Public Indecency and Obscene Exposure

In Nevada, indecent exposure and exposing one’s genitals in public places, or private places seeable from public view, is considered a crime. According to NRS 201.220, “a person who makes any open and indecent or obscene exposure of his or her person, or of the person of another, is guilty,” except if otherwise provided in the State law specifics. A first offense violation is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a certain amount of fines and jail time. Additional offenses result in a category D felony and punishment may carry:

  • 1 to 4 years in prison
  • Up to $5,000 in possible fines

Additionally, the court orders defendants of indecent exposure to register as a Tier 1 sex offender in the State. When registered as a Tier 1 sex offender in Nevada, you are not searchable unless a child or minor was involved.

Penalties for Indecent Exposure in Nevada

Punishment for criminal activity in violation of NRS 201.220 depends on whether or not a defendant has previous sexual crime convictions or involvement in similar criminal activity.

  • For a defendant’s first offense (meaning they have no previous indecent exposure convictions), it is a gross misdemeanor resulting in up to 364 days in jail, up to $2,000 in fines, and sex offender registration at the Tier 1 level.
  • For a defendant with a subsequent offense (meaning they have at least one previous indecent exposure conviction), it is a category D felony resulting in 1 to 4 years in prison, possible fines up to $5,000, and sex offender registration.
  • For a defendant with a first or subsequent offense, specifically in the presence of a minor or someone with disabilities, it is a category D felony resulting in 1 to 4 years in prison, possible fines up to $5,000, and sex offender registration, like the previous penalty mentioned above.

A judge will take one’s circumstances into consideration and grant particular punishment and penalties based on one’s situation. Intentional stripping and streaking in public is likely to have a steeper punishment than someone who accidentally is seen naked through the window of their home, hotel or a private space.

In some instances, your criminal defense attorney may be able to plea bargain criminal defenses to a lower offense or complete dismissal through persuasion. Also, a judge may dismiss charges of public indecency if, but not limited to, law enforcement misidentified the defendant, a defendant was falsely accused of lewd acts, the exposure was not obscene or indecent, or if the exposure was accidental and not intentional. Depending on one’s situation, they may be willing to reduce the NRS 201.220 indecent exposure charge to a misdemeanor carrying no sex offender registration.

Sealing a Nevada Conviction of Indecent Exposure

Depending on the penalties and the extent of one’s history in sex crime convictions, some records may be sealable. See below for more information:

  • For a gross misdemeanor, the waiting period is 2 years after the case ends to seal your record.
  • For a category D felony, you may never be able to seal the record.
  • For a dismissal of your conviction, there is no waiting period and the record can be sealed immediately after it is dismissed.

Indecent Exposure vs. Open or Gross Lewdness

Many people ask, is there a difference in Nevada between indecent exposure and open or gross lewdness, especially when it comes to penalties? In the State, indecent exposure is termed as exposing a person’s privates, genitals or anus, whether or not the intention or motivation was sexual in any way. For open or gross lewdness, according to NRS 201.210, the motivation or act is intentionally sexual, including:

  • participating in sexual relations in a public place and easily visible, or
  • having non-consensual sexual relations, not involving penetration

Overall, both crimes carry the same penalties or punishment.

If you find yourself in the above circumstances, or being charged as a sexual offender due to multiple convictions of public indecency or obscene exposure, you need a team of legal experts on your side. At The Defenders, our experienced attorneys can help you understand the details and seriousness of the charges, and what the next best step is.

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