There are some things you know you’re not supposed to do while in public. These things include touching your own or someone else’s genitals while in public for sexual gratification while you’re in a public space. This type of behavior is considered lewd.
What you may not know is that only is engaging in lewd behavior not socially acceptable in California, it’s also against the law.
The topic of lewd behavior is addressed in Penal Code 647a PC. When you read through the law, you’ll quickly discover that the law deals with several different types of acts, including engaging in sexual acts and sexual touching. Additional issues that are considered lewd behaviors in California include:
1. Using “a concealed camcorder, motion picture camera, or photographic camera of any type, to secretly videotape, film, photograph, or record by electronic means, another identifiable person who may be in a state of full or partial undress, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person, without the consent or knowledge of that other person, in the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, or tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which that other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of that other person.”Looking “through a hole or opening, into, or otherwise views, by means of any instrumentality, including, but not limited to, a periscope, telescope, binoculars, camera, motion picture camera, camcorder, mobile phone, electronic device, or unmanned aircraft system, the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, or tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which the occupant has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of a person or persons inside.”
2. “Soliciting, or who agreeing to engage in, or who engages in, any act of prostitution with the intent to receive compensation, money, or anything of value from another person.”
The consequences for engaging in lewd behavior in California are severe. The first time you’re convicted of engaging in lewd behavior, the maximum sentence you face is six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. After that, each time you’re convicted of lewd behavior, the sentence is up to 12 months in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.
Right now, getting convicted of a lewd act isn’t enough for you to be put on the sex offender’s registration.