Charged with a Hit and Run?

Nevada State Law requires drivers who are “involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property which is driven or attended by any person shall” (NRS 484E.030)share the following information with the other driver, vehicle occupant, or other person attending the vehicle:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Registration Number of Vehicle
  4. Upon request, driver’s license

Additionally, the driver shall give the same information and surrender his driver’s license upon request, to any police officer on the scene, or investigating the scene of the crash, and render “reasonable assistance” to any person injured by the crash. This may involve taking the injured person to a doctor or emergency room or arranging for transport for medical treatment. If a police officer is not on the scene, it is the duty of the driver to report the accident to the police.

In cases where a driver is involved in a crash resulting in death or personal injury or damage to a vehicle or property, the driver shall: “Immediately stop his or her vehicle at the scene of the crash,” (NRS 484E.010 and 484E.020) and remain at the scene long enough to fulfill the above-mentioned duties. Failure to stop at the scene in cases of death or injury is considered a Category B felony and could result in:

  • Term in State Prison from two to 20 years
  • Fine of $2,000 to $5,000

If a crash is with an unattended vehicle or other property, the driver shall immediately stop and attempt to locate the owner of the vehicle and exchange the above information, or if the owner cannot be located, leave written notice of the name and address and owner of the vehicle “in a conspicuous place” on the damaged vehicle of property, and report the accident to the police.

If involved in a crash that does not involve injury or death to another, leaving the scene of an accident is considered a misdemeanor and can result in:

  • Imprisonment in county jail for not more than six months
  • And/or a fine of not more than $1,000

Fleeing from the scene of an accident is a serious infraction of the criminal code and may subject you to harsh penalties. These penalties can apply even if you were not at fault in the accident.

Police will open an investigation when a driver has left the scene. This may involve interviewing witnesses to the accident to obtain license numbers or descriptions of vehicles that left the scene, or review of traffic camera footage (if available). Additionally, garages and body shops are required to record and maintain records for up to two years, of the registration number, Vehicle ID number (VIN), color of the vehicle before repairs, location on the vehicle of any repairs done, the amount of the damage, and the name and address of the person who requested the repairs (NRS 484E.100).

The Defenders can represent you if you’ve been charged with Hit and Run

If you’ve been charged with a Hit and Run, do not talk to police until you’ve obtained legal representation. Many times, innocent people are charged with this crime, and The Defenders will apply their experience and skills to minimize your penalties and protect your rights. If you have been charged with this crime, call the Defenders today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

Learn More:

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-484E.html#NRS484E

Illegal Search and Seizure

Can police search my car on a traffic stop?

We’ve discussed searches and seizures previously, however, when driving your car, do all the same rights apply on a traffic stop? The answer is, it depends.

Amendment IV of the U.S. Constitution guarantees security against unreasonable searches and seizures and requires warrants to be issued with descriptions of the place to be searched and what persons or things are to be seized. This amendment also requires that “probable cause” is a requirement in order for a warrant to be issued.

Is a Car Different Than My House?
In most courts’ interpretation, yes. A vehicle is mobile, which means flight is more likely in a car than in a home. Additionally, the vehicle has windows that can be looked into and items in the vehicle are in “plain view.” It’s not unusual on a nighttime traffic stop for the police to shine flashlight into the back seat or to look at the floorboards of the vehicle. Part of this is for protection of the police officer against weapons in the vehicle, and part of it is looking for evidence particularly of drinking or other illegal activity while driving. The courts have consistently interpreted the expectation of privacy in a vehicle to be less than what is in a home due to its mobile and more public nature.

Warrantless searches are found to be valid by the courts in certain circumstances. These include:
If consent is given for a search
If the search is incident to an arrest
If taking the time to get a warrant would allow a suspect to escape or destroy evidence
If evidence is in plain view
If police are in hot pursuit of a suspect
Vehicles may be searched upon reasonable belief of a crime, a lesser standard than probable cause.

Examples of Reasonable Belief of a Crime
You are stopped by police and empty beer or liquor containers are seen on the floorboard or seats of your vehicle.
The police smell marijuana smoke when they approach your vehicle. While possession of up the 1 ounce is legal for adults in Nevada, you may not smoke marijuana while driving, or drive impaired.

We recommend that on any traffic stop, you remain in your vehicle, unless asked to exit the vehicle by the police officer. When leaving the vehicle, lock your doors and if police move toward the vehicle, state that you do not give consent for the vehicle to be searched.

