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5 crimes that will get you life in prison in Nevada

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jul 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

It is not surprising that the most serious Nevada crimes including murder, sexual assault, and kidnapping may carry life in Nevada State Prison as a possible punishment. But five other, lesser-known Nevada offenses also carry potential life in prison, including:

  1. Attempt murder by poison
  2. Sexual abuse of a child under 14 causing substantial bodily or mental harm
  3. Involuntary servitude of minors
  4. Child pornography
  5. Battery with intent to commit sexual assault

1. Attempted murder by poison (NRS 200.390)

Willfully and maliciously administering any poison with the intention to cause the death of the person is a category A felony in Nevada, carrying:

  • life in prison with the possibility of parole after 5 years, or
  • 15 years in prison with the possibility of parole after 5 years

Note that attempted murder by means other than poison is only a category B felony in Nevada, carrying 2 to 20 years in prison.

2. Sexual abuse of a child under 14 causing substantial bodily or mental harm (NRS 200.508)

Causing substantial bodily or mental harm to a child under 14 through sexual abuse or exploitation is a category A felony in Nevada. The maximum sentence is life in prison with the possibility of parole:

If the defendant willfully caused the child abuse, parole eligibility begins after 15 years. If the defendant merely "allowed" the child to be abused, parole eligibility begins after 10 years.

3. Involuntary servitude of minors (NRS 200.4631)

Involuntary servitude of a child under 18 occurs when a person either:

  • obtains labor or services from the minor by:
    • causing (or threatening to cause) serious harm to the minor, or
    • engaging in a pattern of conduct that results in physical injury to the minor, sexual abuse of the minor, or sexual assault of the minor pursuant to NRS 200.366; or
  • benefits financially (or by receiving anything of value other than sexual gratification) from the labor or services obtained by threats or harm

Involuntary servitude of a minor is a category A felony carrying life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years as well as a minimum fine of $50,000. 

4. Making or promoting child pornography (NRS 200.710 & NRS 200.720 & NRS 200.750)

It is a category A felony in Nevada to use a minor to produce pornography or to promote child pornography. A conviction carries life in prison with the possibility of parole. If the minor is less than 14, parole eligibility begins after 10 years. If the minor is 14 or older, parole eligibility begins after 5 years.

Additionally, a conviction of making or promoting child pornography carries a maximum fine of $100,000.

5. Battery with intent to commit sexual assault (NRS 200.400)

The Nevada definition of battery is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence on another person. Examples include pushing, kicking, or slapping. Committing battery with intent to commit sexual assault is a category A felony carrying life in prison. Whether or not there is parole eligibility depends on the circumstances of the case:

If the battery results in substantial bodily harm or involves strangulation, the penalty may be either:

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

If the battery does not result in substantial bodily harm, then the penalty depends on the age of the victim: If the victim is 16 or older, the penalty range is 2 years in prison to life in prison with the possibility of parole; if the victim is under 16, the penalty range is 5 years in prison to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

In addition, the court may impose a $10,000 fine.

Learn more about Nevada criminal defense laws.

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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