Arrested While Visiting Las Vegas? (Part 1)

Arrested While Visiting Las Vegas? (Part 1)

Las Vegas is a party town. It’s the place to go when you want to cut loose and let your hair down. Whether it’s a Bachelor Party, a girl’s weekend out, or any of the many events available such as this weekend’s Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), or the upcoming Life is Beautiful Festival, or just to celebrate a holiday weekend such as Memorial Day or New Year’s Eve, Las Vegas is the place to go. Sports events such as the Golden Knights NHL games, and, soon, the Raiders NFL team, are also being added to the equation. Large trade conventions occur constantly throughout the year. We welcome nearly 40 million partiers every year… it’s what our town does.

It is important though, for visitors to understand that there are limits, and there are behaviors that can ruin the party and land them in jail. Unfortunately, a small percentage of the 40 million visitors don’t leave at the end of a party weekend, because they’ve been arrested, and they’re now seeing a different side of Las Vegas. It’s important to know the problem areas so visitors can stay clear of legal entanglements and party on.

The following are a few areas of concern for visitors coming to Las Vegas to be aware.

Misunderstood Legal Issues for Visitors to Las Vegas

Drug Crimes:

Marijuana has recently been legalized for recreational use in Nevada. It is now legal for adults 21 and older, to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use in Las Vegas. But at this point, there is no legal place for visitors to smoke it. Edibles can be consumed, but smoking marijuana in a hotel room, or in public, is still a crime, and you can be arrested. A charge of public use of marijuana is a misdemeanor and carries a fine up to $600.

Weed can only be legally purchased at a licensed dispensary, and until weed bars and other marijuana-related businesses open, it can only be smoked in a private residence; a hotel room does not qualify. State and County officials are discussing the issue of marijuana related businesses, such as weed bars, but are hesitant to move forward due to the likelihood of attracting unwanted federal attention. We expect this to change in the near future, but for now be careful where you use recreational weed.

Marijuana purchased at a legal dispensary may only be used in Nevada. Transport of marijuana across state lines remains a federal crime. If you have some stash left over after your visit and you attempt to sell it, you can be charged with a felony that has a jail term of up to four years for first-time offenders. Smoking while driving or driving when high is still an area of concern for Law Enforcement, and you can be charged with a DUI for driving high.

Marijuana remains a Class 1 controlled substance to federal officials. Which means, if you are visiting federal lands, which surround Las Vegas, you can be arrested at those locations for recreational marijuana use and charged with a federal crime.

Other Drugs such as MDMA (ecstasy), cocaine, hallucinogens, and prescription opioids are illegal to possess in Nevada; are considered Class 1 controlled substances and carry felony charges if arrested.

If you’re arrested on drug charges while partying in Las Vegas, you should immediately seek the services of an experienced lawyer. The Defenders stands ready to represent you against drug charges.

Sex Crimes:

Prostitution and Solicitation:

Prostitution under Nevada law is defined as: “…engaging in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee, monetary consideration or other thing of value,” is illegal in Clark (Las Vegas), Douglas, Eureka, Lincoln, Pershing and Washoe (Reno) Counties, and Carson City in Nevada.

“Sexual conduct” as defined under this statute, is “…sexual intercourse, oral-genital contact or any touching of the sexual organs or other intimate parts of a person…” Prostitution is only legal in state-licensed brothels located outside of those municipalities. The closest location to Las Vegas that allows legalized prostitution is in Pahrump, NV, over 60 miles away from Las Vegas.

Solicitation, defined as requesting said behavior, is also illegal in Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County. In spite of flyers, and billboards on wheels visitors may see on the Strip, you can be arrested for solicitation in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departmet (LVMPD), also known as Metro, enforces these laws through regular sting operations and undercover officers, but you can be arrested for solicitation on very scanty evidence, such as testimony of a witness to a conversation, and does not require corroboration for an arrest to occur.

If you are arrested on solicitation charges in Las Vegas, you will be charged with a misdemeanor with fines up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail. The Defenders will provide a vigorous defense against these charges.

The Defenders will provide an aggressive defense for visitors to Las Vegas

If you have come to Las Vegas to party, and end up being arrested, the Defenders lawyers are experienced and able to provide a defense that will protect your rights. There are valid defenses that can be employed to petition the court in your behalf. Depending on the strength of the evidence against you, or the circumstances of the arrest, we may be able to negotiate reduced charges, or possibly dismiss charges completely. If you’ve been charged with one of these crimes while visiting Las Vegas, call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

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The Nevada Crime of Embezzlement

Embezzlement is a type of theft and is addressed in the same section of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) as larceny and other theft crimes. However, embezzlement is unique in that the perpetrator of this crime is someone who is granted a legal right to possess funds or goods for a period of time for a particular purpose. The statute governing embezzlement defines the crime as:

