Houston Criminal Defense Attorney

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.

Public Lewdness in Texas Law

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[1] requires that any individual found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor be punished by:

  • $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[2]. 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!


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