When faced with a criminal charge, it’s important to understand how the laws in your state work and which statute you have been charged under. The Nevada Revised Statutes or “NRS” provides the basis for the application of the law in the state of Nevada. The NRS codifies or assigns codes to criminal state procedures, criminal offenses, and their associated penalties. These statutes are continuously revised by the Nevada Legislature during a particular Legislative Session.
When someone is charged with a crime, the District Attorney’s Office will refer to the criminal code in the criminal complaint. The Nevada Penal Code divides the laws in the state into broad subject areas or designated titles. Each title is further subdivided into Chapters which categorizes major crimes prosecuted in Nevada along with their corresponding section numbers.
At the Law Offices of Michael I. Gowdey, we have a firm grasp on the Nevada Revised Statutes and the overall criminal justice system in the state. We have the knowledge, skill, and resource capability to defend against any crime committed in Nevada, however, our areas of focus within the NRS include “Crimes Against The Person,” “Crimes Against Property,” “Crimes Against Public Decency and Morals,” “Controlled Substances” and “Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.”
- Nevada Code Title 15, CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
- Chapter 200 CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON
- NRS 200.10 Murder
- NRS 200.040 Manslaughter
- NRS 200.050 Voluntary Manslaughter
- NRS 200.070 Involuntary Manslaughter
- NRS 200.366 Sexual Assault and Seduction
- NRS 200.480 Robbery
- NRS 200.471 Assault
- NRS 200.481 Battery
- NRS 200.710 Using a minor in a Pornography Production
- NRS 200.725 Advertising Child Pornography
- NRS 200.730 Child Pornography Possession
- Chapter 201 CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC DECENCY AND GOOD MORALS
- NRS 201.300 Pandering/”Pimping”
- NRS 201.295 Prostitution
- NRS 201.354 Solicitation of Prostitution
- NRS 201.230 Lewdness with a child under 14 years old
- Chapter 205 CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY
- NRS 205.010/205.015/205.020 Arson
- NRS 205.030 – Burning or aiding and abetting burning of property with intent to defraud insurer
- NRS 205.060 Burglary
- NRS 205.240/205.220 Theft
- Chapter 200 CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON
- Nevada Code Title 40, PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY
- Chapter 453 CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
- NRS 453.336 Possession of a controlled substance
- NRS 453.337 & NRS 453.338 Drug Possession for the purpose of Sale
- NRS 453.3385 Trafficking in Controlled Substance
- Chapter 484C DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR A PROHIBITED SUBSTANCE
- NRS 484C.110 Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol of a Prohibited Substance
- NRS 484C.430 Driving Under the Influence Causing Injury or Death
- Chapter 453 CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
Chapter 200 CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON
Chapter 200 of Nevada’s Revised Statutes identifies crimes committed against a person, most of which are violent in nature. The overarching categories of criminal offenses in this Chapter of the Nevada Penal Code includes HOMICIDE, SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEDUCTION, ROBBERY, ASSAULT AND BATTERY, and PORNOGRAPHY INVOLVING MINORS.
NRS 200.10 Murder Defined
Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being.
NRS 200.030 Degrees of Murder; Penalties
Murder in the First Degree (Category A Felony)
- Willful, deliberate and premeditated killing perpetrated by means of poison, lying in wait, or torture;
- Committed in perpetration of sexual assault, kidnapping, arson, robbery, burglary, invasion of the home, sexual abuse of a child, sexual molestation of child under age of 14 or child abuse;
- Committed to avoid or prevent being lawfully arrested;
- Committed on public or private school property with intent to create risk of death or substantial bodily harm to more than one person using a weapon;
- Committed in perpetration or attempted perpetration of an act of terrorism
Penalties for conviction of Murder in the First Degree
- Death Penalty
- Imprisonment in state prison
- For life without possibility of parole
- For life with the possibility of parole
- For life with possibility of parole with eligibility for parole beginning after a minimum of 20 years has been served or for definite term of 50 years
Murder of the Second Degree is all Degree other kinds of murder
NRS 200.040 Manslaughter Defined
Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without expressed or implied malice or deliberation.