In All Cases, the Court May Suppress Evidence Obtained by a Warrantless Search
While a search can be performed without your consent, if the court finds that none of the above exceptions apply, and that reasonable belief of a crime is not supported, your defense attorney will move that any evidence obtained without a warrant be suppressed from court proceedings.

The Defenders will Aggressively Protect Your Rights in Any Search or Seizure
Any search or seizure is subject to review by the courts. An aggressive defense attorney will protect your rights and make motions to the court to suppress evidence obtained in a vehicle search. Some or all evidence obtained in such a search may be found by the courts to be unreasonable. The lawyers of The Defenders know the law and will use all available legal tools to protect you in such cases. If you’re vehicle has been searched, call us today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

Las Vegas Drug Crimes Criminal Defense Attorney – The Defenders

It is important you contact The Defenders immediately so we can start creating an aggressive defense for your case. The Defenders delivers an honest and straightforward response to your charges while providing you personable and communicative involvement throughout the duration of your case. We’re aggressive when we need to be, compassionate when it counts, and always dedicated to your success. That’s what makes us The Defenders, a proud branch of the Richard Harris Law Firm.

We have the experience and knowledge you need to make sure you get the best judgment for your case. We are available day and night to start the process. Simply fill out our Contact Us form or call us at 702.333.3333.You don’t have to go through this alone, call us today!

The firm is led by attorney K. Ryan Helmick of The Defenders, who is experienced in dozens of criminal law matters. He and his team have helped thousands of people with their cases. It is his passion. Read more about Ryan here.

Police Interrogations in Las Vegas

Much has been made recently of whether law enforcement is required to tell you the truth when they are interrogating you. The short answer is, there is no such requirement. If you are being questioned by law enforcement, you should assume that they are not telling you the truth. If you are a person of interest, or a suspect in a case, law enforcement will use any technique short of physical torture to gain probable cause or to extract a confession.

We’ve talked previously about being arrested in Las Vegas, here and here. Those articles covered mostly the laws you could potentially break when partying in our city. This post continues and expands on that subject by discussing potential issues in dealing with law enforcement either before or after an arrest.

Your Rights When Talking to Law Enforcement

Unlike what you see on television, you may or may not be read “your rights,” otherwise known as a Miranda warning. You can be arrested without being Mirandized, and you can discuss a case with the police voluntarily without being Mirandized.

Two requirements under the law trigger the Miranda warning:
1) You are in custody and
2) Police wish to interrogate you.

If you voluntarily discuss a case with law enforcement and are later arrested for a crime, you will most likely not be read the Miranda warning, unless an additional interrogation is wanted.

The Miranda warning really doesn’t grant you any additional rights. What Miranda does is require police to remind you of your rights, under the circumstances stated above. These rights are guaranteed to you under the U.S. Constitution in Amendment V and VI, which guarantees “No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law…”, and “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right…to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

Miranda elaborates on these rights, by telling you that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court, and that you have to right to remain silent, and to consult with an attorney prior to and while talking to police. It is important to know that even if you have answered some police questions, you may invoke Miranda at any time during the conversation by informing the interrogator that you are invoking your rights to remain silent and won’t answer further questions without an attorney present.

Under Nevada law and precedent, you are only required to tell police your name when being forcibly detained or questioned. You cannot be arrested for refusing to answer questions.

If Police Wish to Question Me, What Should I Do?
If you are being held by police and questioned regarding a crime, it is important that you as a potential suspect clarify the situation by asking if you are being detained. If you are not being detained or arrested, you are free to leave; you are not required to answer any questions without the presence of an attorney. If you are being detained, inform the police that you are invoking your right to remain silent until an attorney is present to consult with you.

The Defenders can represent you in any criminal matter
In order to exercise your rights if police are questioning you, The Defenders can represent you. There are many accounts of police questioning and extracting confessions from suspects that led to convictions that were later overturned as new evidence became available. Don’t subject yourself to police questioning without the representation of a qualified attorney who can be present and protect your rights. Call us today at (702) 333-3333.

 

Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, 542 US 177 (2004).

Las Vegas Drug Crimes Criminal Defense Attorney – The Defenders

It is important you contact The Defenders immediately so we can start creating an aggressive defense for your case. The Defenders delivers an honest and straightforward response to your charges while providing you personable and communicative involvement throughout the duration of your case. We’re aggressive when we need to be, compassionate when it counts, and always dedicated to your success. That’s what makes us The Defenders, a proud branch of the Richard Harris Law Firm.

We have the experience and knowledge you need to make sure you get the best judgment for your case. We are available day and night to start the process. Simply fill out our Contact Us form or call us at 702.333.3333.You don’t have to go through this alone, call us today!

