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NRS 201.220 - Nevada "Indecent or Obscene Exposure"

In Nevada, it is a crime by statute for a person to indecently or obscenely expose his or her private parts, or the privates of another, and possibly require sexual offender registration if convicted. A first time conviction of this offense is treated as a Gross Misdemeanor, which means penalties of up to 1 year in jail and $2,000.00 in fines. Further convictions are treated as Felonies.

Indecent or Obscene Exposure Defined

The definition of Indecent or Obscene Exposure can be found in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS 201.220). In summary, it is a crime for a person to make any open and indecent or obscene exposure of his or her person, or the person of another.

This definition is extremely broad, and so are its applications. For example, a couple caught having sex in a Henderson park, or a bathroom stall in a Las Vegas Casino, can be criminally charged with indecent or obscene exposure. It doesn’t matter if these acts take place under a blanket, in a car or behind a bathroom door. It is a crime even if no one sees it!

Perhaps even more shockingly, a person could be arrested for exposing themselves in their own home. For example, if a person in their North Las Vegas home were to be seen by the UPS delivery man walking around naked or with their private parts exposed through their front door or windows, they could be arrested and charged for indecent or obscene exposure.

You might be wondering what body parts, if exposed, are considered indecent or obscene? People criminally charged with this crime in Southern Nevada are typically caught exposing their genitalia, or in a woman’s case, their breasts. The only exception to this crime is when a woman exposes her breast to feed her child.

Penalties for Indecent or Obscene Exposure in Nevada

The punishment for indecent or obscene exposure convictions are particularly harsh. A first time conviction of indecent or obscene exposure in Nevada is treated as a Gross Misdemeanor and a person could be punished by:

  • Up to a $2,000.00 fine
  • Up to 1 year in Jail
  • Possible Sex Offender registration for life.

A second or subsequent conviction of indecent or obscene exposure is a category D Felony in Nevada, with punishments of:

  • Up to a $5,000.00 fine
  • Between 1 and 4 years in a Nevada State Prison
  • Possible Sex Offender registration for life

Note that sex offender registration is not required under Nevada law, but instead is an optional punishment that may be imposed by the judge hearing the case. Factors that judge will consider when deciding what the punishments will be include things such as if the defendant was caught exposing him or herself to children; where the exposure took place; past criminal history, including prior sexual offense convictions; and any other relevant information.

Defenses Against Indecent or Obscene Exposure Charges

  • Insufficient Evidence – The District Attorney has a very high burden that must be met in order to obtain an Indecent or Obscene Exposure conviction. This burden is known as “beyond a reasonable doubt”. It is a criminal defense lawyer’s job to pick apart the evidence presented against the Defendant, including casting doubt on the credibility of witness testimony, suppressing evidence obtained against the Defendant’s civil rights, etc.
  • Protected Act – If a person was acting in a private location, and had a reasonable expectation of privacy, their exposure could be outside the purvey of the statute.
  • Constitutional Right – A person has certain constitutional rights that could come in to play. For example, if a person were acting in a licensed nude venue or a posing for art students, the exposure could be considered constitutionaly protected.
  • Plea Bargains – In many cases, a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer can work out a favorable plea bargain for the defendant instead of risking a trial. A plea bargain can be either a reduced charge, or an agreement to dismiss the charges once certain conditions (such as paying a fine or taking an educational class) are met.

What to Do if Criminally Charged with indecent or obscene exposure in Nevada …

If you or someone you know has been criminally charged in Nevada with indecent or obscene exposure, call the law office of Boley & AlDabbagh today at 702-435-3333 for a free consultation. Being a sexual offense, the potential penalties of this crime are far too heavy to risk going to court alone or with a public defender. The risk of a lifetime stigma as a registered sex offender can not be ignored. The criminal defense lawyers at Boley & AlDabbagh have a wealth of experience defending people charged with sexual offenses, and are willing to sit down and discuss your case with you for free.