Lewdness and Indecent Exposure
The story of a Utah stepmother who did home repair work with her top off made national headlines when she was arrested for lewdness, as reported by Vice. The complaint was filed by the two minor children’s biological mother, who told police that the stepmother and her husband—the biological father of the children—both took their shirts off after hanging drywall in their own home (the father was not arrested). But can you really go to jail for something like this? The answer is yes, even here in the somewhat less modest state of Florida. Lewdness is a serious crime, and can be charged as a felony. Lewd offenses include sexual acts with minors, exhibition in front of minors, and molestation of minors and adults.
Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition
Lewd or lascivious exhibition occurs when the defendant intentionally masturbates, exposes their genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner, or commits any other sexual act (without touching the victim) in the presence of a victim less than 16 years of age. If the offender is 18 or older, the offense is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, and if the offender is under 18 the offense is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.
Lewd or Lascivious Battery
Under Florida statute 800.04, lewd or lascivious battery occurs when a person engages in sexual activity with a victim of at least 12 years old but less and 16 years old, or encourages, forces, or entices any person under 16 to engage in sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality, prostitution, or any other act involving sexual activity. The penalty for lewd or lascivious battery is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. If the defendant is 18 years or older and has a previous sexual offense conviction, the penalty is a first degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Lewd or Lascivious Molestation
Lewd or Lascivious molestation occurs when the defendant intentionally touches the buttocks, breasts, genital area, or clothing covering any of these areas in a lewd or lascivious manner, or forces the victim to touch the defendant in any of these areas. This offense is a life felony if the defendant is 18 or older and the victim is under 12. It is a second degree felony if the defendant is less than 18 and the victim is less than 12, or if the defendant is 18 or older and the victim is 16 or older.
Our office has had success in pushing these matters to trial and avoiding the stigma of Sex Offender or Sexual Predator designations. These designations last a lifetime and can prevent a person from employment, housing , attending school functions or even socializing with a relative during probationary periods. In a recent trial, our attorneys demanded a jury trial and received a reduced verdict of misdemeanor battery for a client. The results saved our client from a lifetime of difficulty and the potential of imprisonment.
Call a Port St. Lucie Sexual Offense Defense Attorney Today
Being charged with any type of sexual offense can ruin your life. Simply urinating in an alleyway could wrongfully be construed as lewd exposure, which could carry a 15 year prison sentence if minors were present. You need to protect your rights and freedom by calling a Port St. Lucie criminal attorney with Baginski Brandt & Brandt. Call us today at 772-466-0707 to schedule a free consultation.