Olsinski Law Firm team

Lewd and Lascivious Conduct

Sex Crime Lawyers Based in the Charlotte and Concord Areas

While the legal implications of the phrase “lewd and lascivious” are not commonly understood, they are used to describe certain crimes of a sexual nature. A broad range of behavior falls under the umbrella of lewd and lascivious conduct, most of which can result in significant jail time, mandatory sex offender registration, and permanent harm to relationships and status in the community. If you are charged with a sex crime under North Carolina or federal law, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney about the defenses that you might be able to set forth. At the Olsinski Law Firm, our Charlotte and Concord sex crime lawyers are skilled at defending people charged with a wide range of these offenses.

Acts That May Be Considered Lewd and Lascivious

While in some states, lewd and lascivious conduct is an independent crime, in North Carolina, the phrase does not refer to a single act. Instead, it is used in the legal context to describe sexual behavior of a criminal nature.

For example, in North Carolina, taking indecent liberties with children is a crime that is described as intentionally committing or trying to commit any lascivious or lewd act on or with the body or any part of the body of a child who is under 16 years old. There are also numerous North Carolina laws criminalizing acts involving the creation, distribution, and solicitation of child pornography. Broadly speaking, it is unlawful to create, buy, sell, or distribute materials that are harmful to minors, which include materials depicting children engaging in sexual activity. It is also illegal to solicit children for the creation of such materials. In turn, the law describes sexual activity, in part, as the lascivious display of a person’s pubic area or genitals.

While neither the word “lewd” nor the word “lascivious” is daefined in the statute, insight has been provided by the North Carolina courts as to the meaning of the terms. Specifically, “lewd” behavior has been described as conduct that incites sexual imagination or longing, while “lascivious” is meant to indicate acts that arouse sexual desire.

Like the North Carolina statutes, the federal criminal code does not include a specific crime of lewd and lascivious conduct. Similar to North Carolina law, though, it is unlawful under federal law for anyone to sexually exploit or abuse children, such as asking them to engage in sexually explicit conduct, which includes the lascivious display of an individual’s genitals or pubic area. Federal courts interpreting the meaning of “lascivious” have ruled that it is an act that is salacious or excites sexual desires.

Under both the North Carolina and federal interpretations of the terms, acts that may be considered lewd or lascivious include touching a child in a sexual manner or taking pictures of a child for the purpose of obtaining sexual arousal. Conversely, a depiction or action that is for medical or artistic purposes will not be considered lascivious or lewd because it does not appeal to a sexual or prurient interest.

Contact a Dedicated Attorney in Concord or Charlotte

Conduct that is considered lascivious or lewd as these terms are defined by the law can lead to serious repercussions. If you are accused of engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible regarding your rights. The criminal defense lawyers at the Olsinski Law Firm are adept at defending people charged with crimes in both state and federal courts. If we represent you, we will work hard to help you pursue a good outcome under the facts of your case. We frequently aid people accused of committing criminal offenses in Charlotte and Concord and throughout Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties, including people in Huntersville, Davidson, Matthews, Midland, Kannapolis, Cornelius, Pineville, Mint Hill, Harrisburg, and Mount Pleasant. You can reach us through our online form or at our Charlotte office at 704-405-2580 or our Concord office at 704-918-4747 to schedule a meeting.

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