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5 crimes that can get you "life without parole" (LWOP) in Nevada?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jul 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

Life in Nevada State Prison without the possibility of parole is a punishment for the following Nevada category A felony offenses:

  1. First-degree murder
  2. First-degree kidnapping with substantial bodily harm
  3. Sexual assault with substantial bodily harm
  4. A subsequent conviction of sexual assault of a child under 16
  5. Battery with the intent to commit sexual assault and which caused substantial bodily harm or involved strangulation

1. First-degree murder (NRS 200.030)

Murder of the first degree in Nevada comprises homicide that is either:

  • perpetrated by poison, lying in wait or torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate and premeditated killing; or
  • committed in the perpetration (or attempted perpetration) of sexual assault, kidnapping, arson, robbery, burglary, invasion of the home, sexual abuse of a child, sexual molestation of a child under the age of 14 years, child abuse or abuse of an older person or vulnerable person; or
  • committed to avoid or prevent the lawful arrest of any person by a peace officer or to effect the escape of any person from legal custody; or
  • committed on the property of a public or private school, at an activity sponsored by a public or private school, or on a school bus while the bus was engaged in its official duties, by a person who intended to create a great risk of death or substantial bodily harm to more than one person by means of a weapon, device or course of action that would normally be hazardous to the lives of more than one person; or
  • committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of an act of terrorism

Potential punishments for first-degree murder include:

  • death (only if one or more aggravating circumstances are found, and any mitigating circumstances do not outweigh the aggravating circumstance(s)); or
  • life in prison without the possibility of parole; or
  • life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years; or
  • 50 years in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years

Note that the death penalty in Nevada may not be imposed on people with an intellectual disability.

2. First-degree kidnapping with substantial bodily harm (NRS 200.310; NRS 200.320)

First-degree kidnapping in Nevada occurs when a person willfully seizes, confines, inveigles, entices, decoys, abducts, conceals, kidnaps or carries away a person by any means with the intent to hold or detain (or who holds or detains) the person:

  • for ransom, or reward, or
  • for the purpose of committing sexual assault, extortion, or robbery upon or from the person, or
  • for the purpose of killing the person or inflicting substantial bodily harm upon the person, or
  • to exact from relatives, friends, or any other person any money or valuable thing for the return or disposition of the kidnapped person

First-degree kidnapping also comprises a person who leads, takes, entices, or carries away or detains any minor with:

  • the intent to keep, imprison, or confine the minor from his or her parents, guardians, or any other person having lawful custody of the minor, or
  • the intent to hold the minor to unlawful service, or perpetrate upon the person of the minor any unlawful act

Possible punishments for first-degree kidnapping when the victim suffers substantial bodily harm during include:

  • life in prison without the possibility of parole; or
  • life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15; or
  • for 40 years in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years

3. Sexual assault with substantial bodily harm (NRS 200.366)

Sexual assault in Nevada occurs when a person:

  • subjects another person to sexual penetration without his/her consent; or
  • commits sexual penetration upon a child under the age of 14 years

Possible punishments for sexual assault causing substantial bodily harm include:

  • life in prison without the possibility of parole; or
  • life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years

4. Subsequent conviction of sexual assault of a child under 16 (NRS 200.366)

People convicted of a second or subsequent offense of sexually assaulting a child under 16 will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Note that it makes no difference whether the prior conviction occurred in Nevada or another jurisdiction.

5. Battery with intent to commit sexual assault and that caused substantial bodily harm or involved strangulation (NRS 200.400)

Battery in Nevada means any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person, such as punching, stabbing, or poisoning.

Possible punishments for battery with intent to commit sexual assault, and which caused substantial bodily harm to or involved strangulation of the victim, include:

  • life in prison without the possibility of parole; or
  • life in prison with the possibility of parole after 10 years

Learn more about Nevada criminal defense laws.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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