Share on Facebook Question: Sorry, hard to resist the snarky response. Seriously, you are possibly committing one or more crimes, depending on the state in which you romp al fresco.
This article discusses laws addressing public sex in general. Public Sex is a Misdemeanor In most states, the laws that criminalize public sex make it a misdemeanor crime. Some state laws explicitly criminalize public sexual activity.
Other laws are broader and cover a variety of indecent or lewd conduct. Because genitalia or breasts may be exposed during public sex, those caught in the act are often charged with indecent exposure.
However, some couples are adept at having sex while still concealing their nether bits. Even if you are careful to avoid exposure during sex in public, you may still be charged with other crimes.
Lewd acts are typically defined by the standards of the state in which they are enacted. States with laws that criminalize lewd acts often define lewd acts so that it is no defense that the parties were clothed. Of course, that does not mean married folks can have sex in the streets.
But, it would provide yet another charge a couple could confront if caught having sex in public in that state. Adultery sex between a married person and someone other than his or her spouse is a crime in 20 states, no doubt honored more in the breach than the observance. This could lead to an additional, embarrassing charge. In addition to charging both with public lewdness, the officers also charged the woman, who was married to a man other than her picnic partner, with adultery.
While sex on top of a picnic table in a public park is pretty clearly sex in public, what about other situations? Most states have laws that prohibit sex in public restrooms and other public facilities.
What about sex in a car, as you inquired? If you are parked on a main street during the day and clearly visible to passers-by, that would qualify as a public setting. But, a New York court has ruled that sex in a car was not sex in a public place unless the act could be readily seen by passers-by.
Defenses to Public Sex There are a few defenses that a person charged with having sex in public could raise to try to defeat the charges. Here are some of them. It is unlikely that an argument that sex in a secluded part of a public setting is not public sex.
For example, a couple having sex in a public restroom stall with the door closed is more or less out of public view, but most state decency laws prohibit sex in public restrooms, period. Not sex Sometimes a steamy tango is just a steamy tango. If your dirty dancing really is just that, you are probably not in violation of the law. However, oral and manual copulation are sex for purposes of laws against public sex, even if no genitalia are visible during the act. Penalties for Having Sex in Public Lewd acts, indecent exposure, and such charges are typically misdemeanors, which in most states carry a sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine.
The penalty differs from state to state, however. Consult A Lawyer A charge of sex in public, while amusing to discuss in the abstract, is a lot less funny when you have to appear in court to answer it. Even though any charge is likely to be a misdemeanor, it is a serious and potentially costly matter. Consult an experienced criminal defense attorney in your state if you have been charged with sex in public or any other crime.