Article 245: Offenses against public sensibilities

Article 245: Offenses against public sensibilities

In New York law, Article 245 refers to offenses against public sensibilities. If you have been charged with such an offense, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.

The complete law is as follows:

Article 245: Offenses against public sensibilities

245.00 Public lewdness.
245.01 Exposure of a person.
245.02 Promoting the exposure of a person.
245.05 Offensive exhibition.
245.10 Public display of offensive sexual material; definitions of terms.
245.11 Public display of offensive sexual material.


NY PENAL LAW § 245.00

Public lewdness.

A person is guilty of public lewdness when he intentionally exposes the private or intimate parts of his body in a lewd manner or commits any other lewd act (a) in a public place, or (b) in private premises under circumstances in which he may readily be observed from either a public place or from other private premises, and with intent that he be so observed.

Public lewdness is a class B misdemeanor.


NY PENAL LAW § 245.01

Exposure of a person.

A person is guilty of exposure if he appears in a public place in such a manner that the private or intimate parts of his body are unclothed or exposed. For purposes of this section, the private or intimate parts of a female person shall include that portion of the breast which is below the top of the areola. This section shall not apply to the breastfeeding of infants or to any person entertaining or performing in a play, exhibition, show or entertainment.

Exposure of a person is a violation.

Nothing in this section shall prevent the adoption by a city, town or village of a local law prohibiting exposure of a person as herein defined in a public place, at any time, whether or not such person is entertaining or performing in a play, exhibition, show or entertainment.


NY PENAL LAW § 245.02

Promoting the exposure of a person.

A person is guilty of promoting the exposure of a person when he knowingly conducts, maintains, owns, manages, operates or furnishes any public premise or place where a person in a public place appears in such a manner that the private or intimate parts of his body are unclothed or exposed. For purposes of this section, the private or intimate parts of a female person shall include that portion of the breast which is below the top of the areola. This section shall not apply to the breastfeeding of infants or to any person entertaining or performing in a play, exhibition, show or entertainment.

Promoting the exposure of a person is a violation.

Nothing in this section shall prevent the adoption by a city, town or village of a local law prohibiting the exposure of a person substantially as herein defined in a public place, at any time, whether or not such person is entertaining or performing in a play, exhibition, show or entertainment.


NY PENAL LAW § 245.05

Offensive exhibition.

A person is guilty of offensive exhibition when he knowingly produces, operates, manages or furnishes premises for, or in any way promotes or participates in, an exhibition in the nature of public entertainment or amusement in which:

1. A person competes continuously without respite for a period of more than eight consecutive hours in a dance contest, bicycle race or other contest involving physical endurance; or

2. A person is held up to ridicule or contempt by voluntarily submitting to indignities such as the throwing of balls or other articles at his head or body; or

3. A firearm is discharged or a knife, arrow or other sharp or dangerous instrument is thrown or propelled at or toward a person.

Offensive exhibition is a violation.


NY PENAL LAW § 245.10

Public display of offensive sexual material; definitions of terms.

The following definitions are applicable to section 245.11:

1. “Nudity” means the showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic area or buttocks with less than a full opaque covering, or the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion thereof below the top of the nipple, or the depiction of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.

2. “Sexual conduct” means an act of masturbation, homosexuality, sexual intercourse, or physical contact with a person`s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks or, if such person be a female, breast.

3. “Sado-masochistic abuse” means flagellation or torture by or upon a person clad in undergarments, a mask or bizzare costume, or the condition of being fettered, bound or otherwise physically restrained on the part of one so clothed.

4. “Transportation facility” means any conveyance, premises or place used for or in connection with public passenger transportation, whether by air, railroad, motor vehicle or any other method. It includes aircraft, watercraft, railroad cars, buses, and air, boat, railroad and bus terminals and stations and all appurtenances thereto.


NY PENAL LAW § 245.11

Public display of offensive sexual material.

A person is guilty of public display of offensive sexual material when, with knowledge of its character and content, he displays or permits to be displayed in or on any window, showcase, newsstand, display rack, wall, door, billboard, display board, viewing screen, moving picture screen, marquee or similar place, in such manner that the display is easily visible from or in any: public street, sidewalk or thoroughfare; transportation facility; or any place accessible to members of the public without fee or other limit or condition of admission such as a minimum age requirement and including but not limited to schools, places of amusement, parks and playgrounds but excluding rooms or apartments designed for actual residence; any pictorial, three-dimensional or other visual representation of a person or a portion of the human body that predominantly appeals to prurient interest in sex, and that:

(a) depicts nudity, or actual or simulated sexual conduct or sado-masochistic abuse; or

(b) depicts or appears to depict nudity, or actual or simulated sexual conduct or sado-masochistic abuse, with the area of the male or female subject`s unclothed or apparently unclothed genitals, pubic area or buttocks, or of the female subject`s unclothed or apparently unclothed breast, obscured by a covering or mark placed or printed on or in front of the material displayed, or obscured or altered in any other manner.

Public display of offensive sexual material is a Class A misdemeanor.