What Is “Disturbing the Peace” in Las Vegas?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jul 31, 2016 | 0 Comments

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While what happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, if what happens in Vegas gets too out of hand, you could find yourself charged with disturbing the peace.

Referred to as a “breach of peace” in Nevada law, and sometimes also called “disorderly conduct,” disturbing the peace in Las Vegas can take a wide variety of forms.

“Crimes Against the Public Peace”

Nevada law contains a number of provisions grouped under the heading “Crimes Against the Public Peace,” which relate to specific activities such as:

  • disrupting a public meeting (NRS 203.090
  • rioting (NRS 203.070)
  • unlawful assembly (NRS 203.060)
  • using profanity or violence on public transportation (NRS 203.100)

Also made a crime under this section is “affray” which is defined as when “two or more persons shall, by agreement, fight in a public place, to the terror of the citizens of this state.” (NRS 203.050).

“Tumultuous and Offensive Conduct”

“Affray” aside, Nevada's main disturbing the peace law is NRS 203.010, which states that:

Every person who shall maliciously and willfully disturb the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person or family by loud or unusual noises, or by tumultuous and offensive conduct, threatening, traducing, quarreling, challenging to fight, or fighting, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

This statute is broad enough to cover all kinds of acts, given that it is hard to identify exactly when and what conduct is considered “tumultuous and offensive.”

Examples of Disturbing the Peace in Las Vegas

Some examples of conduct could get you charged with breach of the peace in Las Vegas include:

  • fighting (or “affray”) or challenging others to a fight
  • yelling obscenities loudly and repeatedly
  • playing loud music late at night
  • allowing your dog to bark at night for a long time
  • loudly running through hotel hallways or knocking on hotel room doors at night
  • Repeatedly shouting racial or ethnic slurs at others
  • Using any word, sign, or gesture to willfully provoke, or attempt to provoke, another person to commit a breach of the peace (NRS 203.030)

A breach of peace under NRS 203.010 will be prosecuted as a Nevada misdemeanor, which could result upon conviction in a jail sentence of up to six months and fines of up to $1,000.

If your good time in Las Vegas was seen by police or prosecutors as less than good and you are facing charges of disturbing the peace in Las Vegas, call one of our skilled Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys today to discuss your situation. (For information about California law, see our article, Eight Things That Will Get You Charged with Disorderly Conduct in California.)



About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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