Nevada "Luring a Child or Minor" Laws (NRS 201.560)

The Nevada crime of luring under NRS 201.560 occurs when a person tries to contact a child, a minor or a mentally ill person with the intent of taking the victim away without the consent of his/her legal guardian.

Luring a child is a crime only if the child is under 16 years old and at least 5 years younger than the defendant with one exception:

If the purpose behind the luring was sexual, then the defendant can be convicted of luring even if the victim was at least 16 or within 5 years of the person's age -- all that matters is that the defendant believed that the victim was younger than 16 and at least 5 years younger.

The punishment for luring in Nevada turns on the defendant's intent and whether the luring involved the use of computers:

Nevada luring crime

Penalties

Cyber-luring

A category B felony in Nevada if the defendant intended for the victim to engage in sexual conduct:

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

A category C felony in Nevada if the defendant provided – or asked for – pornography

  • one to five (1 - 5) years in prison, and
  • up to $10,000 (at the judge's discretion)

Otherwise, a gross misdemeanor in Nevada, carrying:

  • up to 364 days in jail, and/or
  • up to $2,000 in fines

Luring without using a computer, system, or network

A category B felony if the defendant intended for the victim to engage in sexual conduct:

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

A category B felony if the defendant provided -- or asked for – pornography

  • one to six (1 - 6) years in prison, and
  • up to $10,000 (at the judge's discretion)

Otherwise, a gross misdemeanor, carrying:

  • up to 364 days in jail, and/or
  • up to $2,000 in fines

In addition, a conviction may carry a requirement to register as a Nevada sex offender.

It may be possible to persuade the D.A. to reduce or dismiss the charges as part of a Nevada plea bargain. Four common defenses to luring charges in Nevada are:

  1. the defendant's intent was to prevent harm to the victim;
  2. the legal guardian gave consent;
  3. the defendant did not knowingly make contact with the victim; or
  4. the defendant made no contact -- or attempt to contact -- the victim

In this article, our Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorneys discuss the following luring topics:

child and adult on computers
Luring a child is a crime in Nevada even if the defendant has no sexual intent.

1. Legal definition of luring in Nevada

Nevada makes it a crime to communicate with a child or mentally ill person under certain circumstances:

1.1. Luring children

The Nevada crime of luring a child is typically comprised of five "elements" that the prosecutor needs to prove:

  1. the defendant knowingly contacts or communicates (or attempts to do so) with a child;
  2. the child is less than 16 years old and is at least five (5) years younger than the defendant;
  3. the defendant has the intent to persuade, lure, or transport the child away;
  4. the defendant does not have the express consent of the child's parent or guardian (or other person legally responsible for the child); and
  5. the defendant has the intent to avoid the consent of the child's parent or guardian (or other person legally responsible for the child)

But if the purpose behind the defendant's conduct is sexual, then luring has only three "elements" that the prosecutor needs to prove:

  1. the defendant knowingly contacts or communicates (or attempts to do so) with a child;
  2. the defendant believes the child to be less than 16 years old and is at least five (5) years younger than the defendant (regardless of the child's actual age); and
  3. the defendant has the intent to solicit, persuade, or lure the person to engage in sexual conduct

Therefore a defendant can be convicted of luring an adult as long as the defendant believed that the adult was both less than 16 years old and at least five (5) years younger.

1.2. Luring the mentally ill

The Nevada crime of luring a mentally ill person has five "elements" that a prosecutor has to prove:

  1. the defendant knowingly contacts or communicates a mentally ill person;
  2. the defendant has the intent to persuade, lure, or transport the mentally ill person away;
  3. the defendant's purpose would endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the mentally ill person;
  4. the defendant does not have the express consent of the person legally responsible for the mentally ill person; and
  5. the defendant has the intent to avoid the consent of the person legally responsible for the mentally ill person.1

2. Penalties for luring in Nevada

stranger with child
Luring can be a felony or a gross misdemeanor in Nevada.

The punishment for luring depends on whether the defendant used a computer or network.

Note that the defendant may also be required to register as a sex offender in Nevada.

Also note that felony luring carries lifetime supervision under NRS 176.0931. But it may be possible to get off lifetime supervision after 10 years.

2.1. Cyber-luring

The Nevada crime of luring through the use of a computer, system or network is a category B felony if the defendant intended to cause the victim to engage in sexual conduct. The sentence is:

  • one to ten (1 - 10) years in prison, and
  • up to $10,000 (at the judge's discretion)

Note that it does not matter if the sexual conduct is intended to be with the defendant or someone else.

Meanwhile, it is a category C felony to provide the victim -- or ask the victim to provide -- "material that is harmful to minors." The sentence carries:

  • one to five (1 - 5) years in prison, and
  • up to $10,000 (at the judge's discretion)

"Material that is harmful to minors" typically includes any kind of pornography.

Otherwise, cyber-luring is a gross misdemeanor, carrying:

  • up to 364 days in jail, and/or
  • up to $2,000 in fines

2.2. Luring without a computer, system, or network

The Nevada crime of luring without the use of a computer, system or network turn is a category B felony if the defendant intended to cause the victim to engage in sexual conduct. The sentence is:

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

Note that it does not matter if the sexual conduct is intended to be with the defendant or someone else.

