What Is Lewd & Lascivious Conduct?
A common offense that people commit during the summertime, in particular, is lewd and lascivious behavior. People of all ages, especially young people, are eager to go out, socialize, and make up for the time they lost during the pandemic. Now that bars, restaurants, beaches, clubs, and other popular places are opening back up to normal conditions, we predict higher rates of lewd and lascivious conduct. Alcohol and drugs tend to play a significant role in these instances.
For your knowledge, lewd and lascivious behavior essentially means “obscene behavior,” which is not protected by the First Amendment and may be regulated.
Summer vacation after the crippling COVID-19 pandemic could drive people to do things they otherwise would not do had the pandemic never occurred, paving the way for potential charges for lewd and lascivious behavior. In Wisconsin, lewd and lascivious behavior is committed when a person publicly and indecently exposes their genitals or pubic area. To prove this crime, the prosecution has the burden of proving the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant exposed their genitals/pubic area
- The defendant exposed their genitals/pubic area publicly, that is, not in a hidden manner, but open to view
- The defendant their exposed genitals/pubic area indecently
- In this context, “indecently” is conduct that offends the sense of decency of the community and does not include conduct that is generally tolerated by the community at large
In addition, a person displays lewd and lascivious behavior when they commit an indecent act of sexual gratification with another person, knowing that they are in the presence of others. Having sex in a vehicle that is parked in a public area such as a mall or public park is considered lewd and lascivious behavior.
Lewd and lascivious behavior is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 9 months in prison and/or $10,000 fines. With this in mind, conduct that is typically considered lewd and lascivious includes:
- Indecent exposure of genitalia
- Sexually touching someone else in a public place
- Getting someone else to sexually touch you in public
- Convincing or forcing others to touch each other in a sexual manner
Lewd Behavior Involving a Child
Although Wisconsin does not have a specific statute on lewd conduct with a minor, the state imposes several laws concerning sexual acts with a minor. In regard to lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor, the following laws apply:
- Child enticement: This crime occurs when a person causes a child to go into any vehicle, building, room, or secluded place for certain purposes, such as to commit sexual assault, lewd and lascivious conduct, or other criminal offenses. Child enticement is a Class D felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and/or $100,000 fines.
- Exposing genitals to a child: Essentially, this crime is lewd and lascivious conduct involving children, which is a Class I felony punishable by 3.5 years in prison and/or $10,000 fines.
Your Go-To Defense for Criminal Charges
If you’re accused of lewd and lascivious conduct, there’s a lot at stake in your life. Not only could you get criminal penalties but also suffer personal, professional, and social consequences. For instance, you may lose your job, place of living, financial aid, professional licenses/certifications, and even relationships with your friends and family. Don’t let this happen to you ― fight back instead.
Our defense lawyer has well-rounded and extensive experience in criminal law. Allow us to defend your freedom when you contact (414) 882-8382 and retain our firm today!