Understanding Nevada’s Kidnapping Law: NRS 200.310-330
Kidnapping is considered one of the most heinous crimes that can be committed against a person. Defined as the unlawful confinement or transportation of an individual against their will, kidnapping is taken very seriously by the legal system.
In Nevada, the crime of kidnapping is defined in NRS 200.310, which provides detailed information on what constitutes kidnapping. The subsequent statutes, NRS 200.320 to 330, go over the penalties for those convicted of the crime.
If you are facing charges of kidnapping or any related offense in Nevada, it is crucial to seek the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney. An experienced attorney can help you understand the charges against you and provide you with the legal representation you need to protect your rights and interests.
The Basics: What is Kidnapping According to NRS 200.310?
NRS 200.310 defines two types of kidnapping—first and second degree. Both have different elements and carry different penalties.
Kidnapping in the First Degree
First degree kidnapping occurs when a person, without the consent of the victim, forcibly takes, entices, or otherwise removes a person from one place to another or confines the person with the intent to commit:
- sexual assault,
- inflict bodily injury
The definition of kidnapping under NRS 200.310 is quite broad, and it covers a wide range of situations. The term “forcibly” refers to the use of physical force, threats, or any other means of coercion that could cause a person to be compelled to submit to the offender’s will.
The term “entice” refers to the act of luring or persuading someone through trickery or deceit. The confinement referred to in the statute can be achieved through physical restraint, threats, or fraud.
It is important to note that the victim does not have to be moved a long distance in order for the crime to be considered kidnapping. For example, moving a person across the room against their will can be considered kidnapping under NRS 200.310.
Kidnapping in the Second Degree
Second degree kidnapping, on the other hand, occurs when a person, without the consent of the victim, forcibly takes or entices another person with the intent to secretly confine the victim against their will.
Examples of First and Second Degree Kidnapping
Here are some examples for each type of kidnapping and why it’s classified as either first degree or second degree:
First Degree Kidnapping Examples
Kidnapping in the first degree is what you’d often find in movies and TV shows where criminals kidnap someone for ransom or to gain something else.
Example 1: John plans to kidnap a wealthy businessman’s daughter and ask for a large ransom in exchange for her safe return. He successfully abducts the girl and contacts her family to demand the ransom, with the threat of harm if they don’t comply. This is an example of first degree kidnapping because John kidnapped the girl with the intent of gaining a reward.
Example 2: Sarah kidnaps a minor with the intent to sexually abuse them. She forcibly detains the minor away from their lawful guardians and harms them. This is an example of first-degree kidnapping because Sarah abducted the minor with the purpose of committing sexual assault.
Second Degree Kidnapping
Example 1: David is angry with his neighbor and decides to kidnap them to take them to another state where they will no longer be a problem for him. He forcibly takes the neighbor into his vehicle and starts to travel. This is an example of second-degree kidnapping because David abducted the neighbor without any legal authorization with the intent to imprison the person within the state or transport them out of the state without permission.
Example 2: Lisa is in a relationship with Tom, but Tom wants to break up with her. Lisa refuses to let him go and forcibly detains Tom in her apartment against his will. This is an example of second-degree kidnapping because Lisa intentionally held Tom against his will without any legal authority.
Penalties for Kidnapping in Nevada
The Nevada Legislature has set out harsh punishments for those who are found guilty of violating NRS 200.310. Generally speaking, first-degree kidnapping is a category A felony, and second-degree kidnapping is a category B felony.
If the victim sustained substantial bodily, the punishments for first degree kidnapping can be one these:
- Life without possibility of parole;
- Life with possibility of parole after 15 years; or,
- 40 years, with possibility of parole after 15 years
If the victim did not sustain substantial bodily injury, the penalties for kidnapping in the first degree is:
- Life with possibility of parole after 5 years;
- 15 years with possibility of parole after 5 years
The penalties for second degree kidnapping is 2-15 years in prison and/or fines of up to $15,000.
