While a little “peck” may not be a big deal, if a couple takes
their zest for each other too far in public, they could be arrested and
criminally charged in Texas.
It doesn’t matter if a couple is laying on a beach, kissing in a
bar, dancing too closely at a nightclub, or showing their affection for
each other on top of their boat on a beautiful summer day – when
two people take their affections overboard in public, they can be charged
with Public Lewdness under
Section 21.07 of the Texas Penal Code.
What is Public Lewdness exactly? Under Sec. 21.07, a person is guilty of
the offense if he or she knowingly does any of the following in public:
Engages in an “act” of
- Engages in sexual intercourse
- Engages in deviate sexual intercourse
- Engages in a sexual contact or conduct with an animal or fowl
A person also commits the offense of Public Lewdness if he or she engages
in any of the above and they are reckless about whether someone who is
present may be alarmed or offended by their behavior.
Penalties for Public Lewdness
Public Lewdness is a
Class A misdemeanor under Sec. 21.07(b). Under
Sec. 12.21 of the Texas Penal Code, a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine
not to exceed $4,000, or by up to one year in jail, or by a fine and imprisonment.
Even though Public Lewdness is technically a misdemeanor, there is nothing
minor about being convicted. You have to think about the long-term consequences:
Can you afford to pay up to a $4,000 fine? What would happen to you, your
family, and your job if you were sent to jail?
A conviction means more than fines and imprisonment, it also leads to a
permanent criminal record, which would affect your employment opportunities
for years to come. Can you imagine having to explain your Public Lewdness
conviction to potential employers at job interviews? For these reasons
and more, it’s worth fighting your Public Lewdness charge!
Need a Plano
criminal defense attorney to fight for you?
Contact our office at once to work with
one of the top-rated firms in the area!