Sex Crimes

Sex crime allegations can be both humiliating and devastating. If found guilty, you will face incarceration, probation, stigma, mandatory sex offender registration, and pay fines. More often than not, sex offense charges are filed due to complicated family dynamics and innocent circumstances. The Nevada criminal justice system is not impervious to errors, and a skilled Las Vegas can shed light on your case. At The Law Offices of Martin Hart, we believe that every defendant in Las Vegas has a right to fair legal representation. We can work to ensure your constitutional rights are protected and review your case to build the defense.

What is a Sex Crime?

A sex crime is an umbrella term used to define forced or illegal sexual conduct against a person. It can be sexual abuse on the alleged victim or exposing yourself to somebody else without consent.

Common penalties and collateral consequences of a sex crime conviction include:

  • Mandatory sex offender registration

  • Fines

  • Serving time

  • Probation

  • Performing community service

  • Difficulties finding housing and securing employment and educational opportunities

  • Stigma

  • Deportation

  • Loss of firearm rights

Some of the common sex crimes in Las Vegas include:

Rape/Sexual Assault

Nevada Revised Statutes 200.366 defines rape/sexual assault as engaging in penetrative sex with an individual who cannot consent or does not consent. Different forms of non-consensual penetrative sex include:

  • Anal sex

  • Vaginal intercourse

  • Cunnilingus

  • Fellatio

  • Anilingus

  • Digital sex

  • Inserting objects or body parts in anus or vagina

Lack of consent happens when the victim objects to sexual conduct. Additionally, lack of consent includes situations where the defendant was aware that the victim did not understand what was taking place. Examples include instances where the victim is:

  • High

  • Drunk

  • Asleep

  • Passed out

  • In a coma

  • Suffering from a severe mental condition

Rape is prosecuted as a category A felony punishable by a sex offender registration and life sentence in prison. Whether you qualify for parole depends on:

  • The victim's age during the rape

  • Whether the sexual assault caused the alleged victim substantial bodily harm

  • Your criminal history

Statutory Rape

In Nevada, the legal age of sexual consent is 16 (sixteen) years. Statutory rape is sexual penetration between a person at least 18 years and a juvenile, either fourteen or fifteen years, and the defendant is more than four years older than the victim.

Please note that you will be found guilty regardless of whether the sexual conduct was consensual or the juvenile initiated the sex.

Per Nevada Revised Statutes 200.368, you face a felony when you are above 21 years and have a previous sex crime conviction with the following maximum penalties:

  • A ten-year imprisonment

  • A fine of ten thousand dollars

Otherwise, it is a gross misdemeanor. If you have a previous sex offense conviction, you will pay fines of $2,000 and a year in jail.

If convicted, you should register as a sex offender.

Open and Gross Lewdness

Under Nevada Revised Statutes 201.210, open and gross lewdness is either sexually touching somebody else or sexual behavior that the public can observe. Perfect examples include:

  • Groping a woman's behind or breast without their consent

  • Masturbating in a park

  • Having sexual intercourse in a street

Please note that breastfeeding your child does not violate this statute.

Typically, violating NRS 201.210 is a gross misdemeanor punishable by:

  • Registering as a sex offender

  • Fines of $2,000

  • 364 days in jail

However, the crime can become a category D felony if any of the following is true:

  • The lewdness happened in front of a child or a physically/mentally challenged adult

  • The accused has previous sex offense convictions

The defendant will face the following penalties:

  • Up to four years in state prison

  • Registering as a sex offender

  • A maximum of five thousand dollars in fine

Lewdness With a Child Below 16

NRS 201.230 involves deliberately touching a juvenile younger than 16 years in a sexual manner intending to appeal to or arouse either individual's sexual desires. You will be convicted of the crime regardless of whether the minor initiated or consented to the sexual conduct.

You can be found guilty of this crime even when your touching does not involve sexual organs. Touching any child's body part can be considered lewdness, provided you execute it with sexual intentions.

