Hitting a pedestrian in Nevada - When is it a crime?

woman on cell phone after a car accident involving a pedestrian

Nevada Criminal Charges for Hitting or Running Over a Pedestrian

In Nevada, there are several different crimes you can be charged with if you hit or run over a pedestrian with your vehicle. The specific offense will depend on:

  • The circumstances of the accident,
  • The injuries to the pedestrian, 
  • Whether you were under the influence,
  • Your prior criminal record (if any), and 
  • What you did after the accident.

Statistically speaking, Nevada is one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians.1 In addition to facing criminal charges, if you hit a pedestrian in Nevada, you could be hit with a pedestrian accident lawsuit by your victim for the costs of his or her medical expenses, lost wages and attorney's fees.

Let's take a closer look at some of the specific crimes you might be charged with if you strike a pedestrian with your car in Nevada. Note that these criminal offenses are in addition to any moving violations you may be charged with for an underlying traffic offense.

Nevada DUI

If you hit a pedestrian while you are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, you can be charged with a Nevada DUI, even if:

  • The pedestrian wasn't hurt, or
  • Your intoxication wasn't the cause of the accident.

And if you are legally intoxicated and the pedestrian is seriously hurt or killed, you might be charged with Nevada felony DUI causing injury or death. Penalties for DUI in Nevada that results in death or injury can include:

  • Up to 20 years in prison, and
  • A fine of up to $5,000.

Other consequences of felony DUI in Nevada can include suspension or revocation of your driver's license and the requirement that you install a Nevada ignition interlock device as a condition of reinstating your driving privilege.2

Vehicular Homicide

If you kill someone while driving under the influence and you have three or more prior DUI convictions, you can be charged with violating Nevada's vehicular homicide law.3

Penalties for vehicular homicide in Nevada can include 25 years to life in prison.

Felony Reckless Driving

If you hit and kill a pedestrian as the result of driving recklessly, you could be charged with Nevada felony reckless driving causing injury or death.

Penalties for felony reckless driving can include:

  • 1-6 years in Nevada State Prison, and
  • $2,000 to $5,000 in fines.

An experienced Nevada defense lawyer can sometimes negotiate a plea bargain that involves pleading guilty to Nevada reckless driving charges in exchange for the prosecutor dropping a weak vehicular homicide case.

Vehicular Manslaughter

Nevada's vehicular manslaughter law applies to drivers who negligently kill pedestrians when they are not under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.4

Vehicular manslaughter charges in Nevada often arise as the result of traffic violations such as:

  • Speeding, 
  • Failing to stop at a red light or stop sign, or
  • Texting while driving.

Vehicular manslaughter is a Nevada misdemeanor. Consequences of vehicular manslaughter can include:

  • Up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, and
  • maybe suspension of your Nevada driver's license.


If you hit a pedestrian and flee the scene and the pedestrian dies as a result of injuries caused by the accident, you could be charged with Nevada felony hit-and-run.

Penalties for hit-and-run in Nevada can include:

  • 2-15 years in prison, 
  • A fine of up to $5,000, and
  • Possible suspension or revocation of your driver's license.5

Arrested for Hitting a Pedestrian in Nevada? Call us for help…

If you were arrested for a car accident in which a pedestrian was hurt or killed, we invite you to contact our Las Vegas, Nevada criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation.

We know that accidents are just that – accidents. Our compassionate Nevada and criminal defense and DUI attorneys will help you find the best defenses to your charges of hitting, injuring or killing a pedestrian. Then we will fight aggressively to keep you out of jail and protect your right to drive. Or if what you need is help for a substance abuse problem, we will work to see that you get it.

Other Nevada communities we serve include Reno and Henderson.

To schedule your free in-person or telephone consultation, call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673). Or simply fill out and submit the form on this page.

Legal references:

  1. Mick Akers, "Nevada among the most dangerous states for pedestrians", Las Vegas Review-Journal (November 4, 2019).
  2. NRS 484C.430.
  3. NRS 484C.130.
  4. NRS 484B.657.
  5. NRS 484E.010.


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