According to Nevada law NRS 205.060, you may be guilty of burglary if you enter a vehicle or a building with the intent of committing petty or grand theft, assault or battery, or obtaining money through false pretenses. You might face burglary charges even if you did not commit an actual crime. As long as you entered a building or a vehicle with the intent of committing the outlined crimes, you may be guilty under Nevada law.

Burglary may also entail entering a business, a plane, or a rail car with the intent of committing theft, assault, or battery. In Nevada, burglary is a category B felony, and its consequences can be detrimental. With the help of an attorney, you can negotiate for a plea bargain to a lesser offense or dismissal of the charges. The Law Offices of Martin Hart can help you fight burglary charges in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Ways of Committing Burglary

You may access a house, car, or any other structure with the intent of committing petty theft if you intend to steal or take items worth less than $650. Grand theft entails stealing money or items valued at $650 or more. Battery entails unlawfully touching another person while assault entails placing another person in imminent fear or an unlawful touch. 

A felony crime concerning burglary is any offense with minimum jail time of one year. You may commit burglary for entering a structure with the intent of acquiring property or money using false pretenses. This entails using pretense and trickery to defraud a person's goods or money.  

The prosecutor will not need to prove that you committed any of the outlined crimes after you accessed a structure or a vehicle. The prosecutor only needs to prove that you had a criminal intent to execute the crime at the time of entry into the structure or vehicle. 

According to Nevada law, it may not be fair to charge people guilty of small-time larceny with burglary. Therefore, there is an exception if a person commits the crime of shoplifting items worth less than $650 as long as he/she commits the offense during business hours. The law charges shoplifting as petty theft and does not consider whether the defendant had the intention of stealing before entering the shopping mall or store.  

It is important to note that the petty theft exemption may not apply to you if you had prior charges of committing petty theft two or more times in the past seven years. If you have a history of committing a felony in the past seven years, you may not qualify for the shoplifting exception. Therefore, repeat offenders may face burglary charges for the crime of shoplifting.  

You may face separate charges under Nevada laws for possessing tools normally used in carrying out or executing burglary. You will face charges if the circumstances or situation suggests that you intended to use the tools to commit burglary.  It does not matter even if the police do not get you trying to enter another person's home. The mere act of having burglary tools in suspicious situations is adequate to warrant charges for possession of burglary tools.

Forceful Entry into a Structure   

According to Nevada laws, breaking a structure or a vehicle forcefully is not an element of burglary.  Therefore, you do not have to gain forceful entry into a structure to face burglary charges. Therefore, even if you access a house through an open window, you may face charges. You may still face charges for accessing a structure through an unlocked door. It might be surprising to learn that you may face burglary charges even when you had an invite to access a structure or a vehicle.

However, if you gain forceful entry into a structure or vehicle, you will have a harder time fighting the burglary charges.  The fact that broke into a structure or a victim is a strong indication that you had criminal intent. Therefore, your criminal defense attorney will have more burden to prove in court that you did not have a criminal intent to commit burglary.  

Plea Bargain

Depending on the circumstances of your case, your defense attorney may identify all evidence indicating that you are not guilty of burglary. The attorney may also challenge the prosecutor's evidence and make the prosecutor realize that he/she may not have ample evidence to sustain a conviction. In this case, the prosecutor may agree to reduce burglary charges to a lesser offense like petty theft.  

The prosecutor is more likely to offer you a plea bargain if you do not have a prior criminal record and also if you agree to cooperate with the investigators or the police. 

Consequences of Committing Burglary in Nevada 

The consequences you face for committing burglary in Nevada will vary depending on various factors. First, the charges will vary depending on whether you committed burglary using a deadly weapon like a lead pipe, a firearm, or a knife. 

If you commit burglary without using a deadly weapon, you may serve between one and ten in prison. You may also pay hefty penalties not exceeding $10,000. If you commit the crime of burglary using a deadly weapon, you may spend between two and fifteen years in prison. You may also pay fines not exceeding $10,000.  

If you commit the crime of burglary and you have a previous burglary conviction on your record, you will be ineligible for probation.  If you have sexual motivation while committing burglary, you may be subject to lifetime supervision. This is according to Nevada law NRS 176.0931. After the supervision of ten years, you may be able to get off lifetime supervision.  

You will face gross misdemeanor charges under Nevada laws  NRS 205.080 if you commit the crime of possession of burglary tools. The maximum sentence for the crime is up to 364 days in jail. The court may also impose a fine not exceeding $2,000.  

Sealing of a Burglary Conviction in Nevada

You may apply for the sealing of your burglary conviction in Nevada. However, the waiting period will vary depending on whether you committed a burglary in a residence or another structure. If you commit burglary in residence, you have to wait for ten years from when the case ends before you apply for the sealing of the conviction. 

