Lewdness and indecent exposure happen much more often than the general public thinks. Whether it was an innocent mistake, which often unfortunately it is, or whether the act was meant for sexual gratification, in which case it clearly is not an innocent mistake, the result may sometimes be the same. That result is a charge of a disorderly persons or a fourth degree crime. Needless to say, regardless of the severity of the offense, if you are charged with lewdness in Morris County, you should not face these charges alone. The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall has been representing Defendant’s charged with lewdness in towns like Parsippany, Dover, Montville, Pequannock, Florham Park, Rockaway, Roxbury and Boonton for over fifteen years. If you have been charged with lewdness, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, criminal sexual contact or endangering the welfare of a child, we can help. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation, please contact our Morristown office directly at (973) 309-7050. Now here is some key information on the offense of lewdness in New Jersey, including what you could be facing if convicted.
N.J.S.A. 2C:14-4: Lewdness Defense Attorneys in Madison New Jersey
As defined by statute under N.J.S.A. 2C:14-4, a lewd act shall include the exposing of gentials for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of the actor or of any other person. The two versions of the offenses are differences in gradation that relate to who is present at the time of the act and the actors state of mind. The first of these offenses is the disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor). It is a disorderly persons offense if the actor does any flagrantly lewd and offensive act which he knows or reasonably expects is likely to be observed by other non-consenting persons who would be affronted or alarmed. This can occur where someone flashes someone or goes streaking or urinates in public or even steps out of the house naked and someone happens to see you.
The more serious offense, the fourth degree felony, occurs under only two limited circumstances. A person commits a fourth degree crime if:
- The actor exposes their intimate parts for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of the actor or of any other person under circumstances where the actor knows or reasonably expects the actor is likely to be observed by a child who is less than 13 years of age where the actor is at least four years older than the child.
- The actor exposes their intimate parts for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of the actor or of any other person under circumstances where the actor knows or reasonably expects he is likely to be observed by a person who because of mental disease or defect is unable to understand the sexual nature of the actor’s conduct.
Therefore, in simpler terms, a person commits the fourth degree felony offense if they expose themselves to young individuals or mentally handicapped persons who are unable to understand the sexual nature of the conduct.
What are the Penalties for Lewdness in New Jersey?
A disorderly persons offense carries a potential six (6) month jail sentence and fine up to $1000. The fourth degree crime carries with it the potential for up to 18 months of incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000. Whether it be the misdemeanor or felony degree of offense, you don’t want this crime on your record and you especially don’t want to serve jail time because of it. You want the best representation that you can afford to fight these charges for you.
Highly Experienced Morris County Lewdness Lawyers
Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall our team of 8 expert criminal defense attorneys stand ready to protect your rights. We believe that our over 100 years of collective experience and our vast experience at defending criminal charges, like lewdness, criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child, in Morris County make us your best option at attaining the result you desire, a dismissal of charges. So please, if you or a loved one has been charged with either the misdemeanor or felony lewdness charge in Morris County, in towns like Morristown, Mount Olive, East Hanover, Randolph, Jefferson or Denville, do not hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney about the particulars of your case.