Penal Code Section 647(a) PC

Penal Code Section 647(a) PC – Lewd Conduct

lewd conduct defense The vast majority of arrests for lewd conduct pursuant to California Penal Code Section 647(a) involve undercover “sting” operations targeting gay men. These sting operations employ undercover officers situated in public locations such as parks and public restrooms.

Under the statute, an individual has violated Penal Code Section 647(a) PC when he or she “solicits anyone to engage in or engages in lewd or dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to the public or exposed to public view.” The courts have held that for a prosecution under section 647(a) PC to hold up, five factors must be established: (1) the defendant willfully engaged in touching his or her own or another’s genitals, buttocks, or breast (female); (2) The defendant did such touching with the intent to arouse or sexually gratify his or herself or the other person, or to annoy/offend the other person; (3) At the time, defendant was in a public place or a place open to the public or to public view; (4) At the time of the conduct, someone else who could be offended was present and (5) the defendant knew or had reason to know that this other party was present.

California courts have provided a broad definition as to what constitutes a “public place.” Areas such as booths in adult theaters and bookstores, cars parked on a public street and massage parlors have all qualified as “public places” for the purpose of the statute. Typically, police conduct sting operations in parks and public restrooms.

The officers involved generally attempt to make eye contact with individuals targeted by the sting. Because there is a fine line between what constitutes entrapment, officers must be very careful in their words and/or actions during the sting operations. Generally, these undercover officers try to do anything possible to get the target of the sting to act expose him or herself and act inappropriately. Often, the behavior of the undercover officer may “cross the line” and a valid entrapment defense could be viable.

Share |
Featured on CNN
ABC News
NBC News
Los Angeles Times
CBS News
The New York Times
Us Weekly
Entertainment Tonight
Good Morning America
Legal Broadcast Network
Avvo Rating 10.0
Client Reviews
Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.