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LEWD conduct is defined as any illegal activity such as touching of the genitals, buttocks or breast that is executed by a person with the purpose of offending or achieving sexual stimulation, either for themselves of another person. This type of crime commonly occurs in cases of pornography, prostitution or indecent exposure, among others.
When lewd conduct involves a minor, the crime becomes a felony offense and if convicted, the offender will be subject to consider stiffer penalties as a result. It is critical for the accused to consult the advice of a skilled Los Angeles sex crime defense attorney in these cases in order to avoid the risk of an insufficient defense and subsequent conviction.
According to California Penal Code Section 288, a person who willfully commits a lewd or lascivious act against a child under the age of 14 years old will face felony charges. The penalties for this offense may include 3, 6 or 8 years in state prison, along with heavy fines and sex offender registration. Child molestation, child sexual abuse, sodomy of a minor and oral copulation with a minor are all offenses which may constitute lewd conduct with a minor, although specific penalties and charges may vary depending upon the many circumstances of the case as well as the age of the alleged victim and the defendant.
Lewd conduct can be difficult to prove in a court of law, and prosecution is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a number of different points concerning the crime. The offender must have engaged in conduct, or solicited another to engage in conduct that involved touching of sexual areas such as the breasts, genitals or buttocks. The defendant must also be proven to have committed the lewd act intentionally in an effort to cause sexual stimulation, or offense. The prosecution must also prove that the defendant was aware that there were people in the vicinity who would certainly be offended by the crime, and that the acts occurred in a public place.
Proving lewd conduct can be very challenging for prosecutors, largely due to the fact that witness testimony may be hard to come by, and that it can be difficult to prove intent in these cases. Okabe & Haushalter have deep experience defending those charged with lewd conduct, and execute working strategies that are designed to cast the doubt necessary to achieve minimized penalties, or no penalties at all. Our firm is dedicated to providing you with the best possible defense based on your specific situation, and we will fight hard to see that your rights are not compromised in the process.
Contact a Los Angeles sex crime defense lawyer if you have been charged with lewd conduct and would like a skilled legal professional to fight for your defense.