NRS 207.200: Trespassing Laws in Nevada—Definition, Penalties, Common Defenses
In the state of Nevada, trespassing isn’t just a minor infraction or a juvenile prank—it’s a serious legal issue with consequences that can have long-lasting effects on your life. Imagine a group of kids, high-spirited and seeking adventure, deciding to explore an abandoned property on the outskirts of their town. It seems like harmless fun, an exciting escapade to share with their friends at school.
However, in doing so, they unknowingly enter private property without permission—a clear violation of Nevada’s trespassing laws, NRS 207.200. Suddenly, their innocent exploration could lead to criminal charges, altering the trajectory of their lives dramatically.
While owners or landlords will generally let you off the hook especially if you are a minor, trespassing can have severe consequences if not taken seriously.
If you are facing trespassing charges, it’s essential you contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. The penalties for trespassing in Nevada can be harsh, and a strong legal defense is crucial to protecting your rights and minimizing the consequences you face.
The Defenders is a Las Vegas-based criminal defense law firm that provides legal representation for various criminal charges, including trespassing. Our experienced attorneys have a deep understanding of Nevada’s laws and can guide you through the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected every step of the way.
Definition of Trespassing in Nevada
Nevada’s trespassing law is found in Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) Chapter 207 Section 200, 203 and 204. Section 200’s verbiage says that when “any person…” not involved in a burglary “goes upon the land or into any building of another with intent to vex or annoy the owner or occupant thereof, or to commit any unlawful act” or “willfully goes or remains upon any land or in any building after having been warned by the owner or occupant thereof not to trespass” is guilty of the misdemeanor of trespassing.
The statute outlines two scenarios that constitute trespassing in Nevada:
- Entering property to annoy or commit unlawful acts: If an individual enters another person’s property with the intent to annoy or bother the owner or occupant, or with the intent to commit any unlawful act, they are guilty of trespassing.
- Remaining on property after being warned: If an individual willfully remains on another person’s property after having been warned by the owner or occupant not to trespass, they are also guilty of trespassing.
As you can see, there are a lot of scenarios where you may be charged with trespassing, especially when you are on commercial establishments such as restaurants and casinos.
Proper and Legal Ways to Inform Others Not to Trespass on Property
The following two sections, 203 and 204, disallow those found guilty of prostitution from entering casinos, and if found will be in violation of the trespass law, and also finds that base jumpers are also guilty of trespass, unless it is part of an emergency or has been properly permitted.
Additional sections address concerns regarding the placement of “No Trespassing” signs without the owner’s consent. Furthermore, it is stated that the act of destroying such signs is considered a misdemeanor.
In our state, being asked to leave a casino or other place of business, or returning to the premises after being asked to leave can put you in violation of Nevada’s trespassing statutes.
Have you ever noticed businesses having a sign that says “We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service”? That sign is a way for businesses to legally inform individuals that they are not welcome on their property. It’s important to note that if you see this sign or are asked to leave a private property, it is imperative that you comply. Failure to do so could result in trespassing charges.
Penalties for Trespassing in Nevada
Trespassing in Nevada is classified as a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a potential jail term of up to six months and/or a fine of up to $1,000. These penalties can have significant consequences, including a criminal record that may affect employment prospects and creditworthiness. Additionally, certain aggravating factors can elevate the charges to more severe offenses:
- Trespassing with a firearm or deadly weapon: If an individual trespasses while carrying a firearm or any other deadly weapon, they can be charged with a class B felony, which carries more severe penalties.
- Trespassing with a camera: Trespassing with the intent to capture images or footage using a camera can result in a gross misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
It is important to note that trespassing charges often accompany other offenses, which can further increase the potential penalties and consequences.
Regardless of the circumstances, entanglement with the criminal justice system is not something that most people want, and even if the fine is light, the criminal act remains on your record, which can complicate background checks used to qualify for employment or credit.
Common Defenses against Trespassing Charges
When facing trespassing charges, it is crucial to consider the available defenses. Several common defenses can be employed to challenge trespassing allegations:
- Permission to be on the property: If the accused had explicit or implied permission to be on the property, it can serve as a strong defense against trespassing charges.
- Consent from the owner or occupant: If the owner or occupant of the property expressly granted consent to the accused, it can be used as a defense.
- Insufficient warning: Insufficient signage or fences that fail to provide clear notice of trespassing can be used to challenge the charges.
- First Amendment rights: In certain cases, individuals exercising their First Amendment rights on government-owned land may be able to argue that their actions do not constitute trespassing.
It is important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can assess the specific circumstances of your case and determine the most effective defense strategy.
Sealing Trespass Convictions in Nevada
A trespassing conviction can have lasting consequences, but Nevada law provides a path to sealing such convictions. After one year has passed since the conclusion of a trespassing case, individuals may be eligible to have their convictions sealed. Sealing a conviction removes the offense from public records, mitigating the potential negative impact on employment or creditworthiness.
To initiate the process of sealing a trespass conviction, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the necessary steps and ensure compliance with the legal requirements.
Charged with Trespassing? The Defenders Can Help
If you find yourself involved in a trespassing case, seeking guidance from a skilled attorney is crucial to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome. By consulting with a legal professional, you can navigate the legal system with confidence and ensure a strong defense tailored to your specific circumstances.
The Defenders can help if you have been charged with trespassing.
We will supply you with the legal options available, give you sound legal advice and will defend you in court. Our attorneys have represented others in this situation and have the knowledge and skills to present a defense that will withstand argument and give you the best chance of a favorable verdict.