What Type of Punishment is Someone Looking at if They're Charged with Lewd Conduct in Los Angeles?
Lewd conduct can be defined in many different ways, but usually it's basically somebody showing one of their body parts in public — some sort of lewd behavior. The crime of lewd conduct is described under California Penal Code 647(a).
Sometimes it's a touching of a minor. It can be a variety of different things, but the bottom line is this — you're facing jail time. You're facing potential sex registration and obviously, the stigma and embarrassment that goes along with a lewd conduct charge.
Try getting a job if an employer knows that you've been convicted of lewd conduct. Try dealing with your family and kids and coaching their sports if you've been charged and convicted of lewd conduct.
So, to me, it's an extremely serious crime and there's a lot on the line. Your future is on the line. Your present is on the line. I think the key is, you want to do everything you can either to defend the case if you have a defense.
Negotiating for Lesser Charge or Case Dismissal
You will want to try to have your attorney work out a resolution for you so that you can continue on with your life and hopefully be successful and put the lewd conduct charge behind you. But punishment-wise in Los Angeles, the prosecutors are very difficult to deal with when it comes to lewd conduct if they can prove it easily.
Sometimes people have defenses, and a lot of times what I'm able to do is if we can get a not-guilty verdict and go to trial and win, then obviously we do that. However, if we can't do that and we don't think that's the best move moving forward because you're probably going to lose because of the evidence they have.
A lot of times I can put together what's called a mitigation package and we can avoid jail time. Maybe we can get a different charge than lewd conduct and avoid you having to register as a sex offender.
The problem with sex crimes, and in particular lewd conduct, is most of them you have to register as a sex offender and that's probably the worst punishment as it relates to a sex crime in Los Angeles county.
Avoiding Sex Offender Registration in California
So, what we try to do if we're going to try to work out a deal in the case, is we try to get some sort of a deal that prevents you from having to register as a sex offender. In other words, we're trying to work out some sort of a charge like a battery — just a simple battery. How about an assault?
There's a whole list of different charges that can be utilized in place of a lewd conduct charge in Los Angeles. So, if we can convince the prosecutors to give you a break — and they first have to decide that you shouldn't have to register as a sex offender before they're even going to consider giving you a break.
If they decide that, a lot of times they will come up with a different charge — something other than lewd conduct and then we can try to avoid that sex registration. That's one of the biggest punishments we want to avoid.
Of course, nobody wants to go to jail. Now, in 2020, you've got the Coronavirus to worry about, but any time you get any type of a sex-related offense, especially lewd conduct, the sheriffs are going to see what you're charged with.
Then, a lot of times they'll let the other inmates know that you're charged with a sex crime and that puts you in a real bad position, or they'll treat you differently and more harshly than other inmates.
Experienced Los Angeles Sex Crime Lawyer
So, you want to try to avoid going into custody, as well, and there's a lot of different factors that decide whether you should go into custody related to some sort of a sex offense.
So, if you need help — you're being charged or a loved one that you know is being charged with lewd conduct in Los Angeles, California — pick up the phone. Make the call. Ask to speak to Ron Hedding. I've handled hundreds of these type of cases all over LA county.
I've dealt with the prosecutors and the judges. I've worked for the DA's office for a while. I worked for a Superior Court judge for a while, and since 1994, I've handled these lewd conduct-type of charges. I know exactly what it takes to be successful.