Is Having Sex in Public a Sex Crime in California? Get the Facts Today

Is Having Sex in Public a Sex Crime in California? Get the Facts Today Having sex in public can be thrilling for some people. However, doing so carries the risk of getting caught in the act. But what if the person who discovers you is a police officer rather than a bystander? Engaging in sexual activity in a public area could lead to criminal charges.

Continue reading to get the basic facts. If you are facing this or another California criminal charge, contact Chambers Law Firm at 714-760-4088 for a free legal consultation.

It depends on the facts of the case

California law bans engaging in or soliciting indecent conduct. A person can be charged with breaking this legislation if they engage in obscene or dissolute behavior in any public area, or ask someone else to do so on their behalf.

They can also be charged if they are caught touching their private parts or another person’s private parts for the goal of sexual enjoyment or to annoy or offend someone else. The genitals, buttocks, and female breasts are examples of private parts.

Sex in public is not illegal on its own

Just engaging in sexual conduct in a public location is not illegal. Under California law, you can only be charged with a felony if you know, or reasonably should know, that there will be someone present or watching who will be offended by your behavior.

For instance, if you engage in sexual behavior in a playground during the daytime hours when children are likely to be there, it’s reasonable to suppose that someone will be offended by your actions. If you were sexually active late at night in a secluded section of the woods where you had never seen another person, your criminal defense lawyer could argue that you were not trying to irritate or offend anyone. Similarly, if you were not in a public place or in an area visible to the public, this could be a defense against claims of indecent or dissolute behavior.

Potential consequences for a conviction

A misdemeanor offense, lewd or dissolute behavior is punishable by up to six months in county jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Although this offense does not require lifetime registration as a sex offender, it is sometimes charged in conjunction with the offense of “indecent exposure,” which does. Willfully exposing your genitals in front of aggrieved third persons is referred to as indecent exposure.

While a criminal charge or charges linked to having sex in public can be humiliating, there are a variety of possible defenses to these types of charges. Based on the facts of your case and California law, a qualified criminal defense attorney can work with you to put together both factual and legal defenses.

The legal professionals at the Chambers Law Firm can assist you if you have been charged with a crime. To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney, call 714-760-4088 or email dchambers@clfca.com now.

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