The act of keeping one’s actions behind closed doors is done out of privacy and prudence, though certain situations result in acting lewd in public without even realizing it.
What is Lewdness?
In the state of New Jersey, lewdness is defined as “any flagrantly lewd and offensive act which he knows or reasonable expects is likely to be observed by other non-consenting persons who would be affronted or alarmed.” In essence, it’s about provoking others using lewd or sexual acts be to a non-consenting person. A common example of lewdness is a couple having sexual intercourse in a public place, but this is among the more extreme situations. Other examples of lewdness include:
· Flashing / Exhibitionism – the act of flashing one’s private parts, masturbating, or performing a sexual act in public.
· Sexual exposure towards a child under 13-years-old
· Sexual exposure towards a mentally disabled person or a person who is unable to understand the nature of the defendant’s conduct.
Penalties that Can Result from Lewdness
Depending on the severity of the situation, the penalties for lewdness in the state of the New Jersey can be costly. The minimum for a disorderly person conviction entails jail for up to 30 days, as well as a fine of up to $1,000. If a mentally disabled person or a minor is involved, the defendant can be thrown in jail for up to 18 months and receive a fine of up to $10,000. In some cases, lewdness can occur in a car or vehicle – in these cases, a defendant may find themselves with a suspended license for up to two years.
While lewdness is a serious crime, there is a lot of room for misinterpretation. There have been many cases in which a couple or person thought they were in a private place, only to learn later that they were not. This kind of mistake can be very costly to a person’s reputation and their employment, as well as their ability to find employment can be grossly affected. Don’t let a misinterpreted situation or mistake happen to you.
Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side gives you the best chance of securing a favorable resolution to your case and keeping your criminal record clean of a sex crime conviction. John W. Tumelty is an aggressive, experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows what it takes to win even the most difficult cases.
If you’ve been charged with lewdness or indecent exposure in New Jersey, contact Mr. Tumelty today to schedule your consultation at his Marmora or Somers Point offices.