Penalties for Nevada Revised Statutes 201.230 depends on the alleged victim's age. If the alleged victim is below 14 years, the prosecutor will file a category A felony. Your first-time conviction is punishable by:

  • Life imprisonment with a possibility of parole after ten years

  • Up to ten thousand dollars in fines

  • Registering as a sex offender

However, you do not qualify for parole if you have a prior sex crime conviction.

If the minor is 15 or 14, the crime is prosecuted as a category B felony. The defendant will face the following consequences:

  • Up to ten years in Nevada state prison

  • Registering as a sex offender

  • Ten thousand dollars in fines

Nevada Incest Law

Nevada Revised Statutes 201.180 defines incest as fornication or intermarriage between relatives closer than second cousins. This law aims to discourage inbreeding, which increases the risk of congenital disabilities.

Typically, incest is a category A felony. Violation of the statute attracts:

  • $10,000 in fine

  • Two (2) years to life in state prison

Moreover, a conviction carries a sex offender registration and life supervision.

However, the judge can grant probation if your psychosexual evaluation shows that you do have a possibility of reoffending.

Sex Trafficking

NRS 201.300 bans sex trafficking (forcing/causing an individual to become a prostitute). Prostitution is given sexual favors in exchange for something valuable or money. Sex trafficking is aggressively prosecuted in Nevada, especially when a child is involved.

The penalties for sex trafficking depend on the alleged victim's age when the crime occurred. They include:

  • Sex trafficking a person at least 18 years is prosecuted as a category B felony punishable by a maximum of ten years in state prison and fines of ten thousand dollars

  • If committed on a sixteen- or seventeen-years child, the crime is charged as a category A felony that carries $10,000 in fine and life imprisonment with a likelihood of parole after five years

  • If the juvenile is either fourteen or fifteen, you will be charged with category A felony punishable by $10,000 in fine and life imprisonment with a likelihood of parole following ten years

  • Sex trafficking a minor younger than 13 is prosecuted as a category A felony. It carries a life sentence in prison with a possibility of parole following fifteen years and a fine of $20,000

Please note that the judge can impose an additional fine of $500,000 if any of these situations exists:

  • You used violence or physical force on a minor victim

  • You were involved in a conspiracy to engage in child sex trafficking

Like most sex crimes in Nevada, defendants of this statute should register as sex offenders. Persons found guilty of sex trafficking adults and sex trafficking children are classified as Tier I offenders and Tier II offenders, respectively.

Teen Sexting

Nevada Revised Statutes 200.737 forbids children below 18 from sending their photos or another person's electronically (it can be through an email or text message).

The first violation of NRS 200.737 is not an offense in Las Vegas. However, the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services can label your son/daughter "a child in need of supervision." The child will perform community service and pay fines.

If the minor commits a delinquent act, they will spend six months at a juvenile detention facility like Clark Court Juvenile Detention Center. The delinquent act is committed when the child:

  • Commits a subsequent teen sexting crime

  • Commits a crime that involves distributing or transmitting another minor's sexual image

Child Pornography

Child pornography law makes it illegal for a person to promote, possess, or produce a sexual depiction of children.

Child pornography can be in videos, films, plays, photos, or other visual performances or representations. When determining whether the individual depicted in the pornographic material is a child, the court can:

  • Consider medical expert or witness opinions

  • Inspect the victim

  • View the pornographic content

All defendants found guilty of child porno should register as sex offenders.

The incarceration duration depends on whether you are sentenced for:

Promoting the Use or Using Child Pornography

Under NRS 200.720 and 200.710, this crime is charged as a category A felony. Its penalties are one hundred thousand dollars in fine and life imprisonment. If the minor was at least fourteen at the production time, the defendant qualifies for parole after serving five years. If the juvenile was below fourteen, parole qualification starts after ten years.

These penalties apply notwithstanding the fact that of whether you produced the pornographic content for your personal use with no intentions to distribute, exhibit, or sell it.