“Any bailee of any money, goods or property, who converts it to his or her own use, with the intent to steal it or to defraud the owner or owners thereof and any agent, manager or clerk of any person, corporation, association or partnership, or any person with whom any money, property or effects have been deposited or entrusted, who uses or appropriates the money, property or effects or any part thereof in any manner or for any other purpose than that for which they were deposited or entrusted, is guilty of embezzlement…” (NRS 205.300 [1])

Examples of Embezzlement
A bailee is someone to whom funds, or goods are delivered for a purpose, without transfer of ownership. A manager of a retail store, may take the daily deposit to the bank at the end of the business day, and during the trip from the store to the bank, they are bailee of the deposit. If the store manager takes the deposit home and uses the cash for to pay personal bills or buy clothes for themselves, rather than deposit the funds to store’s account, then, if intent to steal or defraud the store owners can be proven, the manager can be found guilty of embezzlement.

A sales representative may be issued product samples by their employer to demonstrate product features to customers. If the sales rep fails to return the samples as directed by their employer, and instead uses the samples for personal use, or sells them and keeps the money, he or she may be charged with embezzlement.

A contractor who receives payment for goods or services and fails to pay suppliers and labor costs to those who supplied goods and labor to complete the job, may be charged with embezzlement.

If you rent or lease a vehicle and willfully and intentionally fail to return the vehicle to the agency that rented or leased it to you within 72 hours of the expiration of the rental or lease agreement, you may be charged with embezzlement.

Punishments for Embezzlement
If convicted of embezzlement the punishments are identical to the punishments for larceny.

If the total value of the funds or property embezzled is less than $650, it is considered a misdemeanor, with up to six months in jail, and a possible fine up to $1,000. Additionally, restitution is required as determined by the court.

If the total value of the funds or property is between $650 and $3,500, it is considered a Category C felony, with one to five-year sentence in Nevada State Prison, and possibly a fine up to $5,000. Additionally, restitution is required as determined by the court.

If the total value of the funds or property is over $3,500, it is considered a Category B felony, with one to 10-year sentence in Nevada State Prison, and possibly a fine up to $10,000. Additionally, restitution is required as determined by the court.

Additionally, under the embezzlement statutes, multiple acts of embezzlement against the same person or company within a six-month period must be combined. If the total value of all acts exceeds $650, it becomes a felony.

The Defenders will provide a strong defense if you are charged with embezzlement
An embezzlement conviction, even for a misdemeanor charge, appearing on your record will severely limit future employment opportunities and can wreck your life. A charge of embezzlement needs to be proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high standard for the prosecutor to achieve. Intent must be proven which is difficult to establish in some cases. The Defenders is well qualified to investigate all the facts of such a case and will pursue all legal avenues to provide a defense that will protect your rights. If you have been charged with embezzlement, call us today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

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Theft Crimes in Nevada

Theft crimes in Nevada are classified under Crimes Against the Person, or Crimes Against Property, and most of these crimes can be found in Nevada Revised Statutes Chapters 200 and 205. A summary of the most common theft crimes follows:

Petit Larceny (NRS 205.240)
Petit Larceny is defined as intentionally taking money or property that isn’t yours without the owner’s permission, valued at less than $650. The court, based on invoices of taken property, documented replacement value, or testimony of experts, determines value of property taken.

Petit Larceny is classified as a misdemeanor with jail time of up to six months, and/or fines up to $1,000. If convicted, you may be allowed to have the record sealed after one year.

Grand Larceny (NRS 205.220)
Grand Larceny is defined the same as Petit Larceny with the exception that the property taken is valued at greater than $650. The court, based on invoices of taken property, documented replacement value, or testimony of experts, determines value of property taken.

Grand Larceny is always classified as a felony, however, if convicted of taking property valued from $650 – $3,500, it is a Category C felony; requires restitution; and carries punishments of one to five years in state prison; and/or up to $10,000 in fines.

If the property taken is valued at more than $3,500, it is a Category B felony and requires restitution; and carries punishments of one to 10 years in State Prison; and/or up to $10,000 in fines.

Grand Larceny can be charged as a standalone offense or in addition to other offenses such as Car Theft, or Burglary. If convicted, you may be allowed to have the record sealed after five years.

Shoplifting (NRS 205.220 and NRS 205.240)
Shoplifting is called Larceny and is covered under the Petit and Grand Larceny statutes.

Stealing from an ATM (NRS 205.220)
Any use of a card or other device for the purpose of intentionally withdrawing funds from an ATM that you are not entitled to is classified as Grand Larceny regardless of the amount and is covered under the Grand Larceny statutes.

