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Lewd Conduct Charge | Wisconsin Lewd Conduct

Summer Sees an Uptick in Lewd Conduct Charges in Wisconsin

Summer is that time of year when people are more carefree, socializing out in public, and eager to kick back with a drink or two. It is also the time of year we see an increase in lewd conduct charges in Wisconsin. Lewd and lascivious behavior is considered obscene behavior, is not protected by the Constitution, and is a crime in this state.

Wisconsin defines lewd and lascivious behavior as:

  • “an indecent act of sexual gratification with another with knowledge that they are in the presence of others: or
  • publicly and indecently exposes genitals or pubic area.”

If convicted of a lewd conduct charge, it is a Class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by as much as 9 months in prison and/or up-to $10,000 in fines.

Proving Lewd Conduct

In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecutor must prove lewd conduct beyond a reasonable doubt. This requires that the following elements be proven:

  • The defendant exposed their genitals/pubic area.
  • The defendant exposed their genitals/pubic area publicly, that is, not in a hidden manner, but open to view.
  • The defendant exposed their genitals/pubic area indecently.

“Indecently” is a grey area, but in general, conduct that offends the sense of decency of the community or is generally not tolerated by the community at large qualifies as indecent. Public and semi-public sex also qualifies, such as sex in a parked car.

Behavior that typically qualifies as lewd and lascivious includes:

  • Groping
  • Indecent exposure of genitals
  • Sexual interaction with someone else in a public place
  • Allowing someone else to touch you sexually in public
  • Convincing or forcing others to touch each other in a sexual manner

Lewd Conduct Involving a Minor

Wisconsin does not have a specific law covering lewd conduct with a minor, but the state does have several laws concerning sexual acts with a minor. A lewd conduct charge could fall under one of two laws:

  • Child enticement. When a person causes a child to enter a vehicle, building, room, or secluded place for certain purposes, including lewd and lascivious conduct, it may be prosecuted as child enticement. This is a Class D felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and/or $100,000 fines.
  • Exposing genitals to a child. This is very similar to the definition of lewd and lascivious conduct, but it involves exposure to a child. This is a Class I felony punishable by 3.5 years in prison and/or $10,000 fines.

Defense Against Wisconsin Lewd Conduct Charges

A lewd conduct charge is serious. A conviction will include criminal penalties, fines, and possibly jail time. But there are other things at stake too, such as your reputation, your job, and your social connections. Defending yourself against the charges is a must to protect yourself now and to protect your future.

Contact the Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices for representation if you are charged with lewd and lascivious conduct. We can help you build a strong defense to fight the charges and protect yourself. Call 608-256-8356 or email to arrange a free consultation.