NRS 200.050 Voluntary Manslaughter (Category B Felony)
Voluntary manslaughter occurs when a reasonable person is seriously and highly provoked and injured and in a sudden impulse of passion kills the person who has inflicted or attempted to inflict injury.
NRS 200.80 Voluntary Manslaughter Penalties
- 1-10 years in Nevada state prison and/or
- $10,000 fine
NRS 200.070 Involuntary Manslaughter (Category D Felony)
Involuntary manslaughter is defined as the killing of a human being without any intention to do so. Negligence is often the cause of the killing (i.e. loaded gun goes off by accident).
NRS 200.090 Involuntary Manslaughter Penalties
- 1-4 years in Nevada state prison and/or
- $5,000 fine
NRS 200.366 SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEDUCTION
The Nevada Revised Statutes list several sexual offenses and their punishments. Provided below is the list of major sex crimes prosecuted in Nevada along with the corresponding section numbers
- NRS 200.366 Sexual Assault/Rape (Class A Felony) — subjecting another person to sexual penetration against their will or under conditions in which the perpetrator knows the victim lacks the capacity to consent or resist due to a mental or physical disability
- When the victim is over 16, the punishment can be life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 10 years in the Nevada prison. If the victim suffered substantial bodily injury, parole can’t be granted until after 15 years have been served in prison.
- When the victim is 14 or 15 years old, the punishment can be life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 25 years have been served. If the victim suffered substantial bodily injury, the penalty increases to life without parole.
- When the victim is under the age of 14, the crime is punishable by life in Nevada prison with the possibility of parole after 35 years served. If the victim suffered substantial bodily injury, there is no possibility of parole.
PORNOGRAPHY INVOLVING MINORS
- NRS 200.710 Using a minor in a Pornography Production —knowingly using, encouraging, coercing, or permitting a minor to simulate or engage in sexual acts to produce a performance
- Classified as a Category A felony punishable by a life sentence in Nevada state prison and a fine of up to $100,000
- NRS 200.725 Advertising Child Pornography — knowingly preparing, advertising or distributing any item that depicts a minor engaging in, simulating, or assisting others in a sexual act
- Classified as a Category B felony which is punishable by 1-15 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.
- NRS 200.730 Child Pornography Possession — intentionally viewing pornography depicting child less than 16 years of age
- A first offense of possessing child pornography of a child under 16 is classified as a "category B felony" which carries a prison sentence of one to six years.
- A second offense is a classified as a felony punishable by up to one year to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The courts in Nevada can also impose a fine of up to $5,000 for each offense.
NRS 200.480 ROBBERY (Category B Felony)
A person commits a robbery if they unlawfully take someone else’s property through force, violence, or threats of injury.
Penalties: 2-15 years in Nevada State Prison. A charge of robbery with a deadly weapon will result in an additional prison sentence of 1 – 20 years.
NRS 200.471 ASSAULT
Assault involves placing another person in a threat of mind where they believed they would be harmed by an attempted use of physical force. This is a misdemeanor offense that carries a potential 6-month jail sentence and fines.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Category B Felony)
Penalties: 1 – 6 years in Nevada state prison and/or fines up to $5,000 in fines
NRS 200.481 BATTERY
“Battery” is defined as using physical force against another person. Types of battery in Nevada include simple battery, domestic violence, battery resulting in serious bodily harm and battery with a deadly weapon.
Battery involving strangulation or causing substantial injury can be charged with a Class C felony and carry up to 5 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Battery with a deadly weapon is classified as a Class B felony and carries a potential 2 to 10-year prison sentence and fines with fines reaching $10,000.
Even more serious, if a deadly weapon is used and injury occurs, the sentence can reach 15 years.
Chapter 201 CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC DECENCY AND GOOD MORALS
- NRS 201.300 Pandering/”Pimping” — the act of recruiting or arranging for another person to become a prostitute or engage in prostitution.
- Penalties: if force was used to encourage someone to engage in prostitution, the crime is a Category C felony punishable 1-5 years in prison and $10,000 fine. If no force was involved, it is a Category D felony punishable by 1-4 years and fine up to $5,000
- NRS 201.295 Prostitution –engaging in sexual conduct with another person in exchange for a fee, monetary consideration, or other things of value. Sexual conduct does not need to include penetration.
