Open and Gross Lewdness and Lascivious Behavior
Brockton Massachusetts Indecent Exposure and Sex Offenses Defense Lawyers
Open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior is similar to, but different from, indecent exposure. Unlike indecent exposure, open and gross lewdness is a felony offense carrying resulting in harsh penalties. Convictions are punishable by up to two years in the house of corrections or three years in a state prison.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 16 doesn’t define “open and gross conduct or lewd and lascivious behavior,” but the courts have described what type of behavior is considered.
In order to be found guilty of the offense the defendant must be found to have:
- Exposed his or her genitals, buttocks, or breasts;
- “Openly” (either intentionally or with a reckless disregard for a substantial risk of public exposure, to members of the public that would be offended by the conduct);
- In a manner that produced alarm, shock, distress; and
- At least one person was in fact alarmed, shocked or distressed by the defendant’s exposure.
Prosecutions for the offense often involve situations where children were subjected to the exposure. Charges for masturbating in a public place comprise a majority of the open and gross lewdness charges. Its important to note that the victim must be “alarmed or shocked” to the point of suffering emotional distress and that simply being offended is not enough to sustain a conviction. As a result, a finding of guilty is based largely on the temperament of the member of the public that witnessed the exposure.
Charged with Lewd Conduct / Indecent Exposure / Open and Gross Lewdness and Lascivious Behavior? We can help.
We understand how distressing it can be to face a criminal charge specifically when the accusation is a sex crime that adversary affect the lives of you and your family for years to come. We have been putting our criminal defense services to work for the residents of Massachusetts for the last thirty years and know how to fight for the rights of our clients.
If you are being investigated or have been charged with open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior then call our proven Brockton Massachusetts indecent exposure defense lawyers.
No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call us to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 584-6955 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.