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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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When Can I Be Charged with Reckless Driving in Nevada?

Nevada law defines reckless driving as driving “…a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.” (NRS 484B.653) While the definition is perhaps vague, some examples of when you may be charged with reckless driving include excessive speed above the speed limit, ignoring traffic signals, road rage behavior, colliding with other vehicles or objects, or car chases with police.

The law also includes either participating in, or organizing “…an unauthorized speed contest on a public highway,” under the reckless driving statute. Drag racing on public streets is considered reckless driving, and the penalties are higher for this offense.

If no physical injury or death resulted from the reckless driving, it is considered a misdemeanor. If physical injury or death was caused by the driving, it is considered a felony.

Reckless driving may also be offered as an alternative to a DUI charge. In some cases, your attorney may be able to negotiate a reduced penalty to a DUI charge, and a plea bargain may be offered to reduce the DUI charge to reckless driving. There are many advantages to this alternative, such as keeping the DUI off your driving record, although reckless driving is also considered a serious driving offense.

Penalties for Reckless Driving

In addition to any criminal penalties associated with a reckless driving conviction, the DMV will assess eight demerit points on your driving record. This is the largest single point value for a driving violation and may result in license suspension if the addition makes your record total more than 12 points.

The criminal penalties increase as the number of offenses increase. The penalties are:

  • First offense with no injury or death to others: Misdemeanor, with a fine of $250 to $1,000, and/or incarceration in county jail of up to six months. Drag racing imposes an additional penalty of 50 to 99 hours of community service, mandatory driver’s license suspension of six months to two years, and possible impounding of vehicle used in the offense for up to 15 days.
  • Second offense with no injury or death to others: Misdemeanor, with a fine of $1,000 to $1,500, and/or incarceration in county jail of up to six months. Drag racing imposes an additional penalty of 100 to 199 hours of community service, mandatory driver’s license suspension of six months to two years, and possible impounding of vehicle used in the offense for up to 30 days.
  • Third and subsequent offenses with no injury or death to others: Misdemeanor, with a fine of $1,500 to $2,000, and/or incarceration in county jail of up to six months. Drag racing imposes an additional penalty of 200 hours of community service, mandatory driver’s license suspension of six months to two years, and possible impounding of vehicle used in the offense for up to 30 days.
  • A reckless driving conviction where you failed to stop for the police, and substantial bodily harm or death was the result of the driving is considered a Category B felony with a term in state prison of one to six years, and a fine of $2,000 to $5,000.

Any of the above violations which occurred within a work zone can result in doubling the penalty.

The Defenders will provide you a vigorous defense of charges of Reckless Driving

If you have been charged with reckless driving, you need the services of a well-qualified attorney to navigate the complexities of the legal system. Your attorney may be able to have the charges reduced, or even dismissed if the charges are based on inaccurate or subjective judgments. If there were no witnesses to the questionable driving there may not be enough evidence to support the charges. The Defenders attorneys are well qualified to represent you in such cases. Call us today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

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Firearms Crimes in Nevada

While you may think Las Vegas is a modernized version of the Wild Wild West, in fact, in terms of gun laws, the state is pretty much middle of the road. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence ranks Nevada 28th for firearms regulations among the 50 states. Regardless of its rankings, if you commit a crime using a firearm, you can expect your sentence to be doubled because of the weapon.

Firearms Related Laws (Not Associated with Commission of a Crime)

Open Carry Laws

It is legal in Nevada to openly carry a loaded firearm, except in certain places prohibited under state law, and under certain circumstances. Open carry means that you are carrying an unconcealed firearm. Unconcealed means the firearm would be seen by open observation.

Prohibited Places under Nevada carry laws

A permit is not required to carry a firearm, except in prohibited locations:

Under Nevada Law:

  • Public schools and property
  • Nevada system of higher education buildings and premises
  • Airport secure areas
  • State legislature and associated buildings
  • Child care buildings

Under Federal Law:

  • Veteran’s Administration facilities
  • Post offices
  • Federal buildings and other facilities
  • Military bases
  •  Airport secure areas and aircraft
  • Hoover Dam

You may also not be in possession of a firearm, if your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is above .10.

Concealed Carry Laws

Carrying a concealed firearm means that the firearm is not seen by open observation. In Nevada, carrying a concealed firearm without a permit is a Category B felony, punishable by one to five years in State prison and may also include up to $10,000 in fines.

Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permits are issued by the sheriff’s office in each county. Applicants must be:

  • 21 years of age or older
  • Not prohibited from possessing firearms under Nevada or Federal Law
  • Must complete a pre-approved firearm safety course

May take up to six months to obtain through normal application process. Permit is valid for 5 years. If moving to Nevada from another state, your existing CCW may be recognized in Nevada. For the complete list: see this listing.