Burglary (NRS 205.060)
See our previous discussion of Burglary for a full explanation of this crime. Burglary is the intentional act of entering a building or vehicle with intent to commit petit or grand larceny; assault or battery or a felony on anyone in the building or vehicle; or obtaining money or property by false pretenses. Burglary can be charged whether theft or assault took place if it can be proved this was the intent of entering the premises.

Burglary is a Category B felony, and a first offense when not in possession of a firearm, carries a punishment of one to 10 years in state prison; and possibly or a fine of up to $10,000. First offense when in possession of a firearm carries a punishment of two to 15 years in State Prison; and possibly a fine of up to $10,000.

Shoplifting of less than $650 during the normal operating hours of a business will not subject you to the additional charge of Burglary, unless you have been previously convicted of petit larceny two previous times in a seven-year period or have been convicted of a felony.

If convicted of burglary, you may be allowed to have the record sealed after five years if the building was a non-residence, and after 10 years if it was a residence.

Robbery (200.380)
Robbery is classified as a crime against a person, and is defined as, “…the unlawful taking of personal property from the person of another, or in the person’s presence, against his or her will, by means of force or violence or fear of injury…”

It is classified as a Category B felony and is punishable by two to 15 years in State Prison.

If convicted of Robbery, you may be allowed to have the record sealed after 10 years.

Pickpocketing (205.270)
As opposed to Robbery, pickpocketing is the taking of property from the person of another without their knowledge or consent. No force or violence is involved.

However, pickpocketing is a felony. If the amount taken was less than $3,500 it is a Category C felony, requiring restitution, and carrying punishments of one to five years in State Prison, and possibly a fine up to $10,000.

If the amount taken was greater than $3,500, it is a Category B felony, requiring restitution, and carrying punishments of one to 10 years in State Prison and possibly a fine up to $10,000.

If convicted of pickpocketing, you may be allowed to have the record sealed after five years.

Possession of Stolen Property (NRS 205.275)
Possession of stolen property can subject you to the same penalties as Petit and Grand Larceny, depending on the value of the property, if you knew or should have known that the property was stolen, even if you didn’t steal the property, and even if the person who stole the property has not been prosecuted or convicted.

A possession of stolen property conviction is considered a misdemeanor if the value of the property is less than $650; a Category C felony if the value is between $650 and $3,500; and a Category B felony, if valued at over $3,500, or if it is a firearm.

Car Theft (NRS 205.228)
Car Theft is always considered Grand Larceny. Grand Larceny of a motor vehicle takes place when, “A person…intentionally steals, takes and carries away, drives away or otherwise removes a motor vehicle owned by another person…”

If the vehicle is valued at less than $3,500, it is considered a Category C felony, requires restitution, and carries a punishment of one to five years in State Prison and possibly a fine up to $10,000.

If the vehicle is valued at greater than $3,500 it is considered a Category B felony, requires restitution, and carries a punishment of one to 10 years in State Prison and possibly a fine up to $10,000.

The Defenders will provide a vigorous defense against Theft Charges

If you’ve been charged with a theft crime in Nevada, you are subject to severe penalties and fines. Additionally, employers are reasonably hesitant to hire a person who shows such a crime on a background check. If you’ve been charged with one of these crimes, you should seek representation by an attorney who will aggressively defend your rights. The Defenders knows this area of the law and under the direction of lead attorney Ryan Helmick of The Defenders will defend your rights under the law.

Call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

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Fail a Breathalyzer? You Have Seven Days to Save your Driving Privileges

Fail a Breathalyzer? You Have Seven Days to Save your Driving Privileges

If you submitted to a Breathalyzer test in the State of Nevada, and the results were higher than .08, the DMV has already revoked your driver’s license. You’ve been charged criminally with a DUI, and probably already spent time in jail, but the clock is ticking. You can have your driving privileges restored temporarily by requesting a DMV administrative hearing. However, the time to make this request is within seven days of the failed Breathalyzer test.

If this is your first DUI offense, and you apply for an administrative hearing, you will be granted a temporary driver’s license, which will be valid until the hearing, and until, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issues a written decision on your case. This usually takes about 30 days after the hearing. Once granted a stay while waiting for the administrative hearing, you must go to a local DMV office to obtain the temporary license.

Why Would You Apply for an Administrative Hearing?

If you are stopped and found to be driving on a revoked license there are additional harsh penalties, such as being arrested and spending 30 days in jail or 60 days under house arrest, and $500 to $1,000 in fines. Additionally, an additional year will be added to any prior revocation you receive. You will not be eligible for any type of plea bargain, or suspended sentence to these penalties.

What is an Administrative Hearing?

The Office of Administrative Hearings is a special court, which is not considered criminal or civil, but rather allows a review and hearing on any DMV decision regarding your driving privileges. It is presided over by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), who renders the decision of any hearings. Witnesses may be called to testify under oath and may be cross-examined; physical evidence may be considered; and you may defend yourself, or an attorney may represent you. The arresting police officer and other parties will appear under subpoena. All facts will be heard, and the ALJ will then issue a decision to find in favor of the DMV or you, the Defendant. The ALJ’s decisions are final and binding, although his decisions may be appealed to a District Court, or the Nevada Supreme Court.