The firm is led by attorney K. Ryan Helmick of The Defenders, who is experienced in dozens of criminal law matters. He and his team have helped thousands of people with their cases. It is his passion. Read more about Ryan here.

How to Stop a Stalker

How to Stop a Stalker

We represent those who are charged with stalking crimes. The following is provided as reference for those who are being legitimately stalked. In many cases, those charged with the crime of stalking, have been charged wrongly. Many times, the “victim” brings these charges for the purposes of revenge or retaliation against a former partner.

We have discussed the crime of stalking previously outlining the penalties for breaking Nevada’s stalking law (NRS 200.575). The Defenders is mindful of the potentially malicious nature of this crime but will provide a strong defense for clients we represent that ensures the law is followed fairly and equitably.

The following is provided for those who have been victimized by the crime of stalking.

Stalking Defined

Nevada law defines stalking as:

“A person who, without lawful authority, willfully or maliciously engages in a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed or fearful for the immediate safety of a family or household member, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed or fearful for the immediate safety of a family or household member, commits the crime of stalking. (NRS 200.575)”

Examples of stalking behavior can include: following an individual; showing up unexpectedly at home, work or school where a victim can be expected to be; repeatedly calling an individual; repeatedly emailing, texting or contacting through social media sites; sending unwanted gifts; and in some more extreme cases: monitoring whereabouts through the use of technology; searching an unattended vehicle; breaking into a victim’s residence; damage to property; threats of harm to the victim and related persons.

What to do if you are being stalked

If you are being stalked, these tips have been developed by the National Center for Victims of Crime.

  1. If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
  2. Trust your instincts…don’t downplay the danger. If you feel unsafe, you probably are.
  3. Take threats seriously. Danger is generally higher when the stalker talks about suicide or murder, or when a victim tries to leave or end the relationship.
  4. Contact a crisis hotline, victim services agency, or a domestic violence or rape crisis center. They can help you devise a safety plan, give you information about local laws, refer you to other services, and weigh options such as seeking a protection order.
  5. Develop a safety plan, including things like changing your routine, arranging a place to stay, and having a friend or relative go places with you. Also, decide in advance what to do if the stalker shows up at your home, work, school, or somewhere else. Tell people how they can help you.
  6. Don’t communicate with the stalker or respond to attempts to contact you.
  7. Keep evidence of the stalking. When the stalker follows you or contacts you, write down the time, date and place. Keep e-mails, phone messages, letters or notes. Photograph anything of yours the stalker damages and any injuries the stalker causes. Ask witnesses to write down what they saw.
  8. Contact the police. The stalker may also have broken other laws by doing things like trespassing, assaulting you, or stealing or destroying your property.
  9. Consider getting a court order that tells the stalker to stay away from you.
  10. Tell family, friends, roommates, and co-workers about the stalking and seek their support. Tell security staff at your job or school. Ask them to watch out for your safety.

Make yourself aware of resources available to you to protect yourself. In Las Vegas, the following list represents some of the local resources available:

Child Abuse Hotline

702-399-0081

SafeNest Domestic Violence Hotline

702-646-4981

SafeHouse Hotline

702-564-3227

Harassment/Stalking Orders
(obtained through Justice Court)

702-671-3165

Sheriff’s Civil Office

702-455-5400

LVMPD Domestic Violence Unit

702-828-4451

Family Violence Intervention Program
(for Domestic Violence Protection Orders)

702-455-3400

The Defenders can represent you if you have been wrongly charged with a stalking crime

If you are convicted of stalking in Nevada, you face harsh penalties which quickly increase based on a number of factors such as the number of convictions for this crime; whether the internet was used in the stalking behavior; whether a Temporary or Extended Protective Order was in place; and whether a death threat or threat of bodily harm was involved. If you’ve been wrongly charged with a stalking crime, call our office today to discuss you case at (702) 333-3333.

Learn More:

https://victimsofcrime.org/docs/default-source/src/tips-for-victims-2015.pdf?sfvrsn=0

https://victimsofcrime.org/docs/default-source/src/english-aybs-2015.pdf?sfvrsn=2

https://www.protectamerica.com/reclaiming-your-space

https://www.stalkingriskprofile.com/victim-support/general-advice-for-victims

Drug Enforcement Agency Controlled Substance Classifications

Drug Enforcement Agency Controlled Substance Classifications

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), established in 1973, is a law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Justice and is tasked with the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA established the Drug Schedules and the initial listing of drugs on each schedule. After the initial list was established by statute, the DEA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are the two federal agencies that determine which substances remain on the schedules and which schedule each drug is assigned, although new federal legislation can also specify whether a substance is scheduled and onto which schedule it should be placed.

