Sex crime laws in Texas seek to prevent any acts involving illegal sexual behavior, sexual misconduct, or illegal pornography. Another crime included in the sex crime laws is public lewdness.

How is Public Lewdness Defined in Texas?

Public lewdness is when a defendant knowingly engages in a particular act in a public place. They can also be found guilty of public lewdness if they are reckless about whether a person would be offended or alarmed by the act.

What Do Prosecutors have to Do to Prove I’m Guilty of Public Lewdness? 

Prosecutors have to show that the defendant knowingly engaged in one of the following acts in public: 

  • Sexual contact;
  • Sexual intercourse;
  • Deviate sexual intercourse; or
  • Any act involving contact between an individual’s mouth, anus, or genitals with an animal or fowl’s anus or genitals.

Is Public Lewdness the Same as Indecent Exposure? 

No, they are separate sex crimes. Public lewdness involves an individual or individuals engaging in sexual behavior in public. Whereas indecent exposure is when an individual exposes themselves in public for sexual gratification or arousal. 

What is the Punishment for Public Lewdness? 

Public lewdness is charged as a class A misdemeanor. A convicted defendant can face less than 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.

Will I have to Register as a Sex Offender in Texas for a Public Lewdness Conviction?

Most likely the defendant will not have to register. Texas require an individual with a “reportable conviction or adjudication” to register as a sex offender. For example, those who commit a sexual assault or have possession of child pornography must register as sex offenders.  However, any sexual offense involving a child under 17 years-old requires sex offender registration, included public lewdness. 

Should I Contact a Lawyer about My Public Lewdness Charge?

Yes. Contact an Texas criminal lawyer immediately to resolve this charge.