NRS 201.455: Bestiality Definition, What Nevada Law Says, Penalties & More

So what exactly is bestiality? Many people have no idea what it actually means, but if there is a law against it and penalties related to it, then it must be something important.

In Nevada, there are a specific set of laws that define what exactly bestiality is.

NRS 201.455 bestiality occurs when someone knowingly and intentionally:

  • Engages in sexual conduct with an animal; or
  • Causes another person to engage in sexual conduct with an animal or aids or abets another person in engaging in sexual conduct with an animal; or
  • Permits any sexual conduct with an animal to be conducted on any premises under the control of the person; or
  • Engages in, organizes, promotes, conducts, advertises, aids, abets, participates in and is physically present as an observer, or performs any service in the furtherance of an act involving any sexual conduct with an animal: or
  • Photographs or films, for the purposes of his or her sexual gratification or the sexual gratification of another person, a person engaged in sexual conduct with an animal.

For more clarification “Sexual Conduct“ refers to any sexual act involving:

  • The genitalia of a person and the genitalia, anus or mouth of an animal;
  • The genitalia of an animal and the genitalia, anus or mouth of a person;
  • Any insertion, however slight, any part of the body of a person of a foreign object into the genitals or anus of an animal; or
  • Any touching or fondling by a person, directly or indirectly through clothing, of the genitalia or anus of an animal.

Hugging or cuddling a pet is perfectly legal.

The law was created because bestiality is more common in real life than people may realize. Just recently, this 20-year-old Nevada resident is facing bestiality charges for sexually assaulting a dog.

What Are the Penalties Under NRS 201.455

The crime of bestiality carries harsh penalties, in addition to the social stigma and moral concerns surrounding it. The severity of the penalty depends on the specific circumstances of the crime.

Bestiality is a gross misdemeanor if the animal involved sustained no serious bodily injury or is not killed. The penalties for the gross misdemeanor of bestiality are:

  • Up to 364 days in jail, and/or
  • Up to $2,000 in fines

However, if the animal involved sustained serious bodily injury or the animal dies, bestiality is considered a category D felony. The penalties include:

  • One to four years in prison, and
  • Up to $5000 in fines

If you have previously been convicted of an animal torture charge (NRS 574.100), the bestiality case will automatically face the harsher penalties of the category D felony even if the animal was unharmed.

Additional Consequences of a Bestiality Charge

The stigma associated with being charged with a crime like this alone can be overwhelming.

However, if you are convicted of the crime of bestiality can lead to more consequences than prison time and fine.

The person charged may have to:

  1. Register as a sex offender
  2. Undergo a psychological evaluation and any recommended counseling
  3. Pay all costs for the maintenance and care of the animals involved or any animals that are removed from the house
  4. If the person being charged is not the owner of the animal then the defendant must pay the animals owner restitution of all expenses of treating their animal

The defendant pays for all additional costs that are incurred for the bestiality charge.

What Happens to the Animals

In Nevada, if you are found guilty of bestiality, you may have to give up any animals you own in addition to serving time in prison and paying fines. The animal will need to be surrendered to an animal shelter or any animal advocate settler that takes in animals that have been neglected or abused.

The defendant may be banned from owning, keeping or controlling animals for a certain time period by the court.

The defendant will not be able to live in a house where there are animals or work in any business where access to animals lives.

What Are the Best Defenses Against Bestiality

A good defense lawyer can get the charges against you dropped if they can prove that the case was not bestiality but:

  • Any accepted practice which provides care for an animal; or
  • Any accepted method of insemination for the purpose of the animal’s procreation for example a thoroughbred horse being inseminated by another thoroughbred via artificial insemination
  • Any accepted practice related to the judging of animals
  • Any accepted medical procedure performed by a licensed veterinarian while engaging in the practice of veterinary medicine or by the vet’s employees acting under the supervision of the vet
  • The defendant was not acting knowingly or intentionally. The defendant had an impaired mental state
  • The defendant was falsely accused
  • The animal was aggressive toward the defendant
  • Law enforcement coerced the confession

The most common evidence used in these cases against the defendant may include photos, video, eyewitnesses, veterinary records, and expert witnesses.

The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to find the defendant guilty.

It is not a defense if the animal involved did not resist or put up a fight.

Can My Record Be Sealed

In Nevada, most criminal records can be sealed after a certain period of time.

But in the case of bestiality, it depends on how the case is resolved.

  • If the charges are dismissed or the defendant gets acquitted then there will be no record.
  • If the defendant is convicted of a gross misdemeanor of bestiality then the case can be sealed two years after the case is closed.
  • If the suspect is convicted of a class D felony then the record can only be sealed after a five years waiting period.
  • Sex offense convictions against humans cannot be sealed, this may be the case if the person is required to register as a sex offender

The Defenders Criminal Defense Team

Bestiality is the crime of a human deliberately performing sex acts on a non-human animal.

There are many layers to being charged with a crime like this including the moral and social issues.

If you have been charged with a crime like bestiality you’ll need an aggressive defense to get the charges reduced or dismissed as soon as possible.

The longer a charge like bestiality is associated with a suspect the more likely the defendant will be forever vilified even if the charges are dismissed or acquitted.

So you need a vigorous defense team on your side.

The Defenders is that team. We will:

  • Will fight aggressively for our clients to get the charges reduced or even dismissed
  • Present all plea offers to our clients
  • Protect you from prosecution of charges
  • Investigate and examine all evidence to make sure you are not being wrongly accused
  • Will fight to keep your criminal record clean

The Defenders is a local law firm in Las Vegas so we are familiar with the legal system in Nevada and know the judges and the court system.

We have been serving the Las Vegas community for many years.

The Defenders have a proven track record for fighting for our clients.

If you have been charges with a crime like bestiality, contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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