If you commit a burglary of a non-residence, you would have to wait for five years from when the case ends before you apply for sealing of the conviction. If the court dismisses your burglary charges and you do not face a conviction for the crime, you may apply for sealing of the burglary arrest from your record immediately after dismissal of the charges.  

Burglary and Deportation 

According to Nevada laws, burglary is an aggravated felony, and this fact makes it a deportable crime. If you are a non-citizen and you are facing burglary charges in Nevada, it is advisable to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.  Your attorney may negotiate with the District Attorney and urge him/her to reduce or dismiss your charges. The District Attorney may reduce your charges to a non-deportable offense. After the reduction of your charges, you may continue to stay in the United States despite being an alien.  

Fighting Burglary Charges in Nevada

When the prosecutor accuses you of committing burglary in Nevada, you do not have to agree with all the allegations of the prosecutor. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can be able to fight the burglary charges.  Some of the common defense strategies that you can are: 

  1. Lack of Intent

You might not face burglary charges for entering a structure or a vehicle if you did not have the intent to commit theft or a felony.  You must have had the intent to commit a crime before accessing the structure or the vehicle.  

To prove that a defendant had the intent to commit burglary, the prosecutor may rely on evidence from eyewitnesses, police reports, and surveillance security systems. The prosecutor may also rely on any form of recorded communication by the suspect.  

At times, the defendant may use intoxication or drunkness as a defense for burglary charges. For instance, the defendant may point out that he/she was too intoxicated and was not in a position to form an intent due to incapacitation.  The prosecutor may dismiss your burglary charges if your attorney can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not have a burglarious intent.  

  1. You were a Victim of False Accusation

The defendant may also point out that he/she was a victim of false accusations.  It is common for the police in Nevada to arrest the wrong people, who may not have committed a crime. The police may arrest you when another person accuses you falsely of committing burglary. Another person may accuse you of burglary out of anger or revenge.  The victim of burglary may identify the wrong person as the defendant. For instance, if you have similar physical characteristics with the actual perpetrator of burglary, it may lead to wrong identification and accusation. The same case may apply if you happen to have the same name as the actual perpetrator of burglary.  

When executing burglaries, most perpetrators use masks and often carry out the offense at night when it is dark. This makes it hard to identify burglars through surveillance videos and eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses may end up identifying the wrong person as the perpetrator of the crime. 

If you are a victim of false accusations, you can challenge the prosecutor's evidence and show that the prosecutor's evidence is misleading. The attorney mat attests that the evidence provided by the prosecutor is inadequate to prove that you are a burglar.  If your attorney can prove that you are a victim of false accusations, the court may dismiss your charges.  

  1. You were a Victim of Police Misconduct

You may fight burglary charges in Nevada if you point out that you are a victim of police brutality or police misconduct. You may use this defense if the police force you or coerce you to confess to a crime that you did not commit. You may also use this defense if the police conducted an illegal search and seizure that does not meet the requirements of the Fourth Amendment.  If the police plant evidence or use fabricated evidence, you could fight the charges on the grounds of police brutality. 

The defense of police misconduct may also come in handy if the police pose leading questions to witnesses during a line-up. Your defense attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence obtained through illegal means.  In the motion, the attorney requests the court/judge to dismiss all evidence that the police obtained using unlawful means.  If the court grants this motion, the prosecutor may not have adequate evidence to support the burglary case against you. The prosecutor may be willing to offer you a plea bargain or dismiss your charges.

Related Offenses

Certain offenses in Nevada are almost similar to the offense of burglary. The prosecutor may charge you with the related offenses alongside the burglary offense. The prosecutor may also charge you with a related offense as a plea bargain to burglary charges.  Some of the related offenses include:

Home Invasion

If you forcibly access or enter an inhabited dwelling or structure without the consent of the lawful occupant or owner, you may face home invasion charges under Nevada laws.  It does not matter whether the owner or lawful occupant of the structure was present at the time you accessed the dwelling.  Even if you do not end up stealing anything after entering the dwelling of another person, you will still face charges.  Nevada laws NRS 205.067 outlines the crime of home invasion. Home invasion is a category B felony under Nevada laws. Upon committing the crime of home invasion, you will face similar charges as committing burglary. 


The Nevada law NRS 205.0813 outlines the crime of housebreaking.  You may face housebreaking charges if you enter a vacant dwelling belonging to another person with the intention of unlawful residence. You will face gross misdemeanor charges for the first offense of housebreaking. This offense may subject you to 364 days in jail. 

Find a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me

Burglary is a severe and complex offense in Nevada. If you are facing burglary charges in Las Vegas, Nevada, you need a competent attorney to fight for you. The Law Offices of Martin Hart assists people facing burglary charges by crafting good defense strategies. Contact us at 702-380-4278 and speak to one of our attorneys.