- Penalties: Prostitution between two consenting adults is a misdemeanor offense which carries a fine of up to $1,000 and a potential jail sentence of up to 6 months.
- NRS 201.354 Solicitation of Prostitution — requesting or agreeing to have someone perform a sexual act in exchange for money or something of value
- Penalties: Imprisonment for up to 2.5 years and fines between $1,000 and $5,000. If the solicitation charge involves a minor, the penalties will be much more severe and may result in required registration as a sex offender.
- NRS 201.230 Lewdness with a child under 14 years old — committing any lewd or lascivious act upon the body of a child under the age of 16 with the purpose of sexually gratifying themselves or the child. The touching does not need to be a sexual organ.
- Classified as Category A felony punishable by life in Nevada state prison with the possibility of parole after ten years. Must register as a sex offender and potentially pay a fine up to $10,000.
Chapter 205 CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY
ARSON Offenses in the Nevada Penal Code
- Arson (First Degree, Second Degree, Third Degree)
- Burning or aiding and abetting burning of property with intent to defraud insurer
NRS 205.010 First Degree Arson (Category B Felony)
Arson in the first degree is defined as willfully and maliciously setting fire to, burning or aiding in the burning of any:
- Dwelling house whether occupied or vacant; or
- Personal property which is occupied by one or more persons
Penalties: Punishable by imprisonment for a minimum of 2 years, maximum 15 years and/or $15,000 fine.
NRS 205.015 Second Degree Arson (Category B Felony); Penalties
Arson in the second degree is defined as willfully and maliciously setting fire to, burning or aiding in the burning of any:
- Abandoned building or structure
Penalties: Imprisonment in state prison for no less than 1 year, no more than 10 years and/or fine of no more than $10,000
NRS 205.020 Third Degree Arson; Penalties
Arson in the third degree is defined as willfully and maliciously setting fire to, burning or aiding in the burning of any:
- Unoccupied personal property of another which has the value of $25 or more;
- Unoccupied personal property owned by perpetrator which another person has a legal interest; or
- Any timber, forest, shrubbery, crops, grass, vegetation or other flammable material that is not the perpetrator's
NRS 205.030 – Burning or aiding and abetting burning of property with intent to defraud insurer (Category B Felony)
It is a crime to set fire to, burn, or aid in the burning of any building, structure or personal property which is at the time insured by a person, company or corporation against loss or damage by fire in order to injure or defraud the insurer.
Penalties: Imprisonment in state prison for a minimum of 1 year, maximum 6 years and/or fine of no more than $5,000. In addition, you may need to pay restitution to the victim.
BURGLARY; INVASION OF THE HOME
NRS 205.060 Burglary Defined (Category B Felony)
A person is guilty of burglary if they enter any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent, vessel, vehicle, vehicle trailer, semitrailer or house trailer, airplane, glider, boat or railroad car, with the intent to commit grand or petit larceny, assault or battery on any person or any felony, or to obtain money or property by false pretenses
Penalties: Punishable by imprisonment in state prison for no less than 1 year, no more than 10 years and/or fine of no more than $10,000
Burglary with weapon: If a person convicted of burglary was in possession of a firearm or deadly weapon in the commission of the crime whether before leaving or upon leaving the structure, the penalty is imprisonment for a minimum of 2 years, maximum 15 years and/or fine of no more than $10,000
A person commits theft if they take control over someone else's property with the intent to deprive him or her of the property.
NRS 205.240 Petit Larceny (Shoplifting)– theft involving property valued at less than $650. Petit theft is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
NRS 205.220 Grand Larceny (Class C Felony) — theft involving property valued over $650 or more but less than $3,500. Grand theft is punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. If the theft exceeds $3,500 or more than the crime is classified as a Class B Felony punishable by 1 to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
NRS 205.463 Identity Theft
Using someone else’s identification information to commit fraud. Possible sentences upon conviction carry up to 25 years in Nevada State Prison as well as high fines.
NRS 205. 130 Writing Bad Checks
Writing a check knowing that there are insufficient funds in the bank to cover the amount of the check is illegal. When the check bounces or you fail to pay within 5 days notice that the check failed to clear, Nevada law presumes you attempted to defraud someone.