Meanwhile, it also a category B felony to provide the victim -- or ask the victim to provide -- "material that is harmful to minors." The sentence carries:

  • one to six (1 - 6) years in prison, and
  • up to $10,000 (at the judge's discretion)

"Material that is harmful to minors" typically includes any kind of pornography.

Otherwise, luring is a gross misdemeanor, carrying:

  • up to 364 days in jail, and/or
  • up to $2,000 in fines2

3. Fighting luring charges in Nevada

child looking at adult hand
There are many possible defenses to Nevada charges of luring.

Common defenses that could get an NRS 201.560 charge dismissed include:

  • the defendant's intent was to prevent imminent bodily, emotional, or psychological harm to the victim;3
  • the parent or legal guardian gave consent;
  • the defendant did not knowingly make contact with the victim;
  • the defendant made no contact -- or attempt to contact -- the victim

It may also be possible to get felony luring charges reduced to a misdemeanor by showing that either:

  • the defendant had no intent for the victim to engage in sexual conduct; or
  • the defendant did not provide -- or ask to be provided -- with pornography

And if the police may have conducted an unlawful Nevada search, the defendant can file a Nevada motion to suppress evidence that was found through this unlawful search. If the judge grants the motion, the D.A. may be left with too little evidence to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

4. Luring as a deportable offense in Nevada

It is possible for an NRS 201.560 violation to qualify as a crime involving moral turpitude in Nevada. Therefore, non-U.S. citizens who have been arrested are strongly advised to hire experienced counsel to attempt to get the charges reduced to a non-deportable offense or dismissed. Learn more about the criminal defense of immigrants in Nevada.

5. Sealing luring records in Nevada

If a luring charge gets dismissed, then there is no waiting period to petition the court for a record seal.4 But if the defendant gets convicted, then there is a waiting period that depends on the specific category of crime that the defendant was convicted of.5

Category of Nevada luring conviction

Waiting period to get a Nevada record seal

Category B felony

5 years after the case closes

Category C felony

5 years after the case closes

Gross misdemeanor

2 years after the case closes

Note that pursuing a record seal involves a lot of paperwork and takes several months. Learn more about how to get a record seal in Nevada.

6. Related offenses

6.1. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor (NRS 201.090, NRS 201.100, NRS 201.110)

The Nevada crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor occurs when a person causes a child to either:

menacing shadow over hopscotch drawing on ground
Contributory delinquency is a misdemeanor in Nevada.
  • beg in public, be destitute, be homeless, or live in a brothel or other unfit home;
  • have no adult supervision, be in the company of criminals, or in a saloon;
  • take drugs or alcohol or otherwise break the law; or
  • miss school habitually or lead an idle or immoral life

This offense is a misdemeanor in Nevada, carrying:

  • up to 6 months in jail, and/or
  • up to $1,000 in fines

6.2. Selling or furnishing alcohol to a minor (NRS 202.055)

The Nevada crime of furnishing alcohol to a minor occurs when a person either sells, makes available, or gives money to buy alcohol to a person under 21-years-old. Violating NRS 202.055 is a misdemeanor, carrying:

  • up to 6 months in jail, and/or
  • up to $1,000 in fines

If the defendant sold or otherwise distributed alcohol over the internet, it is also a misdemeanor for failing to safeguard against minors obtaining the alcohol. The penalty is $500 in fines.

6.3. Loitering by a school or public place where kids congregate (NRS 207.270)

The Nevada crime of loitering occurs when a person hangs out by a school or other place where children gather without a legitimate reason. Loitering is a misdemeanor, carrying:

  • up to 6 months in jail, and/or
  • up to $1,000 in fines

But if the defendant was on the Nevada Sex Registry, the judge may revoke probation and remand him/her to prison.

6.4. Soliciting a child for prostitution (NRS 201.354)

The Nevada crime of soliciting a child for prostitution occurs when a person offers a child under 18 years old to trade sexual favors for money. A first-time offense is a category E felony in Nevada, which is usually probationable. Otherwise, the punishment is:

  • 1 to 4 years in prison, and
  • up to $5,000 in fines (at the judge's discretion)
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Arrested in Nevada? Our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys want to help try to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a FREE consultation.

Arrested in California? See our article on arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes | 288.4 PC.

Arrested in Colorado? See our article on internet luring in Colorado | 18-3-306 C.R.S.


Legal References

  1. NRS 201.560 Definitions; exceptions; penalties.

          1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, a person commits the crime of luring a child if the person knowingly contacts or communicates with or attempts to contact or communicate with:

          (a) A child who is less than 16 years of age and who is at least 5 years younger than the person with the intent to persuade, lure or transport the child away from the child's home or from any location known to the child's parent or guardian or other person legally responsible for the child to a place other than where the child is located, for any purpose:

                 (1) Without the express consent of the parent or guardian or other person legally responsible for the child; and

                 (2) With the intent to avoid the consent of the parent or guardian or other person legally responsible for the child; or

          (b) Another person whom he or she believes to be a child who is less than 16 years of age and at least 5 years younger than he or she is, regardless of the actual age of that other person, with the intent to solicit, persuade or lure the person to engage in sexual conduct.

          2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, a person commits the crime of luring a person with mental illness if the person knowingly contacts or communicates with a person with mental illness with the intent