occurred. For example, undressing in your own home, even in front of an open window, is not considered indecent exposure or lewd. An angry neighbor might still call the police and report you for public nudity while leaving out that you were inside your home.
Possible Penalties for Charges of Lewd Acts in Philadelphia
Penalties for charges related to lewd acts are sometimes harsher than people realize. Many people consider lewd acts to be embarrassing but non-serious. In reality, charges for lewd acts might land you with charges for third-degree misdemeanors.
According to 18 Pa.C.S. § 1104(3), a conviction for a third-degree misdemeanor may lead to a jail sentence of up to 1 year. An entire year behind bars for something like exposing yourself or having sex in public is very harsh. People facing multiple counts of lewd acts might face multiple years in jail.
The prosecutors might be willing to strike a plea agreement depending on your situation and criminal record. You might plead guilty in exchange for a reduction in your sentence or an alternative sentence like probation that allows you to avoid jail time. Your attorney can help you explore these options and others.
What a Defense Lawyer in Philadelphia Can Do to Help You Fight Charges for Lewdness
If you are charged with offenses related to lewdness or lewd acts, an attorney can help you develop effective defense strategies. They can also help you if you are found guilty and faced with a harsh sentence. Sentencing is not set in stone, and your attorney can advocate on your behalf and urge the court to show any leniency within its discretion.
As discussed in more detail above, defense strategies may involve identifying the criminal elements of your charges and raising reasonable doubts. For example, the person who supposedly witnessed your lewd acts might have been mistaken, or they could be lying to the police.
If you are found guilty, your attorney can help you through the sentencing process. Charges for lewd acts are often related to non-violent offenses. If you have a clean record, your attorney might convince the court to impose the least restrictive sentence possible, such as probation.
Speak to Our Philadelphia Defense Lawyer for Lewd Acts
Get in touch with our Philadelphia defense attorneys for lewd acts by calling The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 and make an appointment for a free evaluation of your case to get started.