Nevada law states that, a “sex crime” involves many acts like rape, groping, or flashing. Since sex crimes bring much harm to victims, the Nevada justice system harshly punishes guilty defendants.
Possible punishment for sex crimes is comparable to that of homicide or murder offenses. Almost always, you must register as a sex offender upon conviction in addition to paying fines or being imprisoned.
In Las Vegas, NV, a sex crime conviction makes it hard for you to land a job or find housing. Because of these severe consequences, you want to hire an aggressive and capable criminal lawyer when you face arrest for a sex crime.
At The Law Offices of Martin Hart, we are available around-the-clock to fight for your rights, reputation, and freedom. Hire our attorneys today if arrested for any of the sex crimes described in this particular article.
What Sex Crimes Involve Per Nevada Law
Sex crimes involve committing various acts, including sodomy, rape, statutory rape, and many others explained below. In Nevada, misdemeanors or felonies involving unlawful sexual acts qualify as sex crimes. Upon conviction, the judge could order you to register as a sexual offender for a particular period or even life.
The nature of your charges determines the period of your sex offender registration. Nevada’s Sex Offender Registry (NRS 179D) entails three tiers of sex offenders, including:
- Tier I offenders in Nevada (NRS 179D.113) — The tier is the least serious sex offender category. If you register as a Tier I offender, your identity is not searchable by the public if the victim is an adult. However, it is searchable if the victim is a child.
- Tier II sex offenders in Nevada (NRS 179D.115) — The second most severe sex offender category. You must register for 25 years and report to law enforcers after every 180 days. If you register under tier II, your identity is publicly searchable since the victims are primarily children.
- Tier III sex offenders in Nevada (NRS 179D.117) — It couples as the third and most serious sex offender class. The class entails convictions for serious sex offenses against children under 13 years. Per Nevada law, you must register for life and check with the police every 90 days.
Common Sex Crime Types in Nevada
Nevada law details various offenses considered sex crimes. Learn what these crimes involve, possible sentencing, legal defenses, and their crime elements below.
Rape/ Sexaul Assault - NRS 200.366
Nevada Revised Statute 200.366 describes rape as having sex with another person without their consent. You also face rape charges if you have sex with someone who cannot consent to sex. The statute also defines rape as forcing someone else to penetrate another victim, themselves, or a beast sexually.
Also known as sexual assault, rape is a class A Nevada felony. Possible sentences if found guilty include life imprisonment in a state prison and sex offender registration for life. You could be released on parole depending on:
- Your criminal history
- Whether your victim sustained physical injuries per NRS 0.060
- The victim’s age
If charged with sexual assault, your criminal defense attorney could build defenses to fight the charges. These defenses are:
- You did not sexually penetrate the alleged accuser.
- The plaintiff consented to the act.
- Your face false accusation
The court could drop the rape charges if the prosecution cannot prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The District Attorney (D.A) must prove certain elements before the judge can convict you, including:
- A doctor’s testimony supporting the victim’s narration
- Any form of communication where you admit to raping the accuser
- Witnesses who saw you raping the plaintiff
- Witnesses who saw the accuser in an incapacitated state
Note that you face similar penalties to rape if you violate NRS 200.373 (spousal rape laws) and date rape laws.
Statutory Rape - NRS 200.368
Also known as statutory sexual seduction, statutory rape occurs when you are an adult and have sexual contact with a minor of 14/ 15 years younger than you by four years. According to NRS 200.364, the age of consent under Nevada law is 16 years.
Per NRS 368, you face charges even if the minor consented to the sexual penetration. Depending on the child’s age and your criminal record, this sex crime could be a gross misdemeanor or a felony.
Possible penalties upon conviction are imprisonment for one to ten years or paying fines not over $10,000 if you are above 21 years. If you are under 21 years and have no prior sex crime convictions, you serve jail time of up to 354 days or pay up to $2,000 in fines. If you have a criminal record, you are imprisoned for not less than one and not more than four years or pay fines not exceeding $5,000.
Nevada law makes it a crime to produce, possess, advertise, or view child porn. If found guilty, possible punishment includes serving one year in jail or life in prison. The judge’s sentencing is determined on a case-by-case basis. Upon conviction, you must register as a sex offender.
Statutes that punish violations of child pornography laws in Nevada are:
- Possessing child pornography-NRS 200.730
- Using the internet to view or control child pornography- NRS 200.727
- Distributing or advertising child pornography-NRS 200.725
- Promoting a sexual performance of a child in Nevada-NRS 200.720
- Using a minor to produce pornography-NRS 200.7190
Indecent Exposure - NRS 201.220
Indecent exposure is a Nevada sex crime detailed under NRS 201.220. The offense involves showing your anus or genitalia. You face charges if the public can view you even if you did the act while in a private place, especially through a window.
Under Nevada law, you are charged with a gross misdemeanor or felony for violating NRS 201.220, depending on the case’s circumstances. The court could also order you to register as a sex offender.
Nevada Revised Statute 201.354 details possible penalties for engaging in prostitution. The crime happens when you trade sexual favors for material things like money and gifts. Also, you face criminal charges for soliciting prostitution even if you did not engage in sex.
You are charged with misdemeanor prostitution if you are a first-time offender. However, you face more serious sentencing if:
- You are caught soliciting a minor
- You are arrested for soliciting while suffering from HIV.