Crimes committed with Firearms

Aiming a Gun

  • Brandishing a firearm in a threatening manner – Misdemeanor with punishments of up to six months in county jail and up to $1,000 fines
  • Aiming a gun at a person – Gross misdemeanor with punishments of up to one year in county jail and up to $2,000 in fines.
  • Assaulting a person with a gun – Gun does not need to be discharged. Assault includes the threat of bodily harm, which is a Category B felony that carries a punishment of one to six years in state prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

Shooting a gun

  • In an unpopulated area – Misdemeanor with punishments of up to six months in county jail, and up to $1,000 fines.
  • At an occupied vehicle or building – Category B felony with punishments of one to six years in State Prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
  • From within a motor vehicle or structure in a populated area in a wanton or malicious manner – Category B felony with punishments of two to 15 years in State Prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

Using a gun in commission of another crime

Nevada law allows for doubling the sentence (up to an additional 20 years) for any crime committed in the state, if the crime is committed while in possession of a firearm, unless the firearm is a necessary element of the crime. For example, brandishing a gun requires a gun and will not be doubled, while assault is defined with or without a firearm and may have its punishment doubled.

The Defenders represents those charged with firearms crimes

If you have been charged under Nevada firearms statutes, you are facing strict penalties and the potential for loss of freedoms for extended periods. You should contact an attorney to assist in building a defense against such charges. The Defenders is experienced in defending clients for firearms charges in Nevada. Call us today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

Three dead on Strip after shooting, collision with cab

Three people are dead this morning and the Las Vegas Strip remains shut down in several directions after a shooting and a car fire on Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo.

Sgt. John Sheahan says five vehicles were involved in the crash, including a taxi that burst into flames and killed two people around 4:30 a.m. Thursday at Flamingo and Las Vegas boulevards.

Sheahan says shots were fired from an SUV at a Maserati, then the Maserati hit the taxi.

The Maserati driver, the taxi driver and a taxi passenger were killed.

Three other vehicles were involved in the wreck, but Sheahan says the SUV was gone when police arrived.

Four people were sent to UMC, including a passenger from the Maserati. Three have been treated and released.

Family members say the Desert Cab driver killed in the explosion was Michael Bolden, who was in his 60s.

Las Vegas Boulevard north of Tropicana and south of Harmon is closed because of the investigation. Portions of Flamingo also are closed.

Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one is need of a criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas, call the Defenders at 702 333 3333. The Defenders is a full-service criminal defense firm, don’t trust your freedom to a public defender, get an attorney who will fight to protect your rights. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.


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Resisting Arrest

The crime of resisting arrest is spelled out in Nevada law in NRS 199.280. This statute is titled simply “Resisting Public Officer.” It is defined as: “A person who, in any case or under any circumstances not otherwise specially provided for, willfully resists, delays or obstructs a public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge any legal duty of his or her office…” is guilty of resisting arrest.

While this definition is straightforward various punishments are provided for differing circumstances of resistance. These counts would be in addition to any other punishments connected to the crime being arrested for.

Punishments for Resisting

If no dangerous weapon is used in the resistance, this could be running from an officer, moving your hands when attempting to be handcuffed, or having a verbal tirade with the officer when being arrested, it is considered a misdemeanor, and carries a sentence of up to six months in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

For resisting arrest, using a dangerous weapon, other than a firearm, or if the person being arrested takes or attempts to take or remove a weapon, other than a firearm, from the arresting officer, it is a Category D felony and carries a punishment of one to four years in state prison, and may also include up to a $5,000 fine.

When resisting arrest using a firearm, or if the person being arrested takes, or attempts to take or remove the firearm of the arresting office, it is a Category C felony, and carries a punishment of one to five years in state prison, and may also include up to a $10,000 fine.

When in the course of an arrest, the person being arrested hits or uses physical force against the arresting officer, he may also be charged with the additional crime of Battery on a Peace/Police Officer. (See our previous discussion of battery) It is considered a Category B felony, in addition to the charge of resisting arrest, which carries a punishment of two to 10 years in state prison, and may also include a fine of up to $10,000.

Defending Against a Charge of Resisting Arrest

As an example, if an altercation has already been in progress and the officer arrives to arrest you, your actions may appear to the arresting officer as resistance, when your actions were actually associated with the previous altercation.

A reflex action may have occurred without the intent to resist. The statute requires that you willfully resist, delay, or obstruct. It is required by the state to prove beyond reasonable doubt, that you had the intent to resist. The state’s evidence may be weak; or tainted, or illegally obtained, and if so, may be suppressed or excluded from the court.

With the proliferation of cell phone cameras, and security systems, video or photographic evidence may be available which shows that, in fact you did not resist, or that you were exercising self-defense. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney will know how to best defend against charges and/or negotiate with the prosecutor to obtain reduced charges or punishments.

