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New York Lewd Conduct Lawyer

Lewd conduct involves engaging in inappropriate or offensive behavior of a sexual nature. This can include actions such as indecent exposure, sexual harassment, lewd gestures, or inappropriate sexual advances. In New York, lewd conduct is considered a criminal offense, and individuals convicted of this crime may face significant penalties, including fines, probation, community service, or even jail time. Lewd conduct is a sex crime that can have serious consequences for individuals accused of this offense. A conviction for lewd conduct can negatively impact various aspects of your life, including your family, employment, and finances. If you are facing a charge of lewd conduct in New York, it is critical to take immediate action to protect your rights and defend against the accusations. Contact an experienced New York lewd conduct lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates who can provide you with the legal guidance and representation you need to navigate the complexities of the legal system and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Definition of Lew Conduct

New York state law prohibits lewd conduct in public. Lewd conduct is defined as any act of sexual gratification that is performed in a public place or in view of the public. This includes acts such as masturbation, sexual intercourse, or exposure of one's genitalia. Under New York Penal Law § 245.00 you could be charged with public lewdness if you intentionally expose your private parts, such as your penis, buttocks, or vagina in a lewd manner in a public place such as a city street or on a public bus, or you do some sort of lewd act such as masturbation.

It is important to note that the definition of lewd conduct in New York also includes acts that are performed in private places but can be seen by others, such as through windows or doors. This means that even if the act is not performed in a public place, it can still be considered lewd conduct if it can be seen by others. Additionally, lewd conduct charges can also be escalated if they involve minors or are performed in a school zone. In these cases, the penalties can be much more severe, including mandatory registration as a sex offender and increased jail sentences.

Penalties for Lewd Conduct

The penalties for lewd conduct in New York vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. In general, a first-time offender can face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail. Repeat offenders may face more severe penalties, including higher fines and longer jail sentences. Further, aggravating factors such as the lewd act being performed in a school could result in additional charges and a heavier sentence. Given what’s at stake, it's important for individuals facing lewd conduct charges to work with an experienced New York lewd conduct lawyer to build a strong defense and protect their rights.

Proving and Defending a Lewd Conduct Charge

In order to prosecute someone for lewd conduct in New York, the district attorney must prove that the act was performed intentionally and that it was performed for the purpose of sexual gratification. The prosecution must also show that the act was performed in public or in view of the public. Defending against a charge of lewd conduct in New York can be challenging. However, there are several defenses that can be raised, including:

  • Lack of intent: The defendant did not intend to perform the act for sexual gratification.
  • Lack of knowledge: The defendant was not aware that the act was visible to others.
  • Lack of public view: The act was performed in a private place and was not visible to the public.
  • Mistaken identity: The defendant was not the person who committed the act.
  • Entrapment: The defendant was induced by law enforcement to commit the act.

It is important to work with an experienced lewd conduct attorney in New York if you are facing charges of lewd conduct in New York who can help you build a strong defense and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. If necessary, they can also negotiate with the prosecution to reduce the charges or penalties, and in some cases, may be able to have the charges dismissed altogether.

Notable Cases About Lewd Conduct in New York
  • People v. Anonymous Female, 143 Misc. 2d 197 (N.Y. City Ct. 1989). This case involved the issue as to whether the actions observed by police officers amounted to lewd conduct as defined in the statute. Two undercover police officers observed a woman conversing with a man in an area known for certain activities. The surveillance continued as they followed the pair to different locations, including a college campus and eventually a quiet residential street late at night. Subsequently, the officers purportedly witnessed the woman engaging in lewd behavior with the man inside his vehicle. The court determined that the application of Penal Law § 245.00 was inappropriate in this case. It emphasized that the statute was intended to proscribe overt lewd conduct intended for public viewing, not behavior conducted in a clandestine manner. The court concluded that the statute had been misapplied by law enforcement and that considerations of the right to privacy were relevant in assessing the public nature of the conduct.
  • People v. McNamara, 78 N.Y.2d 626 (N.Y. 1991). For someone to be guilty of lewd conduct, the problematic conduct must have occurred in a “public place.” If the prosecution cannot establish that element, the charges must be dismissed.

The case involves multiple defendants who were separately charged with violating Penal Law § 245.00 by engaging in sexual acts in parked cars in Buffalo. The charges were based on informations filed against each defendant, alleging that the lewd conduct took place at different locations within the city. For instance, one defendant was accused of committing the act in the rear seat of a vehicle parked on a well-lit street, while others were charged with similar offenses on residential streets. The defendants contested the sufficiency of these allegations regarding whether the acts occurred in a "public place" as required by the statute. The central question before the court was whether the facts establish that the lewd conduct occurred in a "public place" as required by Penal Law § 245.00. The court affirmed the dismissal of the prosecutions, agreeing with respondents that the factual allegations failed to establish the element of a "public place" as defined by the statute.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Lewd conduct is a serious offense in New York and carries significant penalties. If you have been charged with this crime, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced lewd conduct attorney serving New York who can help you navigate the criminal justice system and protect your rights. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Westchester County, and Suffolk County.