Sexually based crimes are perceived as being especially offensive by law enforcement and the rest of society. Behavior that is obscene or perverse will be dealt with swiftly and harshly in Atlantic City. Even offenses that do not involve physically touching another person may be considered lewd and offensive. Depending upon the nature of the acts, a person may face criminal charges for their lewd behavior. Penalties for lewdness may range from fines to jail time, so it is crucial you understand the nature of your charges.
Being charged with lewdness in Atlantic City should be taken very seriously as it may lead to very serious criminal penalties. Hire a qualified attorney who can represent you throughout your trial and defend your rights. Contact the Law Offices of John J. Zarych to speak with an Atlantic City lewdness defense lawyer. Call (609) 616-4956 to schedule a free legal consultation.
Definition of Lewdness in Atlantic City
A person commits an act of lewdness when they perform an offensive act and they know, or reasonably should know, that other nonconsenting people may observe them and be upset or offended. This definition is very broad and may encompass any number of sexual or offensive acts. Lewdness may involve acts that are simply obscene or offensive and acts that are intended for the sexual gratification of the defendant. If you are unsure whether you did something that could be construed as an act of lewdness, call our Atlantic City lewdness defense lawyer for guidance.
Lewdness may become a bit more serious when it is done with the intention that someone else will see and be offended. For example, exposing your genitals to an unwilling observer for your own sexual arousal or gratification will be considered an act of lewdness. The charges become more severe if the victim is a minor.
Lewdness is typically a less severe sexual offense because it does not involve physically touching the victim. Instead, the defendant may expose themselves to the victim without coming into physical contact with them. However, like most sexual offenses, the victim is nonconsenting to the act.
Acts That May Be Considered Lewd in Atlantic City
Almost any perverse or sexual act you can think of, no matter how simple or severe, may be considered an act of lewdness if it is done in public. A few common examples of lewd behavior that may lead to lewdness charges are things like public urination or flashing your genitals or other private parts in public. Potentially anything that involves the removal of your clothes could be an act of lewdness.
Lewdness is a general term that refers to things of a sexual or obscene nature. The law does not provide an exhaustive list of acts that are considered lewd and will lead to criminal charges. Whether or not an act is lewd will depend largely on the nature of the act and the context of the situation. For example, forgetting to shut the curtains before taking your pants off in your own home will not be considered an act of lewdness. While it is possible that a nonconsenting passerby may see you in a state of undress, it is not a lewd act because you did not intend to do it publicly where others may see.
An act of lewdness involves intent on the part of the defendant, not only for someone to see them doing something lewd and obscene but also for that person to be offended and upset. Taking your pants off in your own home is obviously not a lewd act. However, taking your pants off on a public street in front of people walking by will be a lewd act. If you are unsure whether or not you have committed a lewd act, contact our Atlantic City lewdness defense attorney for help.
Penalties for Lewdness Charges in Atlantic City
Lewdness may be charged in one of two ways. First, it may be charged as a minor disorderly persons offense. This applies to general acts of lewd or obscene behavior performed in public. Something minor like public urination might fall under this category. Second, lewdness may be charged as a crime of the fourth degree. This covers acts performed for the defendant’s own sexual gratification or arousal. A common example of a lewd act that would be charged as a fourth-degree crime is flashing your genitals in public. Flashers tend to do this because they find it sexually gratifying, while the nonconsenting witnesses are usually very upset and offended.
A disorderly persons offense is a minor crime and is typically punished with fines. It is possible that a brief jail sentence may be imposed, but a fine is more likely. However, a fourth-degree crime is more serious and may be punishable by up to 18 months in prison. If you have been charged with lewdness, contact our Atlantic City lewdness defense lawyer as soon as possible. We can help you defend your rights and reduce your charges or sentence.
Contact Our Atlantic City Lewdness Defense Attorney for a Free Legal Consultation
Lewdness is a serious charge that may lead to steep fines or time behind bars. Depending on how serious your charges are, you may be dealing with the consequences for some time. If you or someone you know has been charged with lewdness in New Jersey, contact our Atlantic City lewdness defense lawyer at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych to speak with an Atlantic City lewdness defense lawyer. Call (609) 616-4956 to schedule a free legal consultation.