Massachusetts Lewd & Lascivious Conduct Laws

Under Massachusetts Criminal Laws, a wide range of behaviors can sometimes end up as criminal charge of lewd and lascivious conduct.  It is a misdemeanor charge, but along with any criminal charge with a sexual component, it can have serious consequences if not handled carefully. A similar charge is Open and Gross Lewdness.

Sexual behavior in public, including public masturbation is frequently charged as open and gross lewdness. Public displays of nudity are more often charges as lewd & lascivious.  Inappropriate touching may mean an additional charge of indecent assault, which you could be accused of for rubbing against someone on the bus or subway, or in other crowded public spaces.

Don’t take these very serious charges lightly. A good criminal defense attorney can protect your from the most severe and detrimental consequences. Call me to find out what I can do to fight these charges on your behalf.

Differences Between Open & Gross Lewdness and Lewd & Lascivious

The differences between open and gross lewdness and lewd and lascivious behavior under Massachusetts law are subtle, but important.

Lewd & Lascivious is the lesser charge, usually associated with public displays of nudity or showing sexual organs. You can be charged with this for public urination, flashing, or otherwise “whipping it out”, whether intentional or incidental.

Open and Gross Lewdness is the more serious charge. You are charged with this mostly after public masterbation (jerking off), other public sex acts.

If you are found guilty of a 2nd offense of Open and Gross Lewdness, you are required to be added to the sex offender registry.

Lewd Conduct Defense Strategies

In cases where there is an alleged sexual component in a criminal charge, it is often important to negotiate and get the prosecutor to reduce the charges to eliminate the alleged sexual element, and thereby remove the problem and risk of being on a sex offender registry.  Being a registered sex offender can seriously impact your life and job prospects, so that need to be fought and avoided at all costs.

If you’ve been arrested or summonsed to court on a criminal charge of Open and Gross Lewdness, Lewd Conduct, or lewd and lascivious in MA, or accused of any other criminal offense and are trying to decide what to do, give me a call for a free legal consultation at (781) 817-6332.

I’ll consult with you and discuss all your options before you even decide if you want to hire me. Defending people accused of crimes is what I do for a living. Call to set up a free consultation now to find out if I can help you.

MGL CHAPTER 272. Mass General Laws, excerpt.

Section 53. Common night walkers, common street walkers, both male and female, common railers and brawlers, persons who with offensive and disorderly acts or language accost or annoy persons of the opposite sex, lewd, wanton and lascivious persons in speech or behavior, idle and disorderly persons, disturbers of the peace, keepers of noisy and disorderly houses, and persons guilty of indecent exposure may be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than six months, or by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment.