Public Lewdness: NY Penal Law 245.00
All arrests are embarrassing. Some, however, are both humiliating and potentially crippling to one’s life at home and livelihood in the office. Public Lewdness, New York Penal Law 245.00, is not the exception to this rule but is symbolic of the direct and collateral consequences of being hauled before a judge and arraigned on a criminal complaint. Whether you are first seeing your criminal lawyer right out of Central Booking or shortly after being released by the NYPD or other police agency with a Desk Appearance Ticket, do not wait to take the right steps to protect your future. No matter where you find yourself – before a judge of the Criminal Court in the NYC boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens or a Justice Court in one of the many municipalities of Westchester, Rockland, or Putnam counties – your defense attorney’s strategy and knowledge can be the difference between an indelible conviction or a life free from shame.Elements of the Crime
Sometimes the result of a sophomoric and offensive stunt of exposing one’s private and intimate areas, most commonly a man’s penis, and other times a product of an inappropriately expressed sexual urge, in order for prosecutors to secure a conviction for Public Lewdness they must establish certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt. As a preliminary matter, any exposure must be intentional and, as mentioned above, involve the private and intimate parts of your body. Further, you must do so in a lewd manner in either a public place or a private location. If the latter, you must behave in a manner that is readily observable to the public or from another private premises. Further, when you commit the act or acts, you must have the intent that someone see you. Remember, while also a significant offense, Exposure of a Person, Penal Law 245.01, is a distinct crime.Penalties and Punishment
While its easy to look PL 245.00 as “only” a misdemeanor and the lowest level crime on top of that, to do so would be both ignorant and naïve. A class “B” misdemeanor, remember the following: Your conviction will not be expunged even if you never step foot in a jail. However, should you be the unfortunate recipient of a District Attorney or judge’s desire to make an example of you for what is allegedly vile conduct, the law allows a sentence of up to ninety (90) days in jail, probation, community service or a conditional discharge which may include some type of counseling or a program.Hypothetical Example and Scenario
Sadly, many a New Yorker or even a visitor has seen someone, routinely a man, exposing his erect penis and touching it in sexual manner. Whether on the subway, in a park or even in a car where those walking by can observe, all of these behaviors would violate the statute.Your Case, Your Defense, Your Future
The criminal lawyers at Saland Law have successfully represented clients facing Public Lewdness charges throughout New York. Sometimes, even if seemingly inappropriate, what appeared to be an intentional and sexual exposure of one’s penis is anything but a criminal act. Urinating in public, for example, may appear crude to a passerby, but perception is not always reality. Certainly, this is just one example of a possible defense, but a potentially a viable one. Similarly, even if the evidence is both strong and unfavorable, mitigation may be worth exploring to reduce the charge to a violation such as Disorderly Conduct or even an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal. At bottom, it is of critical import that you examine the factual allegations contained within the four corners of the complaint for legal sufficiency, identify and secure evidence or statements from witnesses, and pursue any other leads that may point towards your exoneration. Simply, you must explore all your potential lines of defense. In fact, even if it may not seem valuable, if you have urinary or other health issues, a medical record or note from a doctor may be quite helpful in implementing a successful defense.
Whether you are a doctor, lawyer, accountant, broker, real estate agent, bus driver, teacher, bartender, or work in any one of thousands different careers, don’t let the stain of an arrest or conviction disrupt your life, your professional accreditations, or legal status in the United States due to a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT). Don’t face the criminal justice system alone. Let the advocacy, experience and knowledge of the former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law be your guide.
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