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Obscenity in Las Vegas


As a subset under sex crimes, learning about how Nevada handles obscenity and how to fight it can arm you with the knowledge to better present yourself in the court and get better results with your Las Vegas sexual assault lawyer.

Definition of obscenity

The definition of what is obscene is different from person to person, but it is mainly defined by the community. In Las Vegas, obscenity is described as follows:

  • An average person, applying local community standards, looking at the work in its entirety, appeals to the prurient.
  • The work must describe or depict, in an obviously offensive way, sexual conduct, or excretory functions.
  • The work as a whole must lack “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific values”.

And/or does one of the following:

  • Depicts or describes in a patently offensive way sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated.
  • Depicts or describes in a patently offensive way masturbation, excretory functions, sadism or masochism.
  • Lewdly exhibits genitals.

Entities under the direct control of the state (universities, schools, museums, libraries) are exempt from the previous provisions.

Any county, city or town may add more definitions and restrictions to obscenity as long as it does not conflict with the previous statements.

Obscenity related crimes

The above definition of obscenity is then used to classify obscenity into separate crimes.

  • Exhibition and sale of obscene material to minors;
  • Obscene, threatening or annoying telephone calls;
  • Obscene Shows or Performances;
  • Indecent or Obscene Exposure.

Penalties of obscenity

All of the crimes indicated on this page are misdemeanors and carry the following penalties:

  • Up to $1,000 in fines;
  • Maximum of six months in jail.

If the defendant profited from the sale of the obscene material, the defendant may be ordered to pay equal to the sum equivalent to that value of any sales after the item was declared obscene.

The materials will most likely be destroyed, even if it wasn’t sold.

Repetition of the crime will classify the crime as a gross misdemeanor, and eventually a felony if it’s frequently repeated. If the obscenity involves a minor, the crime will become a felony instead.

Defenses against obscenity

The very same provisions outlined above can also be used in defense:

The average person wouldn’t find the act or material obscene – An individual may get find something offensive, but it doesn’t mean that it might offend someone else.

The defendant did not do the act knowingly or intentionally – There are some circumstances where the defendant didn’t mean to show the obscene material. They might be pictures of videos accidentally shown to someone else without meaning to.

Has literal, scientific, artistic or political value – The material’s sole purpose should only be to inspire lasciviousness or lewdness, and devoid of any educational, inspirational material.

Your defense lawyer may try to negotiate a plea bargain for breaching the peace.

Consult an attorney for obscenity cases

Were you accused of obscenity related crimes like exhibition and sale of obscene material to minors? Schedule an initial consultation with a criminal defense attorney right away. They will do their utmost to fight for the best verdict possible.


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