Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition

Clearwater Defense Lawyer Skilled in Fighting Sex Crime Charges

There are four lewd or lascivious crimes: battery, molestation, conduct, and exhibition. Lewd or lascivious exhibition occurs when somebody intentionally shows their private parts in a lewd and lascivious manner or otherwise commits a sexual act in front of a child. Lewd or lascivious convictions are serious, and they can result in prison time as well as a requirement that you register as a sex offender. You should retain a Clearwater sex crime attorney who understands how to defend against a lewd and lascivious exhibition charge. At Hanlon Law, we strongly believe in protecting the rights of the accused.

Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition

Florida Statutes section 800.04(7) prohibits lewd or lascivious exhibition. This is a charge that requires the prosecution to show that the defendant intentionally masturbated, showed their genitals in a lewd or lascivious way, or committed another sex act in front of a minor under the age of 16. The sex need not be penetration; it could include bestiality or S&M.

"Lewd" and "lascivious" are words that generally mean that there was lustful, unchaste, sensual, or licentious intent by the perpetrator in committing an act. You cannot argue that you did not know a minor's age or that the child consented as defenses. The reason for this is that the law presumes that a minor under the age of 16 cannot offer meaningful consent or bear the responsibility for turning down sexual advances.

The potential punishment for a lewd or lascivious exhibition conviction depends on whether you were under 18 years old or at least 18 at the time of the lewd and lascivious exhibition. An adult who commits lewd or lascivious exhibition has perpetrated a second-degree felony. A judge is able to sentence an adult convicted of lewd or lascivious exhibition to a maximum of 15 years’ imprisonment, 15 years’ probation, and $10,000 in fines. If you are a minor convicted of lewd and lascivious exhibition, you can be convicted of a third-degree felony. This means that you face the possibility of five years’ imprisonment, five years’ probation, and $5,000 in fines.

For some convictions, the department is allowed to deduct from sentences in what is known as "gain time" to encourage appropriate prisoner behavior, give incentives to prisoners to participate in productive activities, and reward prisoners for good services or deeds. If you are imprisoned as a result of a lewd or lascivious exhibition conviction, you cannot get gain time. This means that you will need to serve your whole prison sentence. However, it is possible that the court will deviate from a minimum sentence if you are able to show that you have a mental disorder that necessitates certain treatments. Although it is not a defense, it may be considered a mitigating circumstance if the child in question was an aggressor or provoker of the exhibition.

A lewd or lascivious exhibition conviction results in being put on sex offender probation, and it also means that you will need to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life. This means that even if you move away from Florida, you would need to comply with sex offender registration laws.

There are possible defenses that your attorney can raise to a charge of lewd and lascivious exhibition. It may be a false allegation of exhibition. Children sometimes make up stories without knowing what they mean. You may also be able to argue that there was no lewd or lascivious intent in committing the act. For example, if a child happens to be outside on the street when you are changing your clothes and catches a glimpse of you, you may have a viable defense that the crucial element of intent is missing. In some cases, it may be possible to get charges of lewd and lascivious exhibition reduced to sexting in the case of a minor who performed the exhibition through a text or email message.

Hire a Sex Crime Attorney in the St. Petersburg Area

You should not assume that you will be convicted of lewd or lascivious exhibition simply because you have been accused. A knowledgeable sex crime attorney can make a difference to the outcome of your case. A lewd and lascivious exhibition conviction in Clearwater can result in serious and lifelong impacts. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has defended people accused of sex crimes since 1994 and may be able to help you. Call Hanlon Law at 727-897-5413 or submit our online form.