Under the CSA, controlled substances were divided into five schedules.

Schedule I includes drugs or substances with a high potential for abuse; has no acceptable medical use in the U.S.; and has no accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision.

Schedule II includes drugs or substances which have a high potential for abuse; the substance has a currently accepted medical use, but with severe restrictions; and for which abuse of the drug may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Schedule III includes substances or drugs that have a lesser potential for abuse than Schedule I or II substances and has a currently accepted medical use in the U.S.; and for which abuse of the drug may lead to low to moderate psychological or physical dependence.

Schedule IV includes drugs or substances that have a low potential for abuse; have an accepted medical use in the U.S.; and abuse may lead to limited psychological or physical dependence relative to Schedule III.

Schedule V includes drugs or substances that have the lowest potential for abuse; have an accepted medical use in the U.S.; and abuse may lead to limited psychological or physical dependence relative to Schedule IV.

What is the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)?
The CSA is a federal statute that was implemented in 1970 and consolidated several other drug control statutes, which had developed over several years, into a single act. Included in the Act are Subchapter I, which included the initial drug classifications and schedules, and the initial listing of which substances went on each schedule. It also includes procedures for scheduling or de-scheduling substances or changing schedule placement, and prison terms and fines for violations of the Act. Subchapter II sets forth laws for exportation and importation of controlled substances and specifies prison terms and fines violations of the subchapter.

The CSA has led to the federal control of the manufacture and distribution of substances included in the schedules. Regulations and standards have been established for such substances which manufacturers and distributors are required to follow. Manufacturers and distributors are required to be registered with the DEA to handle controlled substances. All registered entities are required to keep accurate inventories and records of transactions involving controlled substances. The Act also specifies security measures to be employed for storage of controlled substances.

A complete alphabetic list of controlled substances is included in the Learn More section below.

The Defenders can defend you if charged with drug crimes
If you have been charged with a drug crime in Nevada, you face severe criminal penalties that include prison terms and fines. You need the services of an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Call the Defenders today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333

Learn More:
https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ds.shtml
https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/orangebook/c_cs_alpha.pdf

Will sleeping in your car help you avoid a DUI charge?

Will sleeping in your car help you avoid a DUI charge?

You’ve been partying at a bar with friends on a recent warm Vegas evening. You were having a good time, when party broke up you didn’t realize how long you had been there and you lost track of the number of drinks you’ve had. You know you’re pretty happy right now, and so you decide not to drive, but instead decide to take a nap in your car to sleep it off, and then drive home. Makes sense doesn’t it? You’re being good and not operating your vehicle while intoxicated. Well, the decisions you make next may determine whether you may be charged with a DUI with its life changing consequences.

If you get in the driver’s seat of your car and put the keys in the ignition to listen to music, and then recline the seat to rest, and officer finding you in this condition may well charge you with a DUI, and it could stick, even if you didn’t move the car. If your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) measures above 0.08 when the officer finds you, measured by a breathalyzer test, you may well find yourself going to jail to sleep it off, and your car impounded.

If, in this example, you actually drove a mile or two towards home, but then realized you were in no condition to drive, and pulled over and decided to sleep it off, you can rest assured, that if police investigate your parked car, and find you in the driver’s seat with keys in the ignition, assuming your BAC is above the 0.08 legal lime, you will most likely be charged with a DUI.

How can I be charged with DUI when sleeping in my parked motor vehicle?

It has to do with how the DUI statute is interpreted. Nevada’s DUI law indicates that it is illegal to:

Be under the influence of intoxicating liquor, have a concentration of alcohol of 0.08 in blood or breath, and to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway or on premises to which the public has access. Interpreting what “physical control” means is the issue.

Being in physical control of a vehicle means more than just driving it. If you are in a vehicle and have direct access to the keys of the vehicle, especially if the keys are in the ignition, and if you are in the driver’s seat, has been interpreted as being in physical control of the vehicle, whether the keys are in running position or not.

In the examples above, keys were in the ignition turned to ACC or ON position, and the driver was in the driver’s seat. In the first example, even if you were still in the parking lot of the bar, you are on premises where the public has access. In the second example, the police will infer that you drove to the location you pulled off the road in an inebriated condition. During their investigation, they may feel the heat of the hood to determine if the car had been recently driven, but it is easy to conclude that you drove to the location drunk, and you will most likely be charged.

