Could You Be Charged With Having Sex in Public?
It’s against the law in New York to have sex in public. The charge is public lewdness. If you’re facing that charge, whether you are innocent or guilty, you must be advised and represented by a Nassau County public lewdness attorney, and you must contact that attorney at once.
The law in New York defines lewd conduct as an act of sexual “gratification” performed in public or in the public’s view, and it includes masturbation, intercourse, and indecent exposure. Even if the act does not happen “in” public, it is considered lewd conduct if others can see it.
What Are the Penalties for a Public Lewdness Conviction?
The penalties for a public lewdness conviction in this state will depend on the details of the charge and the case. A misdemeanor conviction for a first public lewdness offense may be penalized with a fine and jail time or probation. Repeat offenders face harsher penalties.
Public lewdness alone is not a felony, although it may involve felony sexual abuse or sexual assault. If a minor was involved or if the incident occurred at a school, a defendant may expect more serious charges and harsher sentencing, including mandatory registration as a sex offender.
If you are charged with public lewdness in Nassau County – or anywhere on Long Island or in the State of New York – you must be defended by a Nassau County public lewdness lawyer who has considerable experience representing defendants who face these types of charges.
What Places Are Public?
For the purposes of New York’s public lewdness law, “public” places may include but are not limited to:
- parks, beaches, and other public recreational areas
- public restrooms and facilities
- restaurants, retail locations, and other businesses that are open to the public
- public highways and streets
- public transportation, including buses, subways, and taxicabs
- schools and school grounds
Again, even if a sex act is not performed in a “public” place, it may be deemed public lewdness if others can see it. Does having sex in a car constitute public lewdness? Again, it depends. In a 1991 case (People v. McNamara), a New York court determined that having sex in a car did not constitute public lewdness unless the act could be readily seen by passersby.
How Will Your Case Be Handled?
Often in public lewdness cases, a criminal defense attorney will immediately seek to have the charge dismissed. If the charge cannot be dismissed, a criminal defense lawyer may negotiate a plea agreement for reduced or alternative sentencing.
If the case warrants it, you should insist on your right to a trial by jury. If your public lewdness case goes to trial, your Nassau County public lewdness attorney will explain to the jurors exactly what happened and why they should return a not guilty verdict.
In this state, in order to convict a defendant at a public lewdness trial, a prosecutor will have to prove that the defendant’s allegedly lewd behavior was intentional, and performed in public or in the public’s view.
What Defenses May Be Offered Against a Public Lewdness Charge?
How is public lewdness defined? Public lewdness laws can be difficult to understand, and fighting a public lewdness charge may not be easy.
Nevertheless, depending on the details of the case, your Nassau County lewd conduct lawyer may offer one or more of these defenses on your behalf:
- You were not aware that others could see you.
- You were in a private location, and others in fact could not see you.
- You had no intention to seek sexual gratification.
- Your clothes were ripped from you, torn in an accident, or stolen from you.
- You’ve been misidentified, and someone else committed the act.
- No public lewdness happened; the claim has been fabricated.
- You were entrapped and induced by a law enforcement officer to commit the act.
Why is Avoiding a Public Lewdness Conviction So Important?
The movies and even some popular songs make having sex in public seem romantic and exciting. Advice columns routinely offer “tips” about how and where to have sex in public. Forget about the movies, songs, and advice columns. In all fifty states, having sex in public is a crime.
A conviction in New York for public lewdness, even for a first offense, creates a criminal record that could make it difficult for you to find employment or housing or to qualify for a loan. If you are not a United States citizen, a public lewdness conviction could trigger a removal proceeding.
If you hold a professional license in this state, a conviction for public lewdness may prompt disciplinary action by your state licensing board. If you are charged with public lewdness, take the charge seriously, stay calm, and contact a Nassau County public lewdness attorney at once.
You should be represented by a knowledgeable and experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer who will fight for you aggressively and effectively, protect your rights throughout the legal process, and bring your public lewdness case to its best possible resolution.
The Law Firm of Gianni Karmily is Here for You
If you are placed under arrest for having sex in public, put your case immediately in the hands of Nassau County criminal defense lawyer Gianni Karmily. Gianni Karmily is an award-winning defense lawyer who brings diligence, dedication, and determination to every client and case.
With offices located in Hempstead and Great Neck, the Law Firm of Gianni Karmily works on behalf of clients in Nassau County, Long Island and across New York State. Attorney Gianni Karmily will protect your rights. He knows how to win justice on your behalf.
If you are charged with having sex in public, or if you are charged with public lewdness for any other reason, now or in the future, promptly call the Law Firm of Gianni Karmily at 516-630-3405, and let criminal defense attorney Gianni Karmily go to work for you.