Houston Public Lewdness Defense Lawyer
What is Public Lewdness?
In Texas, public lewdness is the offense of knowingly engaging in sexual
acts in a public place. This includes intercourse, deviate intercourse,
sexual contact, and bestiality conducted in public view. If you are facing
this Class A misdemeanor, please contact The Law Offices of Jed Silverman
in Houston for tough defense.
Texas Law Concerning Public Lewdness
The Texas law concerning public lewdness is Sec. 21.07 of the penal code:
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 his: (1) act of sexual intercourse; (2) act
of deviate sexual intercourse; (3) act of sexual contact; or (4) act involving
contact between the person's mouth or genitals and the anus or genitals
of an animal or fowl. (b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.
Do I have to register as a sex offender for public lewdness?
Public lewdness, per Article 62.001(5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure,
is not a “reportable conviction or adjudication.” This means
that anyone convicted of public lewdness is not required to register as
a sex offender.
Texas Penalties for Class A Misdemeanors
In Texas, public lewdness is a Class A misdemeanor. Sec. 12.21 requires that any individual found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor be
- $4,000 fine;
- Up to one year in jail; OR
- Both the fine and jail time.
Public Lewdness vs. Indecent Exposure
Although sometimes used interchangeably, public lewdness and
indecent exposure are actually separate criminal offenses in Texas. Texas’ indecent
exposure law is contained in Texas Penal Code Sec. 21.08. The main difference is in the intent. With public lewdness, knowingly
engaging in sexual contact in public is criminalized, whereas with indecent
exposure, the criminal act is to expose genitals with the intent to arouse
or gratify. The two are similar in that they both involve a “reckless
disregard about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed.”
Indecent exposure is also charged differently than public lewdness –
it is a Class B misdemeanor, rather than a Class A misdemeanor.
Get Tough Defense – Call The Law Offices of Jed Silverman in Houston!
Faced with a public lewdness charge? Attorney Jed Silverman is among just
10% of Texas lawyers who is Board Certified as a Specialist in Criminal
Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He was also chosen by
his peers to the list of Texas
Super Lawyers® every year from 2006-2014.
Get in touch with our experienced law firm today for the tough defense you need!