Open and Gross Lewdness

Las Vegas is home to regular parties that usually involve drug and/or alcohol use. These substances often lead to increased sex drive that might result in sexual activities, and consequently open and gross lewdness. Charges for open and gross lewdness result from exposing your private parts, engaging in sexual activities, or sexually offending others in public.

You are likely to face serious consequences that may have a lifetime effect if you are convicted. Since you do not want to have your records in the public database and ruin your future, you should seek legal help from a qualified attorney. At The Law Offices of Martin Hart, we are ready to defend you from the charges leveled against you. Our attorneys have years of experience in defending people facing sex crime charges in the greater Las Vegas area.

Open and Gross Lewdness

Nevada's law defines the crime as engaging in sexual activity in public or sexually touching a person without their permission. Prosecutors can charge you with a gross felony or misdemeanor if found guilty of committing the crime.

Open and gross lewdness is usually charged with a related but separate crime such as indecent exposure. The crime involves engaging in sexual behavior, while indecent exposure involves exposing your body in public. In case the penetration nonconsensual, the prosecutor will instead bring charges for sexual assault charges. Examples of acts that will make you charged with open and gross lewdness are:

  • Engaging in sexual activity in public places
  • Masturbation on public property such as vehicles
  • Groping someone without their consent

An important note is that breastfeeding a child by his or her mother does not constitute a crime.

Elements of the Crime

Two major elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. First, the acts must constitute gross lewdness, as we will discuss below. Second, sexual acts must have been done in an open place. An open place is where other people can see the sexual act.

Sexual acts include contact between:

  • mouth and penis, mouth and anus, or mouth and vulva
  • penis and anus or the vulva and penis

Sexual acts may also include:

  • The penetration of another person’s genital or anal opening by hand, object, or a finger.
  • Intentional touching of another person’s genitalia below 16 years

Examples of the Crime

Masturbation in Public

You can be charged with open or gross lewdness if you masturbate in a public place or in front of your open window in your home. You will be charged with the crime when you commit the objectionable sexual, and other parties can see the act.

Intentional Touching

You can face criminal charges if you touch someone else sexually without their consent in a public place, for instance, a bar.

Making out in Public

it happens when you and your partner, if married, make out in a place where others can see you. Public locations can be the streets, bars, car hood, etc.

Difference between Open/ Gross Lewdness and Indecent Exposure

These two crimes are different crimes in Nevada. Indecent exposure occurs when you expose your private body parts. It does not matter whether the other person is sexually interested or not. On the contrary, open/ gross lewdness involves offending the third party sexually. Please note that the prosecution may choose to charge you with both crimes. Engaging in Sex Openly

An open sex crime violation happens when you behave in a sexual way where other people can see. It doesn't matter how many people saw you or whether you did offend someone. It includes:

  • Any act of sexual acts done in places where a third party can see violates the law
  • Having anal or oral sex in public places also violates the law, and you will be charged for open or gross lewdness
  • Nonconsensual sex acts that do not amount to rape

You will be charged for violation of the law if you sexually touch someone else. The act does not have to be penetration, and the other person doesn’t have to consent to you touching them.

Open or gross lewdness differs from sexual assault, such as rape, because sexual assault crime involves penetration. Nonconsensual acts of sex include:

  • Anal sex
  • Oral sex
  • Digital sex
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Inserting any object into a body orifice sexually

Penalties of Open or Gross Lewdness in Nevada

A gross misdemeanor is a severe crime in Nevada but less severe than a felony conviction. The conviction includes a jail term of up to one year and fines of up to $2000.00. If you are charged with gross misdemeanors in Nevada, you are entitled to a trial by jury. Some examples of gross misdemeanors crimes are:

  • The first conviction of open or gross lewdness
  • The first conviction of indecent exposure
  • A second conviction of stalking
  • False imprisonment
  • Unlawfully using a hotel key

When charged with open or gross lewdness as a gross misdemeanor, you may have a jury trial or a bench trial. Gross misdemeanor penalties include:

  • One year in jail
  • $2,000 in fines

You can have your gross misdemeanor conviction records sealed once the case has been closed for over two years. If you are a foreigner, a gross misdemeanor conviction could lead to your deportation. The following are the penalties that you may be awaiting when charged with open or gross lewdness. If charged as a first-time offender, you are classified as a gross misdemeanor convict, and you are likely to face the following:

  • Possible registration as a sex offender
  • Jail term of 1 year
  • Payment of fine up to $2,000

If you are convicted for the second time, you will be charged with open and gross lewdness as a category D felony. This happens if you have previous sex crime convictions or if there was a minor or a mentally or physically incapacitated adult when the lewdness occurred. You will face the following penalties:

  • Possible registration as a sex offender
  • Imprisonment for up to 4 years in the State Prison
  • Payment of fine up to $5,000
  • Possible registration as a sex offender

In case you are charged with the crime with an individual below 14, you will be categorized as a Class A felony convict where you are likely to face the following:

  • life imprisonment
  • Payment of fines not exceeding $10,000

Does the Conviction Require Registration?

