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Home  >  Articles  >  Public Indecency Crimes in Massachusetts

Public Indecency Crimes in Massachusetts

The state of Massachusetts has strict laws against open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior. This means the indecent exposure of certain areas of the body in a public space may be considered offensive and grounds for criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, a person can be arrested on these indecency charges and may face severe penalties if convicted. If convicted of “open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior,” a person may face up to three years in a state prison or two years in jail and a maximum fine of $300.

Attorney James Powderly has dedicated his career to defending the rights of those arrested in Cape Cod, whether they are facing sex crimes, drug crimes, drunk driving accusations, or other such charges. He has helped many individuals accused of such crimes to have their charges reduced or even dismissed.

Defining Indecency

According to the Massachusetts criminal code, indecent exposure and “open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior” are different crimes. Indecent exposure is considered less severe than the latter, but it is still punishable by fines and jail time. However, if the prosecution can prove the following five points, a person may be convicted of open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior. These points include:

  • The defendant exposed his or her buttocks, breasts, or genitals
  • The exposure was intentional
  • The exposure was done in disregard to the public nature of the locale
  • The exposure was intended to produce a sense of alarm of shock
  • An individual or group was, accordingly, alarmed or shocked by the exposure

Depending on the incident, a defendant may be able to dispute one or several of these points, putting up a strong defense against these charges.

Contact a Sex Crimes Lawyer in Cape Cod

If you or someone you love has been charged with public lewdness, indecent exposure, or other sex-related crimes, there may be legal options available to create a powerful strategy for your defense. For more information about how to prepare a criminal defense strategy in Cape Cod, contact attorney James Powderly today by calling 508-343-0676.