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Defense of Lewdness Involving a Child

Brian J Smith Aug. 20, 2012

In the state of Nevada, lewdness involving a child under 14 is a major felony. Lifelong punishments will be the result of a conviction for this crime. Under Nevada laws, when lewdness is involved with a minor it is a charge of felony and may refer in some instances to a [intlink id=”219″ type=”page”]child sexual abuse case or a child molestation proceeding[/intlink]. A person accused in Las Vegas of the crime of lewdness involving a minor is innocent until their guilt is proven in a court of law. This is the same as all criminal charges under United States law.

In Clark County, Nevada and Las Vegas, a criminal charge of lewdness with children is prosecuted aggressively.

If you are accused of this crime, do not make any statements to a law enforcement agent until you have an attorney who has experience with criminal defense. Sometimes when someone has allegedly committed this sexual crime against a child, a detective may approach him or her to ask their account of the incident.

If this should happen, it is important that you exercise your right under the constitution to remain silent. If you say anything to police with no lawyer present, you are exposed to the chance that your words will be misconstrued and then used against you later in a court of law.

If you do not speak to the police, the prosecution will be forced to prove the case without having your words to twist around and use against you. Never speak to the police without an attorney present. An experienced defense attorney will be able to help build a defense against a serious accusation.

Punishment for Lewdness Involving a Child

The crime of lewdness with a child under Section 201.230 of the Nevada Revised Statute is a category A felony, punishable by life in Nevada State Prison and a minimum fine of $10,000. Anyone convicted of this crime will have a mandatory life sentence with no chance for parole for at least ten years.

Anyone who was previously convicted of the crime of any sexual offense involving a child or of the act of lewdness with a child will face enhanced penalties as defined in section 200.366 of the Nevada Revised Statute. In the case of a prior conviction, the crime is a category A felony and carries a life sentence with no possible parole. In addition, offenders will have a record for life, they will be entered into the state and national databases for sex offenders and will be under lifetime supervision by Nevada’s Department of Parole and Probation.

Nevada Prosecutions for False Allegations of Lewdness Involving a Child

If there is financial motivation to encourage a child to accuse someone of lewdness, or if parents are in a custody battle, false accusations can occur. Because it is rare for these offenses to be witnessed by another party, the Clark County District Attorney’s Office prosecutors often rely entirely on an accusation made by a child or the parents.

After such an accusation is made, a child will usually undergo an examination to determine sexual abuse at the Clark County victim advocacy center in the greater Las Vegas area. The examinations usually do not prove or disprove the lewdness accusation because “lewd” contact does not leave physical evidence.

In addition, the child will be interviewed and questioned about the alleged incident. Although the interviewers are trained in gathering evidence, sometimes the way questions are asked can result in exaggerated statements and false accusations.

It is a surprise to many people that these cases can be prosecuted even if no DNA or physical evidence of any kind exists. The incidents of sexual abuse or lewdness is often not reported for months, weeks or in some cases, even years. This makes remembering an alibi difficult. Therefore, even if the prosecutor can find no evidence that an incident occurred, a case can be defended.