If you have gross misdemeanor convictions, you are classified as a Tier I sex offender. With the classification, it means that your sex crime records are not searchable in the public database as long as you are an adult. The registration period usually lasts for 15 years. If charged as a felony convict, you are classified as a Tier II or III offender. The classification makes it possible for your criminal records to be searchable in a public database. When registered as a Tier II offender, your records will remain for 25 years. If registered as Tier III, your records stay in the public database for life.

Plea Bargains

When charged with open or gross lewdness, it can be possible to get your charges reduced. Misdemeanor charges have less severe penalties and do not require you to register.

If your attorney proves that the evidence provided is not strong enough to sustain the conviction, the judge may drop the case against you.

Possible Legal Defenses to Open or Gross Lewdness

If you have been charged with Nevada's gross lewdness, you should hire an experienced attorney to represent you. The incarceration, fines, and the requirement to register as a sex offender may challenge your life in a significant way. You need to hire an attorney who understands the law and the courts. The attorney will present a strong defense to the charges. The defenses that will work best in defending the charges against you usually depend on circumstances. There are three most common legal defenses to open or gross lewdness convictions that your attorney can use. Therefore, the judge can dismiss the charges against you if:

Entrapment by the Law Enforcement Officers

Entrapment occurs when the police trick you into engaging in a particular crime that you do not intend to commit. On many occasions, police use lewdness regulations to arrest gays for their sexual acts. They set up some undercover operations in parks and public restrooms. The officer pretends to be gays out cruising. They will act in sexual ways to bait men suspects into doing sexual acts.  If you have been charged with open or gross lewdness through entrapment, contact a defense attorney to help fight the charges. The reason being, the police targeted you based on your sexual orientation.

False Accusations

It is common for people to accuse you falsely of violating the law if you are their enemy, especially in crimes related to sex. The motive for such people is usually revenge or anger. When the police arrest you for open or gross lewdness criminal acts, your skilled defense attorney will do a proper investigation to obtain the relevant information. He or she may get evidence that will reduce the victim's credibility.

The Absence of A Search Warrant

The absence of a search warrant by law enforcement officers to find open and gross lewdness is illegal. When your attorney undertook a proper investigation and determined that the police did not have the search warrant, the judge is likely to dismiss your case; hence the charges against you dropped.

There Was the Consent of the Other Person

It’s also common for people to have regrets for their decisions after engaging in sexual activities. Mostly, they end up blaming their partner. The regrets, though, do not reverse the facts of your acts. It may be challenging to prove that the other person had permission. Therefore, you should consult an attorney to prove your innocence and that the other person knew what was happening. That way, the attorney may increase the chances of having the charges against you reduced, or the case dismissed.

Sealing Records for Open or Gross Lewdness

 If charged with a gross misdemeanor, your records can be sealed two years after your case is closed. If charged as a felony convict, your records cannot be sealed. It is good to understand that any open or gross lewdness charges that may get dismissed can be sealed immediately.

Indecent Exposure as a Crime Related to Open and Gross Lewdness

While open or gross lewdness refers to sexual behavior,  indecent exposure refers to exposing private parts to others without considering whether they are interested or not. It is a crime that, in many instances, prosecutors bring open and gross lewdness charges with indecent exposure charges. These offenses have similar penalties but are charged separately. An excellent example of indecent exposure is urinating in a public place. In such a case, you will be charged with indecent exposure and not open and gross lewdness.

Can I Be Deported Due to Open or Gross Lewdness?

The chances are yes; you may be deported. There are gross misdemeanor misconducts that will lead to your deportation. We advise you to seek immediate help from a qualified attorney as soon as you are accused of these charges. 

Find a Sex Crimes Attorney Near Me

Open or gross lewdness is a criminal act that can ruin your future. The consequences are severe, including jail terms, imprisonment, and payments of fines. Other consequences include felony or misdemeanor criminal records, mandatory registration as a sex offender, and long-term incarceration. It is crucial to work with a qualified attorney to see you through the entire court process. If charged with open or gross lewdness in the Las Vegas area, contact The Law Offices of Martin Hart and get the legal help to retain your freedom and reputation. Our attorneys will build a strong legal defense to increase the chances of reducing the charges against you or dismissing the case. Contact us at 702-380-4278 to talk to us.