Nevada "Carjacking" Laws
Explained by Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are arrested for carjacking in Nevada, the prosecution may slap you with a host of different felony charges: Auto-theft, robbery, assault, battery, and maybe attempted murder. A conviction for any one of these Las Vegas crimes may result in years in prison and will cause prospective employers to automatically disqualify you.

On this page, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss the basic definition and penalties for Nevada carjacking law. If you have been charged with this crime, then phone us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation to discuss how we may be able to fight your case.

Nevada Carjacking Law

The legal definition of carjacking in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the criminal taking of a motor vehicle from its driver by force, violence, or intimidation.

Unlike California carjacking law (Penal Code 215),1 Nevada does not have a law specifically defining the crime of carjacking. Instead, carjacking is a "cluster" of crimes usually including the following:

Depending on the circumstances of an alleged carjacking incident in Nevada, a suspect may be prosecuted for one or more of these offenses. And because carjacking is a federal as well as state crime, authorities may elect to bring federal charges instead of (or in addition to) state charges.


Because carjacking is actually an array of different Nevada crimes, there is no one single penalty range that pertains to every case. The final sentence is an aggregate of all the sentences for each individual offense the defendant is convicted of.

Below are the standard penalties for the separate offenses that may be charged in a Las Vegas carjacking case.

The Nevada crime of grand larceny of a motor vehicle (auto-theft) (NRS 205.228)

The typical sentence for a conviction of grand larceny of a motor vehicle in Nevada depends on the value of the car. If it is valued at $3,500 or more, Las Vegas auto-theft is charged as a category B felony in Nevada carrying:

  • 1 to 10 years in prison, and
  • up to $10,000 in fines, and
  • restitution

But if the car is worth less than $3,500, then Nevada auto-theft is charged as a category C felony in Nevada carrying:

  • 1 to 5 years in prison, and
  • maybe a fine of up to $10,000, and
  • restitution

The Nevada crime of robbery (NRS 200.380)

A Nevada robbery conviction carries the category B felony punishment of two to fifteen (2 - 15) years in prison. If a firearm or other deadly weapon is used in the commission of a Nevada crime, the judge may increase the sentence by up to 20 years as long as the enhancement does not exceed the underlying sentence. (NRS 193.165)

The Nevada crimes of battery (NRS 200.481)

The penalties for battery vary widely depending on whether a deadly weapon is used, whether substantial bodily injury in Nevada occurred, and whether it was committed on a protected class (such as a police officer).

On the low end, battery may be a misdemeanor in Las Vegas carrying up to six (6) months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. On the high end, battery may be a category A felony in Nevada with a possible life sentence.

The Nevada crime of murder (NRS 200.010)

The penalties for murder in Las Vegas can include death, life in prison, or a 25-year sentence, with or without the possibility or parole.

Federal carjacking law (18 U.S.C. 2119 - The Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992)

Unlike state law, federal law has one statute meant specifically to govern carjacking crimes. If someone is convicted of carjacking under federal law, the standard punishment includes:

  • If no serious injury or death occurs, up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine, OR
  • If serious bodily injury results, up to 25 years in prison and/or a fine, OR
  • If death results, up to a life sentence and/or a fine.

For more information, read our article on federal carjacking law.

Accused of a crime? We will fight for you . . .

If you are facing state or federal carjacking charges, then phone our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free phone meeting. We may be able to negotiate your charges down or get them dismissed completely so your criminal record stays clean and you avoid trial.

Learn about the California crime of carjacking.

1Visit our page on Penal Code 215 for a complete discussion of California carjacking laws.

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