Even the most responsible adults do not always make the best decisions. Whether an adult is a young college student or a married parent in his or her 50s, adults are human and can have certain lapses in judgment. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system does not always balance punishments for these judgment lapses with punishment that fit the nature of these infractions. It is therefore important to understand what kinds of consequences you could face for breaking the law in seemingly harmless ways. More information about potential consequences could influence your decision making and save you years behind bars.
Take, for example, the seemingly harmless crime of having lovemaking in a discreet location on a public beach. This act has long been romanticized in iconic films including “From Here to Eternity.” However, the consequences of this romanticized behavior are anything but exhilarating.
One couple recently learned this lesson the hard way. This couple was recently convicted of lewd and lascivious behavior for allegedly having sex on a public beach. Their convictions were rendered by a jury in only 15 minutes, even though their actions were caught on video and there was no evidence on that video of any explicit sexual activity. Because minors were present on the beach at the time the couple was behaving in ways that bystanders viewed as sexual, each will be required to register as a sex offender. And because one of the individuals involved in the acts on the beach is a former felon, he now faces up to 15 years in jail.
Please, it may seem like the silliest and most paranoid thing in the world to do but consult an experienced attorney before you engage in any actions that could possibly leave you behind bars. Informed decisions generally do not lead to the kinds of consequences that uninformed decisions may.
Source: TIME, “Florida Couple Found Guilty of Sex on the Beach Face 15 Years in Jail,” Victor Luckerson, May 5, 2015