Open Lewdness


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If you are arrested for a sex crime like open lewdness, your life will change abruptly in a very negative way. You will face embarrassment, condemnation, the sudden presence of the police and you may even have to spend time in jail. If you are charged with open lewdness, you need to retain an attorney with experience in sex crimes as soon as possible.

What You Need To Know About Open Lewdness

In Pennsylvania, open lewdness occurs when an individual performs any lewd act in a place where he or she knows they are likely to be observed by people who would be affronted or alarmed.

  • Open lewdness is a misdemeanor in the third degree. You can be sentenced to up to one year in prison.

What To Do If You Are Charged

Do not anger the arresting officer unnecessarily. The police will make the decisions about your charges and especially in sex crimes there may be several choices that they can make that are of varying severity.

You will probably be held in jail overnight. At this stage, do not discuss what happened with the police or claim your innocence.

  • As with most criminal charges, you should not talk to the police or prosecutors without your attorney by your side. What you say can be taken out of context and used against you.
  • The police will not keep confidential any information you give them. They will tell the claimant what you said and your words may be used against you in court.
  • If the police question you, tell them you want a lawyer and politely refuse to answer their questions.

What Your Lawyer Can Do

Your attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine if there is evidence for all you have been accused of.

  • The exposure of the lewd act might have been accidental. Your attorney will probe for evidence to prove your lack of intent.
  • If it is a you-said/they-said situation, where the only evidence against you is an accusation, you will be in a stronger position.
  • You may not have known your actions would offend or alarm the people who were present.
  • You may have believed you were not in a public place. For example, you might have been in your home and not aware that you would be seen through the windows.
  • Your lawyer will make every effort to discredit any evidence.

Your lawyer will be looking at every avenue that can help you, so it’s important that you give them all of the information that can support your case. Make sure that you give your attorney the names of any supporting witnesses.

How A Lawyer Will Help

When you are up against an open lewdness charge, even before your first hearing you will be facing a determined prosecutor and community condemnation. You need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and work with you to determine your best course of action.

Pennsylvania Open Lewdness Law

Open lewdness is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18, Chapter 31. Read the code here.

Questions? Contact us today.

Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to show that the charges should be dismissed. If it’s in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.