Common Defenses Against a Kidnapping Charge
A person charged with kidnapping in Nevada may be able to raise a defense if they can prove that they had the victim’s consent or that they believed they had the victim’s consent. Other defenses that may be raised include coercion, duress, or necessity. However, it is essential to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney to explore all available defenses fully.
- Consent: If the alleged victim consented to the action or voluntarily went along with the defendant’s actions, it can be argued that there was no kidnapping.
- Lack of intent: If the defendant did not intend to kidnap the victim, i.e., they did not have the specific intent to detain or move the person against their will, then they cannot be charged with kidnapping.
- Mistaken identity: In some cases, a victim may have been taken by mistake, or the defendant may have believed they were someone else. Mistaken identity is a valid defense if the defendant can prove that they did not intend to take the alleged victim.
In addition to kidnapping, there are other related offenses that can be charged in Nevada. These include false imprisonment, child abduction, and unlawful detention. Each of these offenses carries its own set of penalties and can result in severe consequences.
For example, this Nevada man was charged with attempted murder, false imprisonment, and many more along with first degree kidnapping.
Can I Seal My Records
If you have been convicted of either first-degree or second-degree kidnapping in Nevada, you might wonder if it is possible to have your records sealed. “Sealing” in this context means that the records of your arrest, charge, and conviction are very much unavailable to the public.
Thankfully, it is possible to seal the records of both first-degree kidnapping and second-degree kidnapping convictions. However, the length of time you need to wait before sealing your records differs depending on the degree of the conviction. First-degree kidnapping convictions can be sealed 10 years after the conclusion of the case, while second-degree kidnapping convictions can be sealed 5 years after the conclusion of the case.
Sealing your records could help you obtain better employment opportunities, apply for loans with lower interest rates, or enter lease agreements for a rental property.
More importantly, if your records are sealed, you don’t have to concern yourself with the rejection that comes with a criminal record, especially in these modern times when almost every application requires a background check.
It is best that you consult a qualified attorney to help you understand the sealing process and determine whether or not you are eligible.
Facing Kidnapping Charges? Hire The Defenders
If you are facing kidnapping charges in Nevada, The Defenders can help. We understand that the consequences of a federal or state conviction for kidnapping can be severe, so it is important to get legal help as soon as possible. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys have helped countless clients obtain favorable outcomes in their cases and will do the same for you.
We have been defending clients in Las Vegas and Nevada for many years and know how to challenge the prosecution’s case. We will investigate every detail, review all evidence, and make sure that your rights are fully protected throughout the legal process.
Contact The Defenders today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What constitutes kidnapping in Nevada?
Kidnapping in Nevada is defined as the unlawful act of confining, abducting, or imprisoning someone against their will. The terms “confine,” “abduct,” and “imprison” are all broadly interpreted under Nevada law and can include less physically intrusive activities such as restraining a person without their consent or providing false information to induce someone to go to another place.
What is the difference between first degree and second degree kidnapping in Nevada?
First degree kidnapping is a more serious offense with harsher punishments. It involves the use of force or fraud to detain, move, or hide someone against their will. Second degree kidnapping can be charged when someone confines another person without their consent but does not involve any of the other elements required for first degree kidnapping.
What are the possible defenses to a kidnapping charge?
Possible defenses include lack of intent, mistaken identity, and consent. Additionally, if the alleged victim was an adult at the time of the incident, they can provide evidence that they consented to the action or voluntarily went along with the defendant’s actions. If this is successful, it can be argued that there was no kidnapping.
Can I seal my records after being convicted of kidnapping?
Yes, it is possible to seal your records after a kidnapping conviction in Nevada. For first-degree kidnapping convictions, you must wait 10 years after the conclusion of the case before you can apply for record sealing. For second-degree kidnapping convictions, you must wait 5 years after the conclusion of the case. It is best to consult a qualified attorney to help you understand the record sealing process and determine if you are eligible.