There are several examples of arrests even when people were intoxicated and sleeping in the back seat with their car, with keys in their pocket. While the police may take a very strict interpretation of being in “physical control” of a vehicle, being charged and being convicted of a DUI are very different things. It is obviously very important that you have a skilled attorney represent you if you have been charged with a DUI.

The Defenders will aggressively defend you if you’ve been charged with a DUI in Nevada

Our firm specializes in DUI defense. Our skilled attorneys have represented hundreds of DUI cases and know the legal territory well. If you have been charged with a DUI in Las Vegas, call the Defenders today at (702) 333-3333.

Learn More:

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-484C.html#NRS484CSec110

https://www.quora.com/Why-do-you-get-a-DUI-if-you-sleep-in-the-backseat-of-your-car-drunk

Arrested while visiting Las Vegas? (Part 2)

Arrested while visiting Las Vegas? (Part 2)

In our previous post, we covered some common causes of arrest for visitors to Las Vegas. We continue that discussion with additional common legal issues that visitors and tourists of Las Vegas could encounter. These are presented to allow visitors to have some knowledge of legal boundaries in a city where boundaries are expanded. Las Vegas is a party town, with lots of fun activities available for adults. We hope you never have to deal with a legal entanglement when coming to Las Vegas, but its best to know the ropes before you come.

Public Intoxication:

Interestingly, Nevada law does not recognize being drunk in public as a crime, and, in fact, state law forbids cities, counties and towns in Nevada from passing ordinances making it so:

the use of alcohol, the status of drunkard and the fact of being found in an intoxicated condition are not public offenses and shall not be so treated in any ordinance or resolution of a county, city or town.” (NRS 458.260).

However, being drunk in public can lead to other behaviors that may represent a crime, such as Disturbing the Peace, Disorderly Conduct, and/or DUI. Additionally, in spite of this rather open attitude toward public intoxication, there are strict Open Container laws in most parts of Clark County, especially when in close proximity to liquor stores.

The Protective Custody Rule may come into play if you are so intoxicated that you cannot function. If you fall asleep drinking at a bar, you may find this rule come into play. This rule can allow officers to take you into custody, (by force if needed) and deliver you to a medical facility or jail for up to 48 hours, to sleep it off. While you are not under arrest, and not charged with a crime, you have still been detained.

Disorderly Conduct/Disturbing the Peace:

Disorderly Conduct or Breach of Peace as it’s commonly known, is usually the outgrowth of a physical altercation, however, police officers have a great deal of discretion in how it is defined at the time of an arrest. In addition to Nevada law, municipalities may also regulate this type of behavior. Nevada statues define breach of the peace as: maliciously and willfully disturbing “the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person or family by loud or unusual noises, or by tumultuous and offensive conduct, threatening, traducing, quarreling, challenging to fight, or fighting….” (NRS 203.010)

Clark County, defines disorderly conduct as: “participating in a fight, challenging another person to fight, committing a breach of the peace, inciting a disturbance, or interfering with, annoying, accosting or harassing any other person in a way that incites a disturbance.” Police can arrest you for this charge, or you may be given a citation to appear in court for a disorderly conduct charge.

It is a misdemeanor and if convicted can subject you to up to six months in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is treated severely in Nevada. While a first time DUI is a misdemeanor, the penalties are harsh, and will subject you to possible license suspension in your home state. Additionally, police may impound the vehicle you are driving at the time of the stop.

If you are found driving with a Blood/Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of over .08 as determined by either by breath or blood test, you will be charged with DUI. Other substances found in excess of state determined values will subject you to a DUI. Marijuana, MDMA, Cocaine, Morphine, Methamphetamine concentrations found in your system may also trigger a DUI charge, even if you’re not drunk.

First time DUI will result in arrest and from two days to six months in jail. You will likely face fees and fines between $400 to $1,200, and a 90-day suspension of privilege to drive in Nevada. Nevada will report the DUI to your home state and there will be additional penalties imposed by your home state.

If an attorney does not represent you, you will be required to appear at all hearings and court proceedings. The services of a qualified aggressive local attorney will protect your rights during any DUI charges you receive when visiting Las Vegas.

The Defenders can assist if the party in Las Vegas ends badly

Ryan Helmick and the Defenders team have handled cases for visitors to Las Vegas and provide proactive and aggressive criminal representation for you if charged while in Las Vegas. These charges will follow you home and can negatively affect your life and livelihood. What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas if you’ve been charged with a criminal offense while visiting. If the party ended with an arrest while you were visiting Las Vegas, call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.

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.

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.

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.