Yes. In 2015, the Nevada Legislature created the new crime of "housebreaking." "Housebreaking” under Nevada law is entering a vacant dwelling for the purpose of unlawful residency (“squatting”). The elements of housebreaking under NRS 205.0813 are:
- the suspect forcibly enters an uninhabited or vacant dwelling, and
- the suspect knows (or has reason to believe) that such entry is without the permission of the owner or an authorized representative, and
- the suspect has the intent to take up residence or provide a residency to another.
Examples of dwellings are houses, hotel rooms, dorms, houseboats, motor homes, and guest houses. A person can still be convicted of housebreaking even if he/she does not end up squatting there.
A first housebreaking conviction is a gross misdemeanor carrying up to 364 days in jail, and/or a fine of up to $2,000. A second or subsequent housebreaking offense is a category D felony carrying 1-4 years in Nevada State Prison, and maybe a fine of up to $5,000. And if the defendant has three or more housebreaking convictions, the court must sentence him/her to prison.
Common housebreaking defenses include that the building does not qualify as a dwelling, there was no forcible entry, there was no intent to squat, or the suspect reasonably believed he/she had permission to enter. For more information, see our article, "Is squatting a crime in Nevada?"