Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

When consensual is still illegal

While most people have at least a rudimentary idea of what sort of sexual activity is illegal, some acts we believe are okay could actually be illegal. Moreover, engaging in such behavior could land you a criminal record. While many consider Americans a bit oppressed when it comes to our sexuality, areas of Louisiana have commonly been presented as an outlier.

Colorful parades, jazz music, intoxication, rampant sexual innuendo, exposure; all of this is unequivocally linked to the widely-revered tourist attraction that is Mardi Gras in areas of Louisiana. Perhaps a combination of the masquerades and alcohol lend a feeling of reckless abandon and liberate visitors who would never normally expose themselves to a public crowd.

Still, as luck would have it, people are known to fall on the wrong side of the law and in dusting off some of the lesser-known legislation, it can be determined that their behavior, while not rare, is also not legal.

Here is a look at some of the forbidden acts under Louisiana law. These are consensual acts but deemed illegal.

  • Sodomy. Regardless of sex or sexual orientation, sodomy is still on the books as a crime against nature and is punishable by a maximum of $2,000 and five  years imprisonment. The law includes bestiality as a form of sodomy, by the way.
  • Indecent exposure or obscenity. The maximum penalty is $2,500 and three years imprisonment.
  • Known HIV exposure by someone infected to another person. The maximum penalty here is $6,000 and 11 years of imprisonment.

As you can see, some laws may be outdated and may not be commonly enforced. Nonetheless, it could be argued that you are engaging in criminal activity and your freedom could be threatened if any of these laws are enforced.

If you are partaking in festivities and get a little daring on the insouciant streets of New Orleans, you may find yourself suddenly in need of legal defense. If that is ever the case, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help you build a solid defense against charges for crimes that are not routinely enforced. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law because of some arguably antiquated laws, don't assume guilt until you have spoken with your attorney.

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Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

8048 One Calais Avenue | Suite A | Baton Rouge, LA 70809-3483 | Phone: 225-250-1812 | Fax: 225-769-0195 | Baton Rouge Law Office Map