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Lewdness

Arrested for Engaging in Lewd Conduct

The offense known as lewdness is considerably more common in Monmouth County than you might think. Whether the result of an alleged liaison in the bathroom at the Monmouth Service Area in Wall, a dressing room at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, or as a result of an accusation of masturbating on the beach in Belmar, this is a charge that is far from foreign to the courts. And when prosecutors and judges are confronted with a lewdness offense, they typically show little leniency based on the perverse nature of the behavior. If you were arrested in Ocean, Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook, Union Beach, Eatontown, or Lake Como, you need to consult an attorney immediately as your appearance on this charge in municipal court or at Monmouth County Superior Court in Freehold is probably going to be a difficult one without proper representation. As former prosecutors from the county who have been appearing in courts throughout the jurisdiction for several decades now, we have represented an immeasurable number of clients just like you who have been charged with lewdness. There is little doubt that we can help you minimize the offense and reach the most favorable outcome. Call our Red Bank Office at 732-450-8300 or Freehold Office at 732-462-1197 to speak to a lewdness defense lawyer at our firm. The attorney will provide you with your best options for dealing with this charge and the consultation is free.

Lewdness Charge Under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-4

Lewdness is often described using many terms including indecent exposure, public indecency, obscenity behavior and an assortment of other phrases. The common theme of all these expressions is conduct that is sexual vulgar and characterized by someone exposing their genitals in public. In New Jersey, lewd conduct is criminalized under N.J.S.A 2C:14-4 so this is the law that shall apply to you if you were arrested and charged with lewdness. This statute makes it a disorderly persons offense, a misdemeanor, for someone to engage in a “flagrantly lewd and offensive act which the defendant knows or reasonably expects is likely to be observed by other nonconsenting persons who would be affronted or alarmed.” The term “lewd act” includes not only exposing genitals for arousal or to gratify sexual desire but also just about any obscene gesture that would be offensive to a nonconsenting adult.  Performing fellatio, cunnilingus, having intercourse or engaging in other graphic sexual acts in an area likely to be observed by members of the public would satisfy this definition. To prove an individual guilty of lewdness, the prosecutor in Middletown, Howell, Tinton Falls, Sea Bright, or Wall needs to establish three (3) elements beyond reasonable doubt. First, it must established that you engaged in a flagrantly lewd and offensive act. Second, the act must have been observed by a nonconsenting person. Third, you must have known or reasonably expected that your conduct was likely to be observed by nonconsenting persons who would be affronted or alarmed. A conviction in municipal court for lewdness is, as previously stated, a disorderly persons offense. A person sentenced for this violation faces up to six (6) months in the the county jail, fine of up to $1,000 and/or probation.

Fourth Degree Lewdness Offense

Lewdness is enhanced to a fourth degree crime, a felony, when children are involved. A person commits this fourth degree offense if they expose their intimate parts for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire while knowing or reasonably expecting that this conduct would be observed by a child who is less than 13 years of age or by a person who because of mental disease or defect is unable to understand the sexual nature of the actor’s conduct.  “Intimate parts” is defined under 2C:14-4 as sexual organs, genital area, anal area, inner thigh, groin, buttock or breast of a person. An individual convicted of fourth degree lewdness faces up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000 at the time of sentencing in Freehold. The penalties are significantly more serious when an individual takes the step of making physical contact with a child under these circumstances as that is sexual assault. The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office must prove five (5) elements in order to convict someone of this fourth degree crime. First, the accused must have exposed his or her intimate parts. Second, the conduct must have been engaged in for purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire. Third, the circumstances must have been such that the accused knew or reasonably expected that his/her conduct would be observed by a child who was less than 13 years of age. Fourth, a child falling within this age actually observed the conduct. Fifth, the accused was at least four (4) years older than the child.

Freehold NJ Lewdness Defense Lawyers

It is not uncommon for police in Monmouth County write lewdness charges for conduct like urinating in public (when witnesses to the alleged act are present), “mooning”, sexual intercourse in cars, and other conduct even though the elements of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-4 cannot be satisfied. They also make arrests that fall squarely within the statute all the time. Irrespective of which block of lewd conduct charges you fall into, an experienced criminal lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. An attorney who is knowledgeable in defending lewd conduct charges will know your best options on how to proceed and the most effective manner to deal with the judge and prosecutor in Keansburg, Holmdel, Bradley Beach, Colts Neck, or Hazlet. To speak to one of the Freehold NJ Lewdness Lawyers at our firm, call our office 24/7 at 732-462-1197 for a free consultation.