Is it home invasion in Nevada if no one was home?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jun 07, 2018 | 0 Comments

Yes. The Nevada offense of invasion of the home under NRS 205.067 occurs when a person forcibly enters an inhabited dwelling without permission of the lawful occupant or owner whether or not anyone was physically in the home at the time.

So for a break-in to qualify as the Nevada crime of home invasion, the home just needs to be lived-in -- but there does not need to be anyone present at the time of the break-in. Henderson criminal defense attorney Michael Becker gives an example:

Example: In Las Vegas, Jason breaks into an unoccupied home that is currently on the market. When he goes inside, he sees a cleaning person there vacuuming the carpets for the open house the following day. Down the street, Max breaks into a home that is lived in but that he knows is empty because the occupants are at work. Both Jason and Max get arrested, but only Max gets charged with home invasion. This is because the house Max broke into was inhabited even though the inhabitants were not there at the time. But Jason does not get charged with home invasion because the house he broke into was not occupied, even though there was a cleaner there.

In the above example, Jason would probably instead be charged with the Nevada crime of burglary, vandalism (a.k.a.) malicious mischief, and/or (if he intended to squat there) housebreaking. But Jason could not be convicted of home invasion because the dwelling he broke into was not currently lived in.

Penalties for Home Invasion in Nevada

Home invasion is charged as a category B felony in Nevada. The sentence includes:

  • One to ten (1 - 10) years in Nevada State Prison, and
  • up to $10,000 in fines (at the judge's discretion)

However, the sentence is increased if the defendant had a gun or lethal weapon at the time:

  • Two to fifteen (2 - 15) years in prison, and
  • up to $10,000 in fines (at the judge's discretion)

Probation is unavailable to defendants if they have prior convictions of invasion of the home or burglary.

As a category B felony, a conviction for invasion of the home may be sealed from the defendant's Nevada criminal record five (5) years after the case ends. Though if the case gets dismissed, the defendant can pursue a Nevada criminal record seal right away.

Note that there is also a chance that aliens convicted of violating NRS 205.067 face deportation as well.

Learn more about our Nevada criminal defense attorneys.

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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