Las Vegas Indecent Exposure Defense Lawyer
Las Vegas is the adult entertainment capital of the world. The first-choice destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties, people looking for a “throw caution to the wind” atmosphere and a place where the party literally never stops. However, notwithstanding its reputation as “Sin City,” if you’re a tourist or even a local, it’s important to understand that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department takes the crime of indecent exposure seriously. In fact, it’s a crime that can land you on a sex offender registry.
At The Vegas Lawyers, we’ve handled many indecent exposure cases. Many of our clients have been tourists who drank too much at a day club or people that got carried away during a bachelor or bachelorette “night on the town” party. In our experience, the overwhelming majority of people charged with indecent exposure are simply good people that exercised bad judgment. Add alcohol to the mix and its easy to see how that might happen.
If you’re facing indecent exposure charges, you need to take the matter very seriously. Although the circumstances giving rise to the charge may seem insignificant, having an “indecent exposure” conviction on your record can have life altering consequences. For instance, in this era of heightened concerns regarding sexual harassment, having an indecent exposure conviction on your record can seriously jeopardize your job and career.
At The Vegas Lawyers we know how to successfully handle cases of this kind. If you’re searching for an indecent exposure criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas call us at (702) 707-7000 for help.
NEVADA LAW AND PENALTIES
The crime of “indecent or obscene exposure” is defined under Nevada Revised Statute 201.220 as being an act whereby a person “makes any open and indecent or obscene exposure of his or her person, or the person of another.” In more specific terms, this has been interpreted by courts to mean exposing one’s genitalia or anus in public or in a private place open to public view. For example, standing naked with one’s genitalia exposed on a hotel balcony open to public view would be a form of indecent exposure that could bring criminal charges.
Under the indecent exposure statute, a first-time offense is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000. Any subsequent offenses are category D felonies subject to between 1 to 4 years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
Because indecent exposure is a “sex crime,” a person convicted of this offense is required to register as a sex offender at the “Tier I level.” In Nevada, there are 3 Tiers of sex offenders. A Tier 1 sex offender has to register for 15 years.
DEFENSES TO INDECENT EXPOSURE
There are a number of valid defenses to an indecent exposure charge. The most important defense is that the exposure was neither indecent nor obscene. In State v. Castaneda, the Nevada Supreme Court addressed this very issue in detail and determined that exposure of buttocks alone does not qualify as indecent or obscene exposure for purposes of the criminal statute. The same rationale would therefore apply to breasts. Instead, in order to convict a defendant, the prosecution must prove the exposure of genitalia or anus. Absent this, a judge may dismiss charges.
Other defenses include the fact that the police arrested the wrong person or have falsely accused him or her of something they didn’t do. Another valid defense is that even if there was indecent exposure, it was merely accidental. In other words, defendant did not intend to expose himself and should not therefore be prosecuted for what amounts to an accident.
Having a competent and experienced criminal defense attorney that knows how to present defenses to indecent exposure charges is very important. A good explanation and thorough knowledge of the law can go a long way towards having charges dismissed or reduced.
INDECENT EXPOSURE IS DIFFERENT THAN GROSS LEWDNESS
Many people confuse the crime of indecent exposure with the separate crime of “open or gross lewdness.” Although similar, these are two separate crimes. Where indecent exposure involves illegally exposing one’s private parts, the crime of open or gross lewdness involves either having sex in a place that is publicly visible or having non-consensual sexual relations that doesn’t involve penetration.
For example, Joey and Tina are at a day club pool party and decide to have sex in the pool. This would be an example of open or gross lewdness. Another example would be if Joey came up to Tina at the day club pool party and began fondling in her in the pool without her consent. Even if there is no penetration, Joey could potentially be prosecuted for open and gross lewdness. Under the statute governing open and gross lewdness, Nevada Revised Statute 201.210, the penalties are the same as for the separate crime of indecent exposure.
It is not unusual for authorities to charge a person facing indecent exposure charges with the separate crime of open or gross lewdness. Why? Because each crime involves separate elements. If you’re facing these types of charges, you need to know these are serious crimes that can have adverse consequences on your career and reputation. However, with a good attorney by your side, especially one that has the respect of prosecutors, it is very possible to have these types of charges either dismissed or reduced.
A CONVICTION FOR INDECENT EXPOSURE CANNOT BE SEALED
In Nevada, there are only certain types of criminal convictions that can sealed. To learn more about this, click here. However, the short answer to whether a conviction for indecent exposure can be sealed is “no.” Why? Because under Nevada record sealing laws a conviction for a sex crime can never be sealed.
Thus, this reinforces the importance of ensuring you have an attorney that knows how to help you avoid an indecent exposure conviction by either having it reduced to another crime such disorderly conduct or having the charge dismissed altogether.
MOST CASES RESULT IN A PLEA BARGAIN
Most cases involving indecent exposure charges result in plea bargains involving much lesser charges such as disorderly conduct. At The Vegas Lawyers, we have successfully convinced prosecutors in numerous cases that charges should either be dropped or reduced significantly.
In our experience, prosecutors are willing to be fair when they are shown that the circumstances do not warrant the potential of the defendant being branded a sex offender. One night of stupidity should not be a death sentence for one’s career or reputation.
DON’T GAMBLE WITH YOUR LAWYER
The vast majority of indecent exposure cases generally result in a plea bargain. At The Vegas Lawyers, we have the experience and knowledge about how to successfully resolve indecent exposure cases. We understand what’s at stake for our clients and we work hard to get charges dropped or reduced.
Indecent exposure is a serious crime because of the stigma involved with a sex crime and the consequence of being on a sex offender registry. For this reason, it should be taken very seriously. At The Vegas Lawyers we give our clients a 5-star defense and we take the time to understand each client’s unique circumstance. Only by properly understanding our clients can we effectively persuade the prosecutor to do the right thing.