There are three Administrative Hearing locations in Nevada. In Las Vegas, the hearings take place at the DMV at 2621 E Sahara Ave. The other locations are in Carson City at 555 Wright Way, and in Elko at 3920 E Idaho Street. 

The Defenders will Represent You at a DMV Administrative Hearing

A DUI charge subjects you to harsh penalties and possible loss of rights. In addition to jail time, and fines associated with the criminal charges, the loss of driving privileges may impact your life and ability to work. It is vital to have representation if you have been charged with a DUI in order to navigate the complex legal territory and retain your rights. If you have been charged with a DUI, call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

Read More:

http://www.dmvnv.com/admlaw.htm

http://www.dmvnv.com/pdfforms/HearingsBrochure.pdf

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We’ve Moved

The Defenders has moved!

Since formation in 2009 as the criminal defense division of the Richard Harris Law Firm (RHLF), The Defenders Firm has been located on the third floor of the RHLF building at 801 S. 4th Street. We have moved and now have street level access, and free parking when visiting The Defenders, across the street and one block south at 830 S. 4th Street, right next to Chicago Joe’s restaurant.

Due to the growth of RHLF, many functions of the firm, such as marketing and administration, have taken up residence at this new location, and The Defenders and Ticket Busters now have beautiful new offices located in this recently remodeled building.

What Does The Defenders Do?

The simple answer is The Defenders will represent you for any type of criminal violation. Whether you’re a visitor to Las Vegas, or Valley resident, if you have been charged with a criminal violation, The Defenders will provide a strong and aggressive defense for you. Our attorneys, headed by Attorney K. Ryan Helmick of The Defenders, will prepare and execute the strongest defense available to protect your rights under the law.

The Defenders Defends Against DUI Charges

A DUI is a complex legal matter and requires representation by a skilled attorney. The penalties for a DUI in Nevada are expensive and severe. The Defenders can represent you if you have been charged with a DUI. Our attorneys will provide an aggressive defense against the DUI charges to minimize their severity, or even have them reduced or dismissed.

The Defenders Defends You in DMV Administrative Hearings

In order to retain your driving rights after a DUI, you may need to appear in an administrative court. While the results of this court have no impact on the DUI case in criminal court, you may appeal any action DMV may have taken in response to the DUI. The Defenders will provide a defense for you in administrative court.

The Defenders Defends Against Domestic Violence Charges

Domestic violence charges can subject you to harsh penalties under Nevada law, and have detrimental effect on your reputation and ability to find employment. While a first time domestic violence charge is considered a misdemeanor, it carries significant penalties. In many cases, charges are filed falsely by a jealous or resentful accuser or were self-defense or accidental. We can provide a defense against such charges to protect your rights.

The Defenders Defends Against Drug Crimes

Possession, distribution and trafficking charges carry imposing penalties and can ruin your life. Furthermore, the statutes governing drug crimes are complex. If you have been charged with a drug crime you will require the skills of a well-qualified attorney to navigate the charges and provide an aggressive defense.

The Defenders defends you in Probation Hearings

While Nevada laws allow for probation instead of jail time for certain offenses, and under certain conditions; failure to abide by all conditions of your probation may subject you to additional restrictions, and possible jail time. You need an attorney to represent you in such cases.

For Any Other Criminal Charge, The Defenders is here for You

The foregoing are just a few examples of common Defenders case types. Our attorneys are highly trained and skilled in representing you in any type of criminal case. If you have been criminally charged, call our office today to discuss your case, at (702) 333-3333.

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Sex Crimes In Nevada

Sex Crimes in Nevada

Second only to murder, sexual assault, or rape, is the most serious offense in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS). Sex crime laws can be found in NRS 200 Crimes Against the Person, and NRS 201 Crimes Against Public Decency and Good Morals. The following, among others, are several crimes included under Nevada’s sex laws:

Sexual Assault (Rape) (NRS 200.366)

Statutory Sexual Seduction (Statutory Rape – victim less than 16 years old) (NRS 200.366, 368)

Open or Gross Lewdness (NRS 201.210)

Lewdness with a child under the age of 16 (NRS 201.230)

Sexual Acts in Public (NRS 201.190)

Indecent Exposure (NRS 201.220)

Types of Sex Crimes

Sexual Assault or Rape is defined as a person who: “subjects another person to sexual penetration, or forces another person to make a sexual penetration on himself or herself…against the will of the victim…or the perpetrator knows or should know that the victim is mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of his or her conduct” (NRS 200.366) It is not legal to have sex with someone against their will, or when or if the other person lacked the ability to refuse due to mental or physical capability or impairment.

