Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition
Lewd or lascivious crimes are serious sex crimes, for which you may be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life if you are convicted. There are four types, which involve battery, molestation, conduct, and exhibition. Exhibition generally involves exhibiting private parts to a minor under the age of 16, although it can also include engaging in sex acts in front of a minor. If you are charged with lewd or lascivious exhibition, you should contact an experienced St. Petersburg sex crime lawyer. At Hanlon Law, we vigorously guard the rights of the accused.Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition
Under Florida Statute section 800.04, lewd or lascivious offenses are those committed in front of or around people who are under 16. Lewd or lascivious exhibition requires a prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt one of the following scenarios: you intentionally masturbated, you intentionally showed your genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner, or you intentionally committed another sex act not involving actual sexual or physical activity with the victim. The sex act not involving contact could include S&M or bestiality or simulation of sex. If you actually had contact with the victim, you are likely to be charged with lewd or lascivious battery, lewd or lascivious molestation, or possibly even lewd or lascivious conduct.
The punishment for a conviction of lewd or lascivious exhibition depends on the age that you were at the time of the lewd or lascivious exhibition. If you are 18 or older, you will be charged with a second-degree felony. The judge can sentence you to a maximum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment, 15 years’ probation, and $10,000 in fines. However, if you are under 18 years old, you are considered a minor, and in that case, lewd or lascivious exhibition is charged as a third-degree felony. A judge can sentence you to at most five years in prison, five years of probation, and $5,000 in fines.
There may be viable defenses to lewd or lascivious exhibition charges, or ways for your attorney to get the charges reduced. Granted, you cannot argue that the victim consented or that you did not know the victim's age. Minors are not considered able to meaningfully consent to sexual activity. In some cases, however, children lie. In other cases, a family member coerces a child to lie in order to gain a family law advantage or due to mental illness, jealousy, or some other inappropriate factor.
If you are a minor yourself, we may be able to get the charges reduced. For example, if what you did could be charged as sexting rather than lewd and lascivious exhibition, there is no imprisonment for a first offense. In fact, sexting is charged initially as a noncriminal violation. A minor charged for the first time with sexting may be required to complete eight hours of community service work, pay a $60 civil penalty, or participate in a cyber safety program.
There is not a complete defense if you were close in age to the minor who was allegedly a victim of the exhibition, although this may be a mitigating factor that allows your attorney to seek a downward departure on your behalf. Under what is known as the Romeo and Juliet law, you may be able to petition for removal from the sex offender registration requirement if the lewd and lascivious exhibition involved a consensual encounter with a minor who was 14, 15, 16, or 17, and who was no more than four years younger than you. You must not have received any other convictions for a lewd or lascivious offense or sexual battery, and the requirement that you register must be solely because of the one lewd and lascivious exhibition conviction.Hire a Capable St. Petersburg Criminal Attorney to Fight the Allegations Against You
If you are charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition in St. Petersburg, you should retain an experienced sex crime lawyer. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has defended people accused of sex crimes since 1994 and may be able to help you. You can call Hanlon Law at 727.289.0222 or complete our online form.