Open or Gross Lewdness – Sex Crime Lawyer Ross Goodman

Las Vegas is prone to open or gross lewdness violations because of the parties that take place almost every day. More often than not, these parties involve alcohol and drug use. The sexual drive of a person could be increased under the influence of these substances which may result to open gross and lewdness.

Engaging in sexual activity in public, exposing one’s private parts or offending others in the same context is considered a crime in across Nevada. This article will help you understand open or gross lewdness in Nevada. If you are charged with this crime, immediately contact an expert criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas to help you.

What is Open or Gross Lewdness?

What is Open or Gross Lewdness

According to NRS 201.210, “open or gross lewdness†covers the following:

  • Any kind of deliberate sexual act committed in public or in a private place where others could still see it.
  • Any sexual encounter that is not consensual and only falls short of sexual assault or rape.

What are the elements of Open or Gross Lewdness?

Elements of Open or Gross Lewdness

  • A place where the act can be seen by other people.
  • Sexual acts (18 U.S. Code § 2246)
    • Contact between penis and the vulva, or penis and anus.
    • Contact between mouth and vulva, mouth and penis, or mouth and anus.
    • The penetration of the anal or genital opening of other person. It can be done by a hand, finger or by any object.
    • Intentional touching, not through the clothing, of the genitalia of another person who has not attained the age of 16 years.
      The latter two must have an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse/gratify the sexual desire of any person.

What are the Examples of Open or Gross Lewdness?

Examples of Open or Gross Lewdness

  • Masturbation in Public
    A guy can be charged with open or gross lewdness if he masturbates in a public place or even if he “openly†masturbates in front of his open window in his home. The crime is committed when the objectionable sexual act is done and third parties could see it.
  • Intentional touching
    A guy flirting with a girl in the bar can be detained for open and gross lewdness if he touches her sexually without her consent.
  • Making out in public
    This happens when couples make out in places where other people can see them. Some of the possible locations are in the bar, car hood, in the streets, etc.

Breastfeeding in public

is considered legal in Nevada and is not against the law nor does the act constitute an open or gross lewdness even when done in public. This is specifically stated in the NRS 201.232 – “a mother may breast feed her child in any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be“.

What is the Difference between Indecent Exposure and Open or Gross Lewdness?

Difference between Indecent Exposure and Open or Gross LewdnessIndecent exposure

and open or gross lewdness are two different crimes in Nevada. Indecent exposure refers to exposing private body parts whether or not a person is sexually interested. On the other hand, open or gross lewdness tends to lean more on offending with sexual acts.

However, the prosecution may charge you with indecent exposure and open or lewdness conjunctively.

What are your Defenses against Open or Gross Lewdness Charges?

Defenses against Open or Gross Lewdness Charges

Here are some of the defenses that you can use:

  • Insufficient evidence(s)
    The charge of open and gross lewdness can be easily dismissed if insufficient evidence cannot be supplied to prove the defendant guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
  • Entrapment is illegal
    Being tricked into committing open and gross lewdness during an “entrapment†is illegal. If your sex crime lawyer can prove that you are entrapped to commit the act, the criminal charges should be dropped according to the laws of Nevada.
  • Absence of a search warrant
    The absence of a search warrant to find evidence or illegally obtaining evidence of open and gross lewdness will make the prosecutor drop the criminal charges on the basis of insufficient evidence.

Penalties of Open or Gross Lewdness in Nevada

Penalties of Open or Gross Lewdness in Nevada

  • First Offense – Gross Misdemeanor
  • Possible sex offender registration
  • Imprisonment of 1 year
  • Can be fined up to a maximum of $2,000


  • Subsequent Offense – Category D Felony
    • Possible sex offender registration
    • Imprisonment of 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison
    • Can be fined up to a maximum of $5,000
  • Category A Felony
    If the person commits an open or gross lewdness with a child under 14 years of age, the person will be charged with Category A Felony.


  • Punishable with life imprisonment with a possibility of parole after 10 years
  • Plus fines of not more than $10,000.

Seek Help from Sexual Assault Lawyer Ross Goodman

Attorney Ross Goodman has defended numerous cases of sex crimes in Las Vegas and across Nevada. He is known for reducing felony crimes to misdemeanors. (view his notable criminal cases here). He will do whatever it takes to negotiate with the prosecutors to resolve your Open or Gross Lewdness case. Call his office NOW at (702) 383 – 5088 for free evaluation.