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Criminal charges

public lewdness

A person generally commits the criminal offense of public lewdness or lewd conduct in public if the person knowingly engages in any of the following acts in a public place—or, if not in a public place, the person is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by the person’s (1) act of sexual intercourse; (2) act of deviate sexual intercourse; (3) act of sexual contact with a person’s own private parts or those of another.

Public lewdness laws vary from state to state, and some states define and charge such criminal offenses under indecent exposure laws. Public lewdness is usually a misdemeanor offense, but may be a felony offense under some circumstances. And in some states a conviction for public lewdness may require the defendant to register as a sex offender.

In Texas, public lewdness is defined under Section 21.07 of the Texas Penal Code. A person commits this offense if they knowingly engage in an act of sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, or sexual contact in a public place, or if they are reckless about whether another person present will be offended or alarmed by these actions. The term 'public place' includes any place where the public or a substantial group of the public has access. Public lewdness is considered a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. While it is a misdemeanor, the consequences of a conviction can be significant, including potential jail time, fines, and a criminal record. However, unlike some other states, a conviction for public lewdness in Texas does not automatically require the defendant to register as a sex offender. Whether registration is required depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the defendant's criminal history.

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