Advertising Chil Porn

Deliberately advertising child pornographic is a category B felony that carries a maximum of $15,000 in fines and fifteen years in Nevada state prison.

Possessing Child Porn

Under Nevada Revised Statutes 200.730, possessing child porn involving a minor below 16 is a category B felony, punishable by up to six years in state prison. On the other hand, a subsequent crime is charged as a category A felony that carries:

  • $5,000 in fine and

  • a year to a life sentence.

Violating NRS Section 200.727

Using the internet to view pornographic content involving a minor below 16 is a category C felony. If convicted, you will face the following maximum penalties:

  • $10,000 in fines

  • Ten years in Nevada state prison

On the contrary, a second offense is charged as a category B felony, punishable by a six-year sentence and $5,000 in fines.

Fighting Sex Crimes in Las Vegas

Depending on your case circumstances, there are numerous possible legal defenses for beating sex crime offenses. Some of the common legal defenses include:

  • You were falsely accused due to vengeance, mistaken identity, or anger

  • The alleged victim agreed to (consented) your sexual conduct

  • There was no sexual penetration/contact

Please note that you cannot use intoxication as your legal defense if you were drunk during the incident unless another person intoxicated you involuntarily. Intoxication will be deemed voluntary if it originates from your willing taking or drinking drugs or alcohol when you know of its intoxicating effects or when you willingly assume the risk of the effects as a possibility.

If your criminal case proceeds to a court trial, the prosecutor should prove all the elements of the crime beyond any reasonable doubt. Provided your criminal defense lawyer can establish the state's evidence is unreliable or insufficient, you will be acquitted.

Legal Strategies Defense Lawyers Use to Fight Sex Crime Offenses

Some of the tactics defense lawyers use to beat a sex crime charge include the below:

Police Negotiations

Law enforcers scrutinize all sex crime allegations. Even when the alleged victims recant, police will arrest the suspects and take the case to court. Nevertheless, the police officers can drop investigations if the defendant's lawyer can present evidence proving why the accused person is innocent.

Plea Bargain

Most criminal cases are resolved through plea bargains, where the prosecutors allow defendants to plead guilty to lesser charges in return for not proceeding to trial.

Usually, the prosecutor's initial plea bargain is rarely favorable to the accused person. However, your lawyer can realize a deal through diligent negotiation where your sex crime charges are significantly reduced or dismissed.

Trial Advocacy

If your case goes to a jury trial, you do not have to establish anything. The prosecutor should prove the crime beyond any reasonable doubt. Therefore, it is your lawyer's responsibility to raise reasonable doubt by:

  • Presenting favorable evidence

  • Presenting expert witnesses

  • Cross-examining witnesses

Motions and Pre-Trial Advocacy

While most cases do not go to trial, your defense lawyer should prepare for your trial. During the pre-trial, the defense attorney will file motions to suppress proof. That is why the lawyer requests the court to disregard evidence that law enforcers acquired through illegal search and seizure.

If your lawyer succeeds in suppressing the proof, the prosecutor will realize their case is weak and can accept to dismiss or reduce your criminal charges.

Find a Competent Sex Offense Defense Lawyer Near Me

Sex offenses are deemed particularly heinous crimes and generate emotional responses from the community, the alleged victims. As a result, they are aggressively prosecuted in Nevada. A conviction can lead to a lengthy sentence, probation, stigma that can affect you for life, and mandatory registration as a sex offender. If you have been charged with a sex crime in Las Vegas or are under investigation, do not wait to discuss the case with a seasoned attorney. Seeking immediate legal assistance ensures that essential case evidence is not compromised or lost. The legal team at The Law Offices of Martin Hart can help you protect your future and rights. We can file motions, collect evidence, and do whatever it takes to assist you to win your criminal case. Do not hesitate to contact our legal office at 702-380-4278 to schedule your initial consultation.