In general, the punishment for a conviction for sexual assault is a category-A felony with a sentence of life, with possibility of parole after 10 years, unless substantial bodily harm was inflicted by the assault. If bodily harm was inflicted, the sentence may be life without possibility of parole, or life with possibility of parole after 15 years.

Statutory Sexual Seduction or Statutory Rape is sexual assault upon a victim who is less than 16 years old. Punishment for Statutory Rape is a category-B felony, with a sentence of one to 10 years, and a possible fine of up to $10,000. If the perpetrator has previously committed sexual assault, the punishments are more severe.

Open or Gross Lewdness is any non-penetrative sexual act committed on or with the body of another person. If this is the first sexual offense, then it is a gross misdemeanor with a sentence in a county jail of up to 364 days. Any subsequent offense is a category-D felony with a sentence of one to four years in state prison, and a possible fine up to $5,000.

Lewdness with a child under the age of 16 is any 18 year old or older who commits a non-penetrative sexual act on or with the body of a child less than 16 years old. Penalites increase as the age of the victim reduces, or as the number of offenses increases. If found guilty of this charge as a first offense, it is considered a category-B felony with a prison term of one to 10 years and a possible fine of up to $10,000.

Sexual Acts in Public occur when a person of full age commits anal intercourse, cunnilingus or fellatio in public. This is considered a category-D felony, with prison terms of one to four years in state prison and possible fine of up to $5,000.

Indecent Exposure is the open and indecent or obscene exposure of his or her person, or the person of another. First offense is considered a Gross Misdemeanor with sentence of up to 364 days in county jail. Subsequent offenses are considered a category-D felony with sentence of one to four years in state prison, and a possible fine up to $5,000.

Defenses against charges of sex crimes

If you’ve been charged with a sex crime in Nevada, you should retain an attorney to represent you as soon as possible. The penalties for these crimes are severe and require the aggressive services of a skilled attorney to represent you with the court to protect your rights. The following defenses may be employed:

A. Consent – If a victim gives consent to have sex, it is not sexual assault, by definition; B. False Allegations – A “victim” may make allegations of sexual assault against a person for personal motives.

C. Evidence is either missing, inadmissible, or tainted.

The Defenders will provide an Aggressive Defense Against Charges of Sexual Crimes

Charges for a sex crime in Nevada subject you to serious sentences and losses of rights. In addition to the other penalties outlined above, the perpetrator, if convicted, will most likely be required to register as a sex offender, which will enroll them in various state and federal databases, for the rest of their lives. You will need the skills of a talented attorney to defend against such charges. If you have been charged with a sex crime in Nevada, call us to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

Read More:

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-200.html#NRS200Sec364

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Probation in Nevada

Probation in Nevada

If you have no extensive criminal history and have been charged with a felony or gross misdemeanor that is a nonviolent offense you may qualify for probation in lieu of doing jail or prison time. By Nevada law certain criminal acts are not qualified for probation. They are: murder in first or second degree; sexual assault; first-degree kidnapping; repeat offenses of any kind. For habitual felony offenders, probation may not be offered, no matter what the current charge.

What is Probation?

If you qualify for probation, and are convicted of a gross misdemeanor or felony, probation may be granted as a means to satisfy the court without the need to serve the statutory prison term. Under probation, the sentence is suspended, allowing the accused to return to their community and life. However, under a court mandated probation, conditions will be imposed by the court, and certain rights will be lost, which will need to be followed closely in order to successfully complete the probation.

For gross misdemeanors, probation could be for a term of months to years, for felonies it could be three to five years.

Common Terms of Probation

Each court will set their own terms of probation applicable to the charges against the accused. However, conditions set by the courts in probation cases must be followed to the letter in order to satisfy the terms of probation.

The most common probation conditions set by courts require that the recipient of probation not be charged or arrested at anytime during the period of probation, or the probation may be revoked. They must meet regularly, and cooperate fully, with a court appointed probation officer. They must pay any court determined restitution and fines resulting from the crime. Additionally, they may be required to perform community service.

If the crime was a drug crime or alcohol related crime, those granted probation may be required to submit to alcohol or drug testing on demand. They may be required also attend drug or alcohol counseling during the period of probation.

The judge may also impose other conditions relevant to the charged crime. In most cases, recipients of probation are forbidden to make contact with victims of the criminal act that resulted in the probation.

Rights lost while on probation

In addition to the terms set by the court, recipients of probation may lose various constitutional rights during the probation period. For example, you may be required to remain in an area of court jurisdiction, or you may be required to gain prior approval from the court in order to leave the county, state, or country while on probation.

You may lose your rights regarding searches and seizures, and be required to allow searches of your person, vehicle, or dwelling on demand.

You may not own or use a firearm during the probation period.

