Sex crimes are taken very seriously in Texas. Public lewdness is one of many sex-related offenses. It’s important to know your rights if you’re facing charges.
What is public lewdness?
Public lewdness refers to a few different types of sexual activity that occur in public. In Texas, any sexual act performed publicly is illegal. This includes sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual conduct or any type of sexual activity involving contact between a person’s mouth or genitals with the genitals or anus of an animal, known as bestiality.
What are the penalties for public lewdness?
The crime is classified as a class A misdemeanor if a person is charged with public lewdness. For a conviction, the individual can face up to one year in jail or a fine of a maximum of $4,000 or both. They might also be ordered by the court to serve probation and perform community service.
In addition to the criminal penalties that come with a conviction of public lewdness, there are other consequences a person can face. With a criminal record, it might be difficult to secure a new job as employers will have their guards up knowing that an applicant was previously convicted of a sex offense.
Anything else that requires a background check can also work against a person with a conviction for public lewdness. Certain schools and private organizations may not accept the individual. Beyond that, a conviction for this crime or any sex offense can have damaging effects on a person’s reputation. Friends and family members might even treat them differently as a result.
What are defenses to public lewdness?
Possible defenses to a public lewdness charge could include proving the defendant’s state of mind at the time of the offense or proving a lack of sexual intent.