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Legal Defenses Against Lewd and Lascivious Behavior Charges in Miami

Defending Against Lewd and Lascivious Behavior Charges in Miami

Being charged with lewd and lascivious behavior in Miami can lead to severe consequences, including lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, and registration as a sex offender. That’s why it’s critical to understand your defense options and work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight the charges.

In this article, we’ll break down common lewd and lascivious offenses in Miami, penalties defendants face, and legal defenses a skilled lawyer may use to get charges reduced or dismissed. We’ll also look at real case examples to understand how these defenses work in action.

What is Lewd and Lascivious Behavior in Florida?

Under Florida law, lewd and lascivious behavior refers to a wide range of crimes involving indecent exposure, sexual activity, and sexual materials relating to minors. The most common lewd and lascivious charges include:

  • Lewd or lascivious battery – Engaging in sexual activity with a minor between 12 and 16 years old
  • Lewd or lascivious molestation – Touching the breasts, genitals, buttocks, or clothing covering them of a minor under 16 in a lewd or lascivious manner
  • Lewd or lascivious conduct – Intentionally touching a minor under 16 in a lewd or lascivious manner
  • Lewd or lascivious exhibition – Intentionally exposing one’s sexual organs in a lewd or lascivious manner in the presence of a minor
  • Promoting sexual performance by a child – Producing or distributing child pornography

A lewd or lascivious act does not necessarily need to be sexual in nature. Rather, it refers to any act demonstrating a “wicked, lustful, unchaste, licentious, or sensual intent.”

Penalties for Lewd and Lascivious Behavior in Miami

The penalties for lewd and lascivious behavior depend on the specific charge, as well as factors like the defendant’s criminal history and the age of the victim. Generally, penalties may include:

  • Up to 15 years in prison
  • Up to 30 years in prison if the victim is under 12
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Mandatory sex offender registration
  • Probation

With such severe consequences on the line, building an aggressive legal defense is critical.

Common Defenses Against Lewd and Lascivious Charges

In lewd and lascivious cases, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the alleged acts intentionally and in a lewd manner. An experienced Miami sex crimes defense lawyer will thoroughly examine the prosecution’s evidence – or lack thereof – and identify the best defense strategies. Some common defenses include:

Lack of Lewd Intent

A core defense in many lewd and lascivious cases is arguing the defendant did not act in a sexually lewd manner. For example, evidence may show the alleged inappropriate touching was accidental or done without sexual intent. Presenting evidence of the defendant’s character and reputation can help demonstrate lack of lewd intent.

False Accusations

Unfortunately, false accusations happen, especially in bitter custody disputes. An attorney may argue the accuser is lying or being manipulated by a third party. Thoroughly investigating the accuser’s background and motives can uncover evidence revealing dishonesty.

Insufficient Evidence

Without strong physical evidence or eyewitness testimony, the prosecution may lack proof beyond a reasonable doubt. By relentlessly challenging the evidence, an attorney can sow seeds of doubt leading to an acquittal.

Unlawful Police Conduct

If police violated the defendant’s rights by using unlawful interrogation tactics or improper searches, critical evidence may be excluded. For example, if police questioned a defendant without reading Miranda rights, the defendant’s statements cannot be used.


Presenting a solid alibi proving the defendant couldn’t have committed the crime is an effective defense. Alibi defenses with supporting evidence like time-stamped receipts and witness statements can establish reasonable doubt of guilt.

Real Case Examples of Lewd and Lascivious Defenses in Miami

Looking at real case examples helps illustrate how skilled defense lawyers leverage these strategies to achieve successful case results for clients facing lewd and lascivious charges.

People v. Johnson

After being charged with lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor, Mr. Johnson maintained his innocence, insisting any inappropriate touching was accidental. His attorney gathered character statements from family and friends stating Mr. Johnson was not sexually deviant. Expert witnesses also testified Mr. Johnson showed no signs of sexual attraction to minors. By presenting evidence refuting lewd intent, the attorney secured a full acquittal.

People v. Myers

When divorce proceedings turned bitter, Ms. Myers was shocked when her ex-husband accused her of molesting their daughter. She immediately contacted defense counsel. Her lawyer investigated the ex-husband’s background, uncovering previous false accusations. The attorney also had a child psychologist interview the daughter, revealing she had been manipulated into making the allegations. Thanks to the false accusation defense, prosecutors dropped all charges against Ms. Myers.

Work with a Miami Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer Today

Facing lewd and lascivious charges in Miami can be overwhelming. But with an experienced sex crimes lawyer guiding you, there are always defense options. An attorney will thoroughly analyze the prosecution’s case, identify weaknesses, and build the strongest defense to achieve the best possible outcome. Don’t leave your future to chance – schedule a free case evaluation now.


[1] https://valientelaw.com/practice-areas/criminal-defense/sex-crime-defense-attorney/lewd-lascivious-behavior/

[2] https://www.dmtlaw.com/criminal-defense/sex-crimes/lewd-and-lascivious-conduct/

[3] https://www.muscalaw.com/knowledge/florida-lewd-and-lascivious-criminal-charges-and-defenses

[4] https://www.goldmanwetzel.com/lewd-and-lascivious-florida/

[5] https://www.hornsby.com/crimes/sex/lewd-or-lascivious-conduct.html

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