You may not vote during a period of probation.

Can Probation End Early?

Although, Nevada law does not provide for an early end to probation, on a case by case basis, early release from probation may occur. However, it is a matter of the sentencing judge, your record while on probation, and your previous criminal history. Your record during your period of probation must show that you have fulfilled all terms of the probation and have not become entangled in additional legal charges. Your lawyer can file a Motion for Early Termination of Probation, and in some cases, the court agrees and grants the motion.

Can probation be revoked?

If you fail to meet regularly with your probation officer, or do not follow their instructions, or if you leave the jurisdiction without prior authorization, or fail to live up to the terms of probation in any way, you may face a Probation Revocation Hearing. Your probation officer may report to the court on any infraction of the conditions of probation and the court will schedule the hearing. You will need to attend any such hearing.

You will be informed of the grounds for the hearing and you can, and should, be represented by an attorney at the hearing. The potential outcomes of revocation hearing are serious and can include these possibilities:

    • An order to revoke probation and imposition of the original sentence
    • An order to revoke probation and a modified sentence be imposed.
    • Probation may be extended, but with modified (stricter) terms

The Defenders will represent you in your probation revocation hearing

While Nevada laws allow for probation instead of jail time for certain offenses, and under certain conditions; failure to abide by all conditions of your probation may subject you to additional restrictions, and possible jail time. You need an attorney to represent you in such cases. If you have been summoned to a probation revocation hearing, contact the lawyers at the Defenders to aggressively represent you and protect your rights. Call us today at (702) 333-3333

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Drug Possession in Nevada

The most common type of drug charge in Nevada, is a possession of a controlled substance charge.  Contrary to Las Vegas’s image as a party town, possession charges carry severe penalties.  If convicted of possession a controlled substance in Nevada, it is a felony, a first-time offense carrying up to 4 years of prison time and up to $5,000 in fines.  Beyond that, a conviction will show as a narcotics offense on your record precluding you from finding meaningful employment, and carrying the stigma of a serious criminal offense. 

If you came to town intending to party, and leave town with a possession charge, or worse, your life will be forever changed.  Luckily being charged is not being convicted, and there are defenses that a knowledgeable attorney can employ, which may result in charges being reduced, or even possibly dismissed.

It’s not uncommon for controlled substances to be present at many popular Las Vegas attractions, such as casino pool parties, night clubs, strip clubs, or the annual Electric Daisy Carnival.  Such places are targeted by Law Enforcement and generate a large number of Possession charges in Las Vegas.

Possession Defined

It’s important to know what constitutes possession, in order to protect yourself.  Under Nevada statutes possession is defined to: “…knowingly and intentionally possess a controlled substance, unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a prescription…” NRS 453.336

Under Nevada law, there are three types of possession:

Actual Possession – you had controlled substances in your pocket or in your hand. 

Constructive Possession – controlled substances were found in a place where you had control over the substance, such as your hotel room, your apartment, or in the trunk of your car.

Joint Possession – controlled substance is under control of more than one person, for example, if you were in your car with your spouse or girlfriend and she had controlled substances in her purse, you could both be charged under joint possession.

Intent of Possession

The intent of the possession is also considered in such charges.  If the controlled substance is for personal use it is still considered a felony, but if it is concluded that the intention was to sell the product, you can now be subjected to more serious charges.  In many cases, a large amount of product in possession can imply and intent to sell or distribute. 

For example, Nevada has made it legal to for an adult to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use.  It you are in possession of several ounces of marijuana at the time of your arrest, it can be inferred that you intended to sell or distribute.

Penalties if convicted

Most first and second offenses in Nevada, with no intent to sell, are considered Category E felonies and carry prison terms of 1-4 years, and may also have fines imposed up to $5,000.  Category E felonies will have their sentences suspended and probation granted.  Terms of probation are then set, which if not followed, the original prison term is then imposed. 

Third and subsequent offenses are considered a Category D felonies with prison terms of 1-4 years and up to $20,000 in fines.

If you are a first-time offender, your attorney may be able to negotiate a lesser penalty, by going through Drug Court under NRS 453.3363.  If you qualify for Drug Court, the charges will be dismissed, and you will be placed on probation, requiring attendance at a drug education class, and/or drug rehabilitation, is applicable.  Under this arrangement for otherwise law-abiding citizens, they are able to go on with life, without the stigma of narcotics charges remaining on their record.

The Defenders can represent you if you’ve been charged with Possession

Possession charges carry imposing penalties and can ruin your life.  Furthermore, the statutes governing drug crimes are complex.  If you have been charged with a drug crime you will require the skills of a well-qualified attorney to navigate the charges and provide an aggressive defense.  If you have been charged with the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance, call the Defenders today at (702) 333-3333.

