Jaywalking in Las Vegas is normally a minor offense and is treated like a parking ticket. If you're caught J-walking you'll likely get a citation with a due date to pay a fine, and no points will be added to your Nevada Driver's License. But in certain cases jaywalking can become very serious . . .
Some Clark County courts levy extremely steep fines for jaywalking, and not paying in time can result in a misdemeanor conviction carrying higher fines or even jail. If you habitually jaywalk or have an outstanding warrant, a cop who catches you for jaywalking will arrest you. And sometimes J-walking can cause serious road accidents that lead to more serious charges in Nevada.
On this page our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers explain the law, defenses and penalties for jaywalking in Nevada. If you've been ticketed for jaywalking or are facing any other criminal offense, don't hesitate to call our office at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation about your case and how we can help.
The legal definition of jaywalking in Las Vegas, Nevada mandates that, "Between adjacent intersections at which official traffic-control devices are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk." (NRS 484B.287) In other words, you can't cross the middle of the street.
If you're caught J-walking in Clark County and the cop's not a jerk, he/she will often let you off with just a warning . . . Otherwise, you'll get a citation similar to a Nevada parking ticket with directions on how to pay the court fine. Jaywalking tends to be more rigorously enforced on the Strip because of the heavy traffic.
Jaywalking fees in Nevada vary court by court, and they usually range from $95 to $695. In Clark County, the typical jaywalking fee is $198 dollars.
Getting arrested for J-walking in Nevada is extremely rare, but it will happen in either of the following circumstances:
- The cop runs your name and sees you have an outstanding warrant,
- You're a habitual jaywalker or other repeat offender,
- You resist the cop giving you the citation, or
- You're on probation (thought whether or not the judge will revoke your probation is decided on a case-by-case basis).
And if your alleged jaywalking possibly caused a car accident in Nevada, the cop might detain you for questioning and possibly arrest you for jaywalking or a related crime.
Most people who are cited for jaywalking in Nevada pay the fine without disputing the charge, but there are various defenses to explore if you want to fight the case: Typical evidence would include eye-witnesses and surveillance video that reveal you may not have J-walked, or we could present photographs of the road itself to argue that the crosswalks weren't clearly marked.
Even if you don't wish to fight a Las Vegas jaywalking citation, it's still a good idea to retain counsel to try to get the fine lowered and to ensure the case gets completely dismissed following payment so your criminal record stays clean.
Jaywalking in Clark County is usually treated like just a parking ticket that can be taken care of by paying a fine, but because it is technically a misdemeanor it does go on your criminal record. And if you don't pay or if you take the matter to trial and are found guilty, you face the following sentence:
- up to six months in jail, and/or
- up to $1,000 in fines.
And because J-walking is just a misdemeanor in Nevada, it may be sealed from your criminal record after two years.
Because jaywalking is such a minor crime in Nevada, it may actually serve as an ideal plea bargain if you're facing more serious charges. In the past, criminal defense attorneys have convinced Clark County prosecutors to grant jaywalking convictions in lieu of convictions for petit larceny, possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding, and various other crimes.
Most jaywalking incidents in Nevada are harmless, but depending on the circumstances a cop may arrest a jaywalker for "reckless endangerment" or even "involuntary manslaughter" if a fatality results from it.
Reckless endangerment (NRS 202.595)
Reckless endangerment in Nevada occurs when someone allegedly "neglects any duty imposed by law in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property." So if a police officer believes that you were deliberately jaywalking in a careless way that could hurt someone else, you may face reckless endangerment charges.
If no death or substantial bodily harm results from an alleged act of reckless endangerment in Nevada, the charge will be a gross misdemeanor carrying up to $2,000 in fines and/or up to one year in jail. Otherwise, it will be charged as a category C felony carrying penalties of one to five years in prison and perhaps an additional fine of $10,000.
Involuntary manslaughter (NRS 200.070)
Involuntary manslaughter in Nevada is "the killing of a human being, without any intent to do so, in the commission of an unlawful act . . . " So for example if a cop believes your act of jaywalking directly caused an oncoming car to get in an accident and someone died, you may be arrested for involuntary manslaughter.
In Nevada, involuntary manslaughter is charged as a category D felony. The punishment includes one to four years in prison and perhaps an additional $5,000 fine.
Call us for help . . .
If you've been cited for jaywalking or are facing criminal charges for any other offense in Nevada, please call our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free phone meeting. We may be able to lower your fine or get your case dismissed completely.