The Defenders Can Help If You Have Been Charged with Resisting Arrest

If you have been charged with resisting arrest, you may be subject to jail time, prison terms, and possibly large fines. You should obtain a good lawyer to help defend you against the charges. The lawyers at The Defenders know how to build a defense, which will provide the best chance of success against such charges. Call us to discuss your case today at (702) 333-3333.

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Arson in Nevada

Arson is considered a very serious crime under Nevada law. There are various types of arson specified in the statutes and varying punishments depending on the type of property burned and the intent of the individual or individuals involved. Furthermore, arson can be considered more serious, and carry harsher punishments, if property was burned in order to defraud an insurance company.

Arson defined

The laws governing arson are found in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 205.005 through 205.055. It is considered a crime against property. The statute states: “Any person shall be deemed to have “set fire to” a building, structure or any property mentioned in NRS 205.010 to 205.030, inclusive, whenever any part thereof or anything therein shall be scorched, charred or burned.”

Degrees of Arson

Nevada law outlines several “degrees” of arson, with first degree arson considered the most serious. All degrees are classified as felonies carrying punishments including prison time and possible fines.

First Degree Arson: A person who “willfully and maliciously” sets fire to someone’s home. The statute also includes a person who “aids, counsels or procures” the burning of someone’s home. This is a Category B felony with a punishment of a prison term of two to 15 years, and may also include a fine of up to $15,000.

Second Degree Arson: A person who sets fire to an abandoned building. Also a Category B felony with a prison term of one to 10 years, and may also include a fine of up to $10,000.

Third Degree Arson: A person who set fire to any unoccupied personal property of another with a value of $25 or more; or timber, forest, shrubbery, crops, and vegetation. This is a Category D felony with a prison term of one to four years, and may also include a fine of up to $5,000.

Fourth Degree Arson: A person who attempts to set fire to any of the property classes. A Category D felony punishable by prison term of one to four years, and may also include a fine up to $5,000. Also includes anyone who prepares to set fire, even if the fire never happened. Preparation includes the placing or distributing of flammable material, or placing of a device to cause a fire.

Intent to Defraud Insurance

In addition to any of the degrees outlined above, if the intent of the fire, or attempted fire, was to defraud an insurer, it is an additional Category B felony punishable by one to six years prison time, and may also include a fine of up to $5,000, and restitution for the destruction of the property.

Additional Penalties

Additional penalties may be imposed by the court, including:

  • Court costs
  • Costs of police and fire services related to the crime
  • Costs of investigation and prosecution of the crime
  • Or any combination of the above.

Defending Against Charges of Arson

The prosecution will need, under the Nevada statutes, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged arsonist acted willfully and maliciously to set a fire. It is a higher bar than a negligent or reckless act. Without evidence of the intent required under the law, the prosecution may not be able to sustain an arson charge.

There may not be enough evidence left after a fire to establish the evidentiary requirements to justify an arson charge. A skillful defense lawyer will work to establish that intent and evidence are not sufficient to convict under the arson statutes.

Additionally, if these requirements are not met, a defense lawyer will work to reduce charges to a lesser crime, such as reckless endangerment, which is a gross misdemeanor with only one year in jail and up to a $2,000 fine. The alternatives are to go to trial, where a jury may return a not guilty verdict.

The Defenders Can Provide a Vigorous Defense

If you have been charged with the crime of arson, you face the very real possibility of a felony conviction and long jail terms and fines. The Defenders lawyers are skilled, knowledgeable and able to construct a defense that may result in reduced charges, or even dismissal. Call us today to discuss your case, at (702) 333-3333.

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UPDATED: O. J. Simpson Focuses Increased Attention to Nevada’s Parole System

UPDATED: O. J. Simpson Focuses Increased Attention to Nevada’s Parole System

UPDATE: July 20, 2017

O.J. Simpson was granted parole after meeting with four of the seven parole commissioners via teleconference from the Lovelock Correctional Center in Pershing County, Nev. The four deliberated for about a half hour before unanimously voting in favor of Simpson’s parole. The commissioners cited their belief that Simpson would present a low risk to commit another crime, that he has strong community support, and his plans for after his release, which includes moving to Florida.

The board heard from Simpson’s daughter Arnelle Simpson, 48, and the victim of Simpson’s crime, Bruce Fromong. Fromong, who considers Simpson a friend, stated, “He is not a threat, he is a good man… I feel it is time to give him a second chance.”

After the announcement of the Board’s decision, Simpson exclaimed, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

David Roger, the former District Attorney who prosecuted the case against Simpson said, “I think he will probably make it on parole. However, it will not be easy for him. He’s going to be under a microscope.” Florida will have to accept Simpson as a parolee before he is able to move to that state. Simpson’s parole will begin after serving the minimum nine years of his sentence as of, October 1, 2017.

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