"Invasion of the home" is a frequently prosecuted crime in Las Vegas. And like burglary, it not only carries prison time . . . it mars your record and may turn off potential employers from hiring you.
Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers have a long track record of negotiating our clients' charges down to full dismissals or lesser offenses without ever having to go to trial. To read about the law, defenses and penalties for the Nevada offense of invasion of the home, scroll further down:
The legal definition of "invasion of the home" in Las Vegas, Nevada, makes it a crime for someone to "forcibly enter an inhabited dwelling without permission of the owner (or lawful occupant) whether or not a person is present at the time of the entry."
Note that the Nevada offense of home invasion applies only to "inhabited dwellings" and not to places of business or abandoned properties. Specifically, an inhabited dwelling may be any structure, building, house, room, apartment, tenement, tent, conveyance, vessel, boat, vehicle, house trailer, travel trailer, motor home or railroad car in which the owner or other lawful occupant resides.
Home Invasion vs. Burglary
Home invasion and burglary are separate crimes in Nevada with completely different definitions and penalties:
The Nevada crime of burglary is the entry into a home, business, structure, vehicle, plane or railcar with the intent to commit a felony, larceny, obtaining money by false pretenses, assault or battery. (NRS 205.060)
Unlike home invasion, burglary may occur in any building or vehicle whether it is inhabited or not. Furthermore, someone may be convicted of burglary even if there was not a forcible entry. Finally, you are not guilty of burglary unless you intended to commit a crime when you entered.
Home Invasion vs. Robbery
Home invasion is also very different from the Nevada crime of robbery. Robbery is the unlawful taking of personal property from the person of another (or in their presence) against their will and by force or fear of injury. (NRS 200.380)
Unlike home invasion, robbery requires that a victim be present and that something gets stolen. So if someone breaks into a home while no one is there and steals a stereo, that person may be guilty of home invasion but not robbery because the house was vacant. But the defendant could be guilty of the Nevada crime of larceny for taking the stereo.
The Las Vegas crime of home invasion is a very specific offense that applies in relatively narrow circumstances. Therefore, it lends itself to many possible defenses such as:
- Permission to enter: You are not liable for invasion of the home if you were authorized to enter the home by the owner or lawful occupant. If the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you lacked permission to enter, the case may be thrown out.
- No forcible entry: You did not commit home invasion if the entry did not involve "any act of physical force resulting in damage to the structure." (NRS 205.067) If your attorney can show that you entered the home through an unlocked door or open window, then home invasion charges cannot stand.
- Unlawful police conduct: A judge may dismiss criminal charges if the cops acted illegally during the investigation. If your attorney can demonstrate that the state's evidence against you resulted from a faulty arrest, search or seizure, you may win the case by default.
The Las Vegas crime of home invasion is a category B felony in Nevada. The sentence includes:
- 1 - 10 years in Nevada State Prison, and
- maybe up to $10,000 in fines
But if the defendant possessed a firearm or deadly weapon at any point during the alleged home invasion, the punishment is increased to:
- 2 - 15 years in prison, and
- maybe up to $10,000 in fines
Note that a judge may not grant probation to a defendant convicted of home invasion in Nevada if that defendant has previously been convicted of home invasion or of burglary.
For non-citizens charged with this offense, home invasion might be considered an aggravated felony. Since aggravated felonies are deportable offenses in Nevada, it is important you hire representation right away to try to negotiate with prosecutors to change your charges to non-removable offenses.
Arrested? Call our lawyers . . . .
If you have been accused of home invasion under NRS 205.067, phone 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation. Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers may be able to negotiate with prosecutors in order to get the charges lowered or dismissed. And if necessary we are ready to fight for your rights at trial.
For more information go to our articles on: Nevada crime of burglary, category B felony in Nevada, and deportable offenses in Nevada.