Read More:

https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ds.shtml

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New Nevada Law Guarantees Domestic Violence Victims Leave from Work

Domestic violence victims in Nevada will receive new protections from the state as of 2018.  Under a new law, passed by the Nevada legislature in 2017, and taking effect January 1, 2018, victims of domestic violence will now be entitled to take 160 hours of leave from work for the purpose of addressing needs associated with the act of domestic violence. 

Employee Rights Under the New Law

Under the new law, the employee taking leave must have worked for the employer for at least 90 days before the state guarantee takes effect.  It covers both direct victims of domestic violence, or employees whose families or household members have be victimized.  Under this provision, the person requesting leave may not be the alleged perpetrator of the domestic violence act.  The leave must be used within a 12-month period from the act of domestic violence, and can be taken in consecutive hours, or in intermittent hours to address the following:

  • Diagnosis, care or treatment of a health condition related to the domestic violence incident
  • To obtain counseling related to the incident
  • For court proceedings related to the incident
  • To establish a safety plan to prevent future acts of domestic violence against the victim or family member

A family or household member, under this law, is defined as: a spouse; domestic partner; minor child, either natural or adopted; or any adult residing with the person requesting leave at the time of the act of domestic violence.

The leave cannot be denied by any employer in the state, regardless of size, and can be taken as paid or unpaid time.  Time taken off from work under this law, can be used all at one time, or by intermittent hours as needed.  Upon using hours under this leave guarantee, the victim must give at least 48 hours’ notice to the employer of any additional time needed. 

Employer requirements

Employers are required under the new law to:

  • Not deny the employee the right to use the leave hours
  • Not require the employee to find a replacement worker as a condition of the leave time
  • Not retaliate against the employee for using the leave time

Employers may require documentation from the employee using leave under this act, which confirms the leave request.  The documentation may include any or all of the following:

  • A police report
  • A copy of an application for a protective order
  • An affidavit from a service provider which provides service to domestic violence victims
  • A note from a doctor treating the victim for the act of domestic violence

Employers must retain the requested documentation in a confidential manner, and consistent with the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). 

Additionally, employers must make reasonable accommodations for the victim of domestic violence, such as at transfer or reassignment, modified work schedule, new work telephone number, or other actions to provide safety to the employee, the employer, other employees, or the workplace. 

Employers are expressly forbidden to discharge, discipline, or discriminate against an employee requesting leave time or workplace accommodation under the law.

The Defenders Provides a Defense for those Charged with Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a growing problem in Nevada.  Most definitive measures show that Nevada incidents of domestic violence are one of the worst in the nation and on the increase in the state.  The legislature is taking actions to provide protections for victims of this unfortunate and destructive crime. 

While we acknowledge these problems, as criminal attorneys, we also know that the causes of domestic violence are complicated, and that those charged with this crime require the services of an attorney to protect their rights, so that all parties involved can recover and live productive lives.  We also know that people are sometimes falsely accused of this crime.

If you have been charged with domestic violence, you face harsh penalties, which may impose losses of freedom due to jail time, large fines, counseling sessions, and community service.  The Defenders will provide a defense that takes into account the unique circumstances of your situation and protects your right under the law.  Call us today at (702) 333-3333.

Read More:

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/79th2017/Bills/SB/SB361_EN.pdf

https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada/new-nevada-laws-tackle-day-care-womens-health-issues/

http://www.fox5vegas.com/story/37171074/new-laws-take-effect-in-nevada-in-2018

https://www.ktnv.com/news/domestic-violence-victims-receive-leave-as-part-of-new-nevada-laws-in-2018

http://mynews4.com/news/local/state-laws-going-into-effect-starting-the-new-year

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Capital Punishment in Nevada

With the delayed execution of Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier on November 14, the subject of the death penalty is in the headlines again. Dozier was convicted of first-degree murder with aggravating circumstances in October 2007, for the murder of Jeremiah Miller in April 2002.

As a methamphetamine dealer, Dozier agreed to sell a meth ingredient, ephedrine, to Miller for $12,000. Upon Miller’s arrival at Dozier’s hotel with a suitcase containing the money, Dozier killed Miller, then dismembered his body, stuffed the pieces into a suitcase and disposed of the body near a Las Vegas apartment complex. A maintenance worker found the remains about a year later.

Prior to Dozier’s Nevada trial in the murder of Jeremiah Miller, he was arrested and tried in Arizona for the 2001 murder and dismemberment of Jasen Green. Dozier was arrested in Phoenix for Green’s murder in June 2002. He was convicted and sentenced in 2005 to 22 years in Arizona state prison. Dozier was then tried in Nevada for the Miller murder in 2007, and received death penalty in October of that year. He has been on Nevada’s death row awaiting execution since then.

