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Lewd and Lascivious Acts

Lewd and Lascivious Acts

Florida law includes a number of crimes for what it considers “lewd or lascivious” offenses. These charges vary depending on the age of the alleged offender, the age of the alleged victim, the nature of the alleged crime and whether there was any alleged contact.

Prosecutors in Florida take sex crimes very seriously and will look to impose the maximum punishment allowable by law. A conviction for any lewd or lascivious act may not only result in huge fines and serious prison time but can also have devastating consequences on a person’s personal and professional life.

Lewd and Lascivious Acts Lawyer in Tallahassee, FL

If you have been accused of any sex crime involving lewd or lascivious acts, you will want to immediately contact a skilled criminal defense attorney at Pumphrey Law.

Our firm’s partners are both former prosecutors who understand how these cases are handled and what flaws or weaknesses in evidence can result in charges being reduced or dismisses.

In addition to serving Tallahassee and the greater Leon County area, Pumphrey Law also represents clients in Monticello in Jefferson County, Crawfordville in Wakulla County, Quincy in Gadsden County and Bristol in Liberty County.

Call (850) 681-7777 for a free consultation.


Information About Lewd and Lascivious Acts


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What are Lewd and Lascivious Crimes?

Neither lewd nor lascivious are terms that are specifically defined in Florida Statutes, often leaving the charges open to interpretation. Committing unnatural and lascivious acts could result in second-degree misdemeanor charges. Chapter 800 of the Florida Statute lists several crimes related to lewdness and indecent exposure.

These crimes often involve exposure of sexual organs. Sexual organs include the buttocks, genitals or breasts, according to Florida Statute § 800.03. However, that does not include a mother breastfeeding her baby. Some crimes considered to be lewd and lascivious include:

  • Exposure of sexual organs, Florida Statute § 800.03
    It is a first-degree misdemeanor to expose or exhibit sexual organs in public or on another person’s private property close enough to be seen from private property in a vulgar or indecent manner. This statute also makes it a crime to be naked in public, except in places provided or set apart for those purposes.
  • Lewd or lascivious exhibition, Florida Statute § 800.04(7)
    This is defined as intentionally masturbating, exposing genitals in a lewd or lascivious manner or committing any other sexual act that does not involve actual physical or sexual contact with the victim. This includes, but is not limited to, sadomasochistic abuse, sexual bestiality or the simulation of any act involving sexual activity. It can be classified as:

    • A second-degree felony if the alleged offender is 18 years of age or older.
    • A third-degree felony if the alleged offender is less than 18 years of age.
  • Lewd or lascivious molestation, Florida Statute § 800.04(5)
    This is defined as intentionally touching in a lewd or lascivious manner the breasts, genitals, genital area or buttocks, or the clothing covering them, of a person less than 16 years of age. This also includes forcing or enticing a person under 16 years of age to touch the alleged offender. The crime can be classified as:

    • A life felony if the alleged offender is 18 years of age or older and the alleged victim is less than 12 years of age;
    • A second-degree felony if the alleged offender is less than 18 years of age and the alleged victim is less than 12 years of age, or the alleged offender is 18 years of age or older and the alleged victim is 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age;
    • A third-degree felony if the alleged offender is less than 18 years of age and the alleged victim is 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age; and
    • A first-degree felony if the alleged offender is 18 years of age or older, the alleged victim is 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age, and the alleged offender was previously convicted of an applicable felony and/or sex crime.
  • Other Crimes for Lewd and Lascivious Acts under Florida Law
    • Lewd or Lascivious Battery (Engaging in Sexual Activity) § 800.04(4)(a)1, Fla. Stat
    • Lewd or Lascivious Battery (Encouraging, Forcing or Enticing) § 800.04(4)(b), Fla. Stat.
    • Lewd or Lascivious Conduct § 800.04(6), Fla. Stat.
    • Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition Over Computer Service § 847.0135(5), Fla. Stat.
    • Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition by a Detainee in the Presence of an Employee of a Facility § 800.09, Fla. Stat.
    • Lewd or Lascivious Offenses Committed Upon or in the Presence of an Elderly or Disabled Person § 825.1025, Fla. Stat.

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Penalties for Lewd and Lascivious Acts

A lewd or lascivious crime conviction may result in required sex offender registration, but it also can include such consequences as:

  • Second-degree misdemeanor
    Up to 60 days in jail and/or fines of up to $500
  • First-degree misdemeanor
    Up to one year in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000
  • Third-degree felony
    Up to five years in prison and/or fines of up to $5,000
  • Second-degree felony
    Up to 15 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000
  • First-degree felony
    Up to 30 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000
  • Life felony
    Life in prison without parole
  • Florida Sex Offender Registry

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Possible Defenses to Lewd and Lascivious Charges

People accused of lewd or lascivious offenses often can feel as though they are presumed guilty until proven innocent. However, some defenses may help you overcome these charges, including:

  • No lewd or lascivious intent
  • False accusations
  • Misidentification of offender
  • Unintentional exposure
  • Lack of evidence
  • Tainted testimony

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Finding a Sex Crime Lawyer for “Lewd and Lascivious” Crimes in Leon County, FL

Pumphrey Law understands the tremendous social burden any sex crime accusation has on the alleged offender. Our criminal defense attorneys can provide a completely honest, thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation as soon as you call (850) 681-7777.

Let our firm examine the facts of your case and see how we can help you move on with your life and fight the case for the best possible result. 

Call (850) 681-7777 today.


This article was last updated on Friday, May 26, 2017.