nyc central park arrest exposure lewd 245.00Central Park Lewdness and Exposure Lawyer

In 2007, Senator Larry Craig was arrested in a Minneapolis airport for looking to engage in gay sex. Although Craig initially denied any wrong doing, he later plead guilty. This incident was a highly publicized account of how aggressive policing can lead to an arrest and harsh consequences for what is seemingly, just a minor misdemeanor offense. Public places like New York City's Central Park are known to the NYPD to be places where gay and bisexual men congregate for an anonymous encounter. This is sometimes referred to as “cruising”.

Police involvement. The NYPD generally investigates areas were members of the public have complained about it being used for sex. From the District Attorney’s perspective, the public has a right to enter public areas without fearing that they will encounter a lewd sexual act. As a result, the Manhattan District Attorney takes a tough position even for people arrested for the first time in Central Park.

Central Park is the most visited urban park in the US and New York City’s largest part, at 778 acres. The Ramble is one of the major centers for bird watching within Central Park. Since the early 1900’s, the Ramble has been used for private consensual sexual encounters. The Ramble’s reputation for cruising for sex has caught the attention of the NYPD which uses undercover police officers to arrest people seen engaging in public lewdness or exposing their intimate parts.

New York State Law

Public lewdness. You're guilty of public lewdness in Central Park when you intentionally expose your private parts in a lewd manner or commit any other lewd act. P.L.§ 245.00 Public Lewdness (PDF)

Exposure. You're guilty of exposure of a person, § P.L. 245.01 if you appear in public in a manner that your private or intimate parts are exposed.

Public Lewdness Penalties (§ 245.00)

  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • Permanent criminal record
  • DNA database registration
  • Employment and immigration consequences

Guilt or innocence depends on the details

  • What exactly are the charges? There's a big difference between exposure (a violation) and lewdness (a misdemeanor). So, you should have an attorney go over the possible charges to see what you might be faced with. No that you would want to plead guilty to either, it is obviously better to take immediate action to dismiss the most serious charges.
  • What, exactly, is the officer saying? Too often, police officers are watching from far away with objects blocking their view of you. As a result, they make mistakes
  • The difference between engaging in perfectly legal behavior and being arrested and charged with public lewdness comes down to whether you were exposing your privates in a lewd manner. Lewd has been defined as obscene or indecent, tending to moral impurity or wantonness. Lewdness has been defined as gross, wanton, and public indecency; a sexual act that the actor knows will likely be observed by someone who will be affronted or alarmed by it. (People v. Wade, NY County, 2016). So, the facts and circumstances of your case will play a significant role because what is lewd to one person may not be so to another.
  • Caught red handed? Even if you think the case against you is air-tight, have an experienced New York City criminal defense attorney like Lance Fletcher review your case to see if there are hidden defenses or ways to get the charges dismissed or reduced. Even if the evidence against you makes you uninterested in going to trial, there may be ways to get your case dismissed or reduced.

Misunderstanding. The police are supposed to only arrest you for lewd behavior, not for simply walking through the park or engaging in non-lewd behavior with an intimate partner. The consequences of this mistake can be severe, not only because of the immediate embarrassment of being arrested, but also the future court date where you will be formally accused in open court. Any conviction can lead to a permanent criminal record and worse.

How Lance Fletcher can help. If you have been arrested public lewdness and/or exposure in Central Park Bus Terminal, contact us212-619-3900 for a free and confidential case evaluation. Although any accusation of this type is embarrassing, don't go to court alone. Conviction can lead to a permanent criminal record which can cause employment, immigration, travel, and other consequences. Lance Fletcher, a former prosecutor, will analyze the unique facts and circumstances of your arrest, any statement you made to the police, and possible defense that you may not have realized.

Some of our Public Lewdness Case Results (Central Park)

Central Park - Client observed by undercover police officer masturbating in the Rambles - Client was given a desk appearance ticket with a top offense charged of 245.00 but 245.01 was added later. Client also gave the police a full confession. Client was married and an executive at a major corporation. Result: Case eventually dismissed, no criminal record, arrest records sealed. We were also able to provide client with written confirmation that Client's arrest photograph and fingerprint record were destroyed.

Central Park - Client observed by police officer wearing plain clothing engaging in sexual activity with another person who was not arrested - Client was given a desk appearance ticket. Client was a professional and had been arrested before for the same thing. Result: Public lewdness and public exposure charges dropped, small fine, no criminal record, arrest records sealed.

Central Park - Client observed by undercover police officer engaging in sexual activity with another person who was also arrested - Client was given a desk appearance ticket with a top offense charged of 245.01. Client was married and had a professional career hanging in the balance. Result: Public lewdness and public exposure charges dropped, small fine, no criminal record, arrest records sealed.

Call today for a free case evaluation 212-619-3900.

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