In October 2016, Dozier wrote District Judge Jennifer Togliatti, requesting an expedited execution, and waiving any further appeals in his case. In July 2017, Judge Togliatti signed an order clearing the way for his execution to take place during the week of October 16, 2017. An August 2017 hearing pushed the date back to the week of November 13.

Dozier’s execution was stayed by Judge Togliatti on November 13, due to an appeal concerning which drugs should be used in Dozier’s lethal injection. The appeal is to be heard by the Nevada Supreme Court who will decide the proper formulation for the lethal injection cocktail.

Nevada has not carried out an execution since 2006. It is one of 31 states in the U.S. to have the death penalty.

When Can Nevada Impose the Death Penalty?

NRS 200.030 through NRS 200.035 are the statutes that allow, and detail the circumstances under which, the State of Nevada may impose the death penalty. NRS 176.355 specifies what methods may be used to carry out a death penalty, and only allows for lethal injection.

Nevada law classifies murder as first and second-degree murder. First-degree murder is poisoning, lying in wait or torture, or any other willful, deliberate and premeditated killing. Second-degree murder is all other kinds of murder.

First-degree murder is classified as a Category A felony and the punishments associated with first-degree murder are: death, only if there are one or more aggravating circumstances that outweigh any mitigating circumstances; or imprisonment for: life without possibility of parole; life with possibility of parole after 20 years; or 50 years with possibility of parole after 20 years.

Second-degree murder is classified as a Category A felony, with punishments of: life with possibility of parole after 10 years; or 20 years with a possibility of parole after 10 years.

Possible aggravating circumstances in a first-degree murder are specified in the statutes as:

  • The murder was committed by a person under sentence of imprisonment;
  • Or the murder was committed by a person who has been convicted of another murder, or a felony involving use or threat of violence to another person;
  • The murder was committed by a person who knowingly created a great risk of death to more than one person by means of a weapon, device or course of action which would normally by hazardous to the lives of multiple persons;
  • The murder was committed in the course of a robbery, first-degree arson, burglary, home invasion, or first-degree kidnapping
  • The murder was committed to avoid or prevent an arrest, or to escape custody
  • The murder was committed for hire
  • The murder was committed on a peace officer or firefighter
  • The murder involved torture or mutilation
  • The murder was committed at random without apparent motive
  • The murder was committed on someone less than 14 years old
  • The murder was committed because of race, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation
  • The person is being convicted of either first or second-degree murder
  • The person subjected the victim to rape or attempted rape
  • The murder was committed on grounds of either a public or private school
  • The murder was committed as part of an act of terrorism

Possible mitigating circumstances in a first-degree murder are specified in the statutes as:

  • The defendant has no significant history of prior criminal activity
  • The murder was committed while the defendant was under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance
  • The victim was a participant in the defendant’s criminal conduct or consented to the act
  • The defendant was an accomplice in a murder committed by another person, and defendant’s role was minor
  • The defendant acted under duress or domination of another person
  • Youth
  • Other unspecified circumstances

A sentence of death can only be imposed when one or more aggravating circumstances exist, which outweigh the possible mitigating circumstances in the case.

What is the Future of the Death Penalty in Nevada?

Since 1977, only 12 executions have been carried out in Nevada, with the last one occurring in 2006.

It remains to be seen whether the death penalty will survive in Nevada. The lethal injection cocktail needed to carry out the punishment, has become difficult to obtain, since the pharmaceutical companies which manufacture and distribute the drugs used in the cocktail have refused to provide those drugs to the state for this use. This is what has delayed the Dozier execution, as the courts grapple with what combination of drugs will not subject the murder convict to cruel and unusual punishment as specified by the U.S. Constitution.

Furthermore, the state legislature introduced Assembly Bill 237 in February 2017, which would prohibit the death penalty, and commute the sentence of those on death row to life in prison without possibility of parole. AB-237 stalled in committee, but may be taken up by future State Assemblies.

Governor Sandoval supports the death penalty, and would veto any such bill coming out of the legislature, requiring an override by the legislature to force adoption. However, future governors may have differing positions on the matter. It remains to be seen whether, or for how long, the death penalty in Nevada will continue.

The Defenders will provide a vigorous defense against criminal charges

The attorneys of The Defenders are highly qualified and experienced to be able to provide a strong defense against criminal charges. We specialize in DUI, drug charges, and domestic violence, but are able to represent you in virtually any criminal case. Call us today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

Read More:

http://www.fox5vegas.com/story/36850237/nevada-death-row-inmate-placed-on-suicide-watch

http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/nevada-death-row-inmate-placed-on-suicide-watch/857974374

http://www.ktnv.com/news/nevada-death-row-inmate-placed-on-then-off-suicide-watch_63683759

https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/nevadas-new-860000-execution-chamber-is-finished-but-gathering-dust/

https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada/fate-of-death-penalty-set-to-heat-up-in-nevada-legislature/

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