- Are a “johns” with prior offenses
Per NRS 207.203, the judge could drop your charges as a repeat prostitution offender if you successfully undergo rehabilitation.
Open/ Gross Lewdness - NRS 201.210
Any non-consensual sexual touching that doesn't include penetration is referred to as open or gross lewdness under NRS 201.210. You also violate NRS 201.210 if you have consensual sexual contact with someone else in public. The prosecution could charge you with a gross misdemeanor or category D felony, depending on your case’s facts. If convicted, you must register as a sex offender.
Lewdness with A Child Under 16 - NRS 201.230
As an adult, you violate NRS 201.230 when you commit lewd acts with a child under 16 years. Lewd acts involve touching someone else for sexual gratification. You don't have to touch the child’s genitalia to commit this crime.
In Nevada, you are charged with category A or B felony. The felony category depends on if the child was under 14 years during the crime commission. If convicted, you could face harsh penalties like life imprisonment and sex offender registration.
Sealing Sex Crime Convictions in Nevada
A Nevada court could hide your criminal records, so they are not publicly searchable, especially during background checks. If your past convictions are sealed, you have a higher chance of landing a job than when they are not sealed.
However, the court cannot seal a defendant’s convictions for felony sex crimes, including:
- Sex between pupils and school employees
- Lewdness with a child under 16
- Child pornography
- Felony indecent exposure
- Felony open or gross lewdness
- Prostitution with children
- Statutory sexual seduction
- Sex with a corpse
- Sex trafficking children
A sex-related misdemeanor conviction is sealable a year after your case ends. Additionally, a sex-related gross misdemeanor conviction could be sealed two years after the case ends. If the court drops you sex crime charges, they could be sealed immediately.
Common Defenses for Sex Crimes
With the help of a reputable criminal lawyer, you can build several defenses and fight your charges. Your defense attorney uses particular strategies depending on the nature of the case. Fight your Nevada sex crime charges using defenses like:
- You were falsely accused. The plaintiff could have made the allegations out of anger.
- Yours is a case of mistaken identity.
- The accuser consented to the sexual contact.
- There was no sexual contact between you and the alleged victim.
Note that if you commit a sex crime while intoxicated, you cannot use the intoxication fact as a defense strategy unless you were drugged unknowingly.
The prosecutor bears the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt if the case enters trial. You have higher chances of being acquitted if your criminal lawyer can cast doubts in the prosecution’s account. The court drops your charges if the proof against you is unreliable, insufficient, or too holey.
Legal Tactics For Defending Sex Crimes
Apart from the defense strategies, your sex crime lawyer could use other strategies to fight for your rights, including:
Negotiating with Police
After receiving dex crime claims, Nevada police investigate before charging you. Even if the accuser withdraws, the law enforcers could still arrest and charge you. However, the police could dismiss the case if your defense attorney could give their account and prove your innocence.
While the police are tasked with doing criminal investigations, their reports are full of gaps and inaccuracies. At times, plaintiffs misinterpret their circumstances or mistakenly identify the wrong culprit. Other times, victims make false claims to have you jailed.
Therefore, you want to hire a criminal lawyer to investigate aspects like:
- Crime scene
Your attorney could uncover proof that law enforcers were biased or that the plaintiff made false allegations against you. After investigations, your defense lawyer could present their findings in court, and the judge could drop the charges or offer a plea deal.
Pre-trial Advocacy And Motions
Many times, sex crime cases do not enter a trial. However, your defense lawyers must prepare for trial. During the pre-trial stage, your attorney could petition motions to suppress evidence. The lawyers ask the judge to reject particular proof that is too holey or law enforcers obtained through illegal search and seizure.
Should your defense lawyer succeed in gathering enough evidence, the prosecution will have no option other than to dismiss your charges. Your case cannot pass the trial stage if the prosecutor's proof is too weak to sustain a conviction.
Many Nevada sex crime cases resolve through a plea bargain, where the D.A allows you to plead to a lesser charge to avoid going to trial. Often, the first plea bargain the prosecutor’s offer is not favorable to you. However, your attorney should be aggressive during negotiations to strike a favorable deal where the criminal charges are reduced or even dropped. If having your case dismissed is not possible, the attorney should fight to achieve a deal where you won't be imprisoned or required to register as a Nevada sex offender.
Trial Advocacy in Nevada
If a case moves to a Nevada jury trial, you don’t have to offer any proof. The burden to prove you are guilty lies in the prosecution. At this stage, your attorney’s role is to cast doubts in the prosecution’s evidence against you by:
- Presenting evidence that favors you
- Cross-examining prosecution’s witnesses
- Presenting expert witnesses if need be
You want to work with a skilled attorney as they have experience impeaching the accuser's witnesses; hence, making the judge doubt their side of the story. All that is needed is the judge siding with you to avoid conviction.
Find a Las Vegas Defense Attorney Near Me
Being charged with rape, gross lewdness, incest, or another sex crime could put your freedom at risk and ruin your reputation. On top of landing you on a sex offender registry, a sex crime conviction bottles your ability to form new relationships. However, you still can fight to have your charges dropped or reduced.
If you are arrested in Las Vegas, NV, a criminal defense lawyer from The Law Offices of Martin Hart can build a strong defense. You can always count on us since we have had success helping many Nevada clients avoid jail terms. Jump on the bandwagon of defendants who have had their sex crime charges dropped by calling us at 702-380-4278 today.