Nevada "Stalking" Laws
Explained by Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys

Many innocent people get arrested on Las Vegas stalking charges for doing nothing wrong. Sometimes they are falsely accused, and sometimes their harmless behavior was misconstrued as dangerous. But if convicted, they face hefty penalties and a marred criminal record that could dissuade potential employers from hiring them in the future.

On this page our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers explain the basics of Nevada stalking law.

The Legal Definition of "Stalking" in Nevada Law

Stalking is a kind of harassment that makes people reasonably fear for their own safety or for the safety of their family or housemates. The legal definition of stalking in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the following:

A person who, without lawful authority, willfully or maliciously engages in a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed or fearful for the immediate safety of a family or household member, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed or fearful for the immediate safety of a family or household member, commits the crime of stalking. (NRS 200.575)

Therefore people may be convicted of stalking in Las Vegas even if they did not mean to cause fear . . . As long as their deliberate conduct was objectively construed as frightening or harassing, they may face stalking charges. Common examples of stalking include following someone on the street or on the road or contacting them too frequently.

Defenses

Remember that getting charged with a crime does not necessarily mean you will ultimately be convicted. Many Nevada stalking cases get dismissed or pleaded down to something minor when the defense attorneys demonstrate to the prosecutors that they simply do not have enough evidence to sustain a guilty verdict.

Which strategy would be most effective in any one Nevada stalking case turns wholly on the circumstances, but the following are some typical defenses your attorney may explore using:

  • Your behavior fell under activities that you would normally do in the course of your job.
  • The "victim" is lying about your behavior out of revenge, anger, or other motivations. Or else your behavior did not rise to the level of stalking.
  • You were acting as a reporter, photographer or other legitimate news-gatherer.
  • Your alleged actions were otherwise constitutionally protected under freedom of speech and assembly.

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Penalties

The punishment for stalking in Nevada turns on the person's criminal history, the extent of the stalking, and if it involved the internet. The judge may also order the suspect to stay away from the victim as part of a protective order in Nevada.

Standard penalties

In cases that did not involve the internet or did not cause the victim to fear substantial bodily harm in Nevada or death, a first offense of stalking in Las Vegas is only a misdemeanor in Nevada carrying the following penalties:

  • up to 6 months in jail, and/or
  • up to a $1,000 fine

And a second or subsequent offense of stalking in Clark County is a Nevada gross misdemeanor, which mandates these penalties:

  • up to 364 days in jail, and/or
  • up to a $2,000 fine

Fear of death or substantial bodily harm

If a suspect in an alleged stalking incident also intentionally threatened the "victim" with death or what is defined as substantial bodily harm in Nevada, then the prosecutor will bring charges for "aggravated stalking." This is treated as a category B felony in Nevada carrying a sentence of:

Use of internet

In cases where the alleged stalking involved the internet, email, text-messaging or something similar in a way that increases the risk of harm or violence to the "victim," the prosecutor will then bring charges for a category C felony in Las Vegas. The sentence includes:

  • 1 to 5 years Nevada State Prison and
  • maybe a $10,000 fine

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Protective Orders

Depending on the circumstances of an alleged stalking case in Nevada, the court may also order the "suspect" to abide by a temporary protective order (TPO) or extended protective order to stay away from the "victim" for a fixed period of time and to abide by various conditions. (NRS 200.591)

Intentionally violating a temporary order is a Nevada gross misdemeanor, carrying these penalties:

  • up to 364 days in jail, and/or
  • up to a $2,000 fine

And intentionally breaking an extended order is a category C felony in Las Vegas, which includes the following sentence:

  • 1 to 5 years imprisonment, and
  • maybe a $10,000 fine

Click here to learn more about violating a protective order in Nevada.

Non-citizens

Immigrants or other non-citizens accused of breaking Las Vegas stalking law face deportation because it may be considered a "crime involving moral turpitude" (CIMT) in Nevada. Any alien facing stalking charges should retain counsel to try to get their case reduced to a non-removable offense.

Phone us for help now . . . .

Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers have decades of experience in negotiating stalking cases to hopefully get your charges dismissed outright or reduced to a lesser offense. If you have been arrested for stalking in Las Vegas, then please call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation today.

To learn about California stalking law, go to our page on California stalking law. For more information refer to our articles on protective order in Nevada, misdemeanor in Nevada, category B felony in Nevada, Nevada sexual harassment laws, violating a protective order in Nevada, Nevada sexual harassment laws, and crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT).

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