Gross Lewdness is a sexual crime in Nevada (NRS 201.210). Its definition can be broadly interpreted to include many acts, but specifically, Open or Gross Lewdness is defined as either of the following two conditions:
• Deliberately performing sexual acts or simulated sexual acts in public or in private where others can see the act, OR
• A sexual touch in public which involved another person and does not result in penetration but is not consensual, in other words short of rape.

Is this the same as Indecent Exposure?
The fact is, many times these two are charged together, but Nevada law defines these crimes as separate charges. Indecent Exposure has more to do with exposing your private parts in public whether in a sexual or non-sexual way. For example, a flasher may get a thrill from running around naked, but not be sexually motivated in the act. He may still be arrested for Indecent Exposure, but not necessarily Gross Lewdness. Gross Lewdness has more to do with performing sexual acts in places where other may see them with or without intent to display private parts.

Urinating in a public place may be Indecent Exposure, but unless a sexual act was included, should not be charged as Gross Lewdness. Having sex with your partner in your house, in front of an open window, where members of the public may see the act, could be charged as Open or Gross Lewdness.

Nevada statutes make clear that, breast feeding a child in a public place, does not constitute either Gross Lewdness nor Indecent Exposure and is not a crime.

What are the penalties for Gross or Open Lewdness?
If convicted in Nevada of Open or Gross Lewdness:

For a first-time offender, it is considered a Gross Misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to 1 year in county jail, and/or up to $2,000 fine, and requirement to register as a sex offender. This is considered a Tier 1 sex offense which is not searchable in public listings if the alleged victim was an adult.

For a second time and subsequent Gross Lewdness conviction, or first time with Gross Lewdness and previous sex crime on the record, it is considered a Category D felony, and carries a sentence of 1 to 4 years in State Prison, and/or up to $5,000 in fines, and the requirement to register as a sex offender.

How do I defend against such charges?
If you’ve been charged with Gross Lewdness or Indecent Exposure, you should hire a lawyer to represent you. Besides the incarceration and fines, the requirement to register as a sex offender can be life changing. You need an attorney who is familiar with the law and the courts who will present a strong defense to such charges. Every case is different, but a few defense strategies include:
Insufficient Evidence – Charges must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in order for such charges to result in conviction. If evidence is not sufficient to support the charges being made, your lawyer will move for a dismissal.
Entrapment – It’s not unknown for ex-spouses and business partners, to attempt to entrap their ex-partners, out of revenge or getting even. If your lawyer can show the court that you were in fact entrapped into such acts, your case may be dismissed.
Consensual Touching – If the public sexual touching was consensual, then this charge won’t stand up in court. If the evidence supports it, your lawyer will present evidence that the alleged sexual touching was actually welcome and consensual by the other party.

Can these charges be sealed?
Charges such as these may be sealed under certain circumstances. If you are convicted of Open or Gross Lewdness as a Gross Misdemeanor, you may apply for sealing the records of that case after two years has elapsed from the conclusion of the case.

If the conviction was for felony Open or Gross Lewdness, you may not have the records sealed.

If you acquitted of the charges, or the charges are dismissed, you may apply for sealing immediately.

The Defenders can assist if charged with Open or Gross Lewdness
If you’ve been charged with the crime of Open or Gross Lewdness, you need the services of a skilled and qualified attorney to assist you. Our attorneys know this area of the law and have provided a skilled defense to hundreds of clients. Call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

Learn More:

Nevada Law: Open or Gross Lewdness

Practice Areas