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Nevada law as to lewd conduct offenses is generally modeled upon California law. But Nevada’s statutes cast a wider net and impose harsher punishments.
1. What is California’s lewd conduct law?
Penal Code 647a PC is the California statute on lewd conduct in public. The law prohibits people from touching themselves sexually while in public when third parties are present who might be offended.
2. What is Nevada’s lewd conduct law?
NRS 201.210 is Nevada’s law on open or gross lewdness. It is similar to PC 647a but applies regardless of whether a third party who might be offended is present. Two persons engaged in sexual activity in a public location can be charged under NRS 201.210 even if they are the only two people at the site.
A person convicted of a second offense of Nevada’s NRS 201.210 is guilty of a felony. A second offender under California Penal Code 647a still faces only a misdemeanor.
4. What about laws on lewd acts with children?
California’s Penal Code 288 defines lewd acts with a child under 14. Nevada’s NRS 201.230 applies to lewdness with a child under 16. Both make it a crime to touch children anywhere on their bodies if the touching is done for the sexual gratification of either the perpetrator or the child.
While PC 288 carries a penalty of up to 8 years in prison, an NRS 201.230 conviction is punishable by life in prison (with the possibility of parole).
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.