IS INDECENT EXPOSURE A CRIME IN LAS VEGAS?
October 22, 2021
Contrary to the rumors, indecent exposure is a crime in Las Vegas, Nevada. Individuals convicted of indecent exposure face gross misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Open and gross lewdness (touching the genitals of an unwilling person) is similar to indecent exposure but carries much harsher penalties.
Las Vegas is a place of unlimited imagination and fun but make no mistake about it – the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department takes acts of indecent exposure and/or open and gross lewdness very seriously.
If you’re facing a charge of this kind, you need competent legal representation. An indecent exposure conviction can have adverse consequences in your personal and professional life. What started as a fun day at a Vegas pool party could lead to shame and embarrassment for many years to come. Don’t gamble on your choice of lawyer. At The Vegas Lawyers, we can help if you’ve been charged with indecent exposure or a related crime. Call us today at (702) 707-7000 for a free and confidential consultation.
Technically, the Nevada Supreme Court doesn’t offer a specific definition of indecent exposure. However, it is generally defined as genital exposure to an unwilling party. That can include an individual’s genitalia or anus.
However, it’s important to note, Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 201.220 does not restrict the exposure of breasts for purposes of breastfeeding.
Further, indecent exposure is unlawful in both public and private settings. That means you can be convicted of indecent exposure while at home. For example, if you open the door to a food delivery driver in the nude, you could face indecent exposure charges.
According to NRS 201.220, a conviction for first-time indecent or obscene exposure can lead to gross misdemeanor charges, up to 364 days in jail, and potentially up to $2K in fines.
Individuals convicted of indecent exposure more than one time, who have a history of sexual offenses or expose themselves in the presence of a minor can be charged with a category D felony. That could lead to 1 – 4 years imprisonment, up to $5K in fines, and registration on the Nevada sex offender’s list. It is not illegal to expose breasts for purposes of breastfeeding.
However, exposing one’s breast to “flash” someone could potentially be charged as a crime.
Under NRS 201.210, individuals convicted of first offense open and gross lewdness face gross misdemeanor charges. Defendants found guilty could spend up to 1-year in jail, pay up to $2k in fines, and register as a sex offender.
However, if the defendant has prior sex offender convictions and/or the unlawful act occurred in front of a minor (or mentally incapacitated person), they could face category D felony charges. Penalties can include the following:
- Maximum 4-year prison sentence, minimum 1-year imprisonment
- Up to $5K in fines
- Registration on sex offender’s list
It’s important to note that a person may face open and gross lewdness charges for engaging in either of the following acts:
- Engaging in sexual activity (publicly or privately) where others can see you
- Most non-consensual sex acts other than sexual assault or rape
An example of a nonconsensual sexual act (falling short of rape) includes grabbing someone’s buttock or genitalia without their permission. So long as the act doesn’t involve penetration, the defendant most likely won’t face rape charges.
The best defense strategies for indecent exposure or open and gross lewdness offenses depend on the case’s specific circumstances. Generally, a few of the most common criminal defense strategies for these charges include but are not limited to:
- The Police Entraped the Defendant: Law enforcement officials are not allowed to “trick” a defendant into committing acts they were not inclined to commit on their own.
- The Defendant Was Falsely Accused: Sometimes, an alleged victim may accuse the defendant of committing certain sexual acts out of revenge, anger, or confusion.
- The Defendant Was Given Consent by Alleged Victim: In some cases, alleged victims testify that unwanted touching occurred when they actually gave consent.
- Accidental Indecent Exposure: Unintentional exposure of private areas can happen in many ways. Generally, verifiably accidental indecent exposure cases are not prosecuted by the state.
Both indecent exposure and open and gross lewdness are crimes that could lead to significant jail/prison time, fines, and lifelong registration on the sex offender’s list. Mounting a successful defense often requires the experience and skill of a proven criminal defense lawyer for sex crimes in Nevada.
In addition to the criminal offenses listed in the previous sections, Las Vegas takes its approach to indecent exposure a step further. It’s illegal to commit the following crime in Vegas:
- Public Urination (including defecation)
- Acts of disorderly conduct (i.e., fighting, using obscene language to address another person, disturbing the peace, and harassing someone with intentions to disturb).
Individuals convicted of public urination or disorderly conduct in Clark County face a citation, potential jail time, and possible fines up to $1,000.
Author: Tony Abbatangelo, Esq.
Anthony “Tony” L. Abbatangelo Esq. is a smart, compassionate attorney that knows how to get results and is no stranger to the courtroom. Tony and his team are ready to assist you with your criminal and DUI defense.