Penalties: Writing a bad check under $650 is a misdemeanor charge punishable up to 6 months in jail or up to a $1000 fine. Writing a bad check of $650 or more is a felony charge punishable by 1 to 4 years in jail and fines that may amount to $5000 or more. Restitution of the amount owed plus collection costs.
Fraud Charges associated with Casino Markers
A casino marker in Nevada is a promissory note or extension of credit given by the casino to someone gambling at their establishment. The marker acts as an IOU, similar to a check. A valid marker is connected to a bank account, and in time the casino will draw funds from that account. If the check bounces, you will receive a certified letter demanding payment. If you fail to pay, Nevada presumes you intended to defraud the casino when you received the marker, tack on 10% or the original debt.
CHAPTER 453 – CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
NRS 453.336 Possession of a controlled substance
Knowingly and intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a lawful prescription, including either narcotics or medical drugs. There are three different types of possession:
- Actual – The drugs are found on you physically
- Constructive – The drugs are found in a place that you have control over (your car, home, backpack)
- Joint – The drugs are found in a location that you and another person have possession over jointly (home, apartment).
Penalties: A first or second offense of schedule I-IV drugs possession is a category E felony in Nevada.
- 1-4 years in prison
- First offense may be eligible for probation/drug education or rehab program
NRS 453.337 & NRS 453.338 Drug Possession With Intent to Sell
NRS 453.338 — knowingly possessing any controlled substance classified in schedule II (medical drugs without valid prescription), Schedule IV (Benzodiazepines (Benzo's); Alprazolam (Xanax): and Diazepam (Valium); among others) or Schedule V (codeine)
First offense of Schedule I or II substance with intent to sell is a Category D felony
- imprisonment for a minimum term of 1 year and a maximum term of no more than 4 years
- fines up to $5,000 for each offense
- Probation is available on first offenses
First or second offense of possession of a Schedule III, IV or V substance with intent to sell is a Category D felony.
- imprisonment for a minimum term of 1 year and a maximum term of no more than 4 years
- fine up to $10,000 for each offense
- Probation is available on first offenses.
NRS 453.3385 Trafficking in Controlled Substance
This is a broad crime that can involve the possession, manufacture, transportation or sale of controlled substances. The crime is categorized as trafficking when there are a certain amount of drugs present.
At least 4 grams but less than 14 grams of a controlled substance
- 1-6 years in Nevada State Prison and a $5,000.00 fine. This is a non-probational offense.
At least 14 grams but less than 28 grams (one ounce) of a controlled substance:
- 2-15 years in Nevada State Prison and a fine of not more than $100,000.00. This is a non-probational offense.
At least 28 grams (one ounce) of a controlled substance
- 10-25 years, or a Life sentence with parole eligibility beginning at 10 years, in Nevada State Prison and a fine of not more than $500,000.00. This is a non-probational offense.
Nevada Code Title 40 Chapter 484C PUBLIC SAFETY; VEHICLES; WATERCRAFT
NRS 484C.110 Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol of a Prohibited Substance (First Time Offense)
It is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle on a publicly accessible road while
- Under the influence of alcohol;
- With a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher
- With a BAC of .08 percent or higher within 2 hours of being in control of motor vehicle
- Under the influence of a controlled substance
First Time DUI (Misdemeanor) Penalties
- Fine no less than $400, no more than $1,000
- Attend Nevada DUI school
- Attend Nevada Victim Impact Panel
- Imprisonment for 2 days or up to 6 months
- Fine of $1,000
- 90-day suspension of driver’s license
NRS 484C.400 Second DUI (Misdemeanor) Penalties
- no less than ten days and no more than six months in prison
- no less than ten days and no more than six months in a residential alcohol treatment facility
- can be fined from $750 to $1000, or community service hours
- license suspension/revocation of one year
NRS 484C.430 Driving Under the Influence Causing Injury or Death (Felony) — causing an accident due to driving under the influence in which another person gets seriously hurt or killed
- 2 to 20 years in Nevada State prison
- fine of $2,000 to $5,000
- possible license suspension or revocation, and
- a requirement to install a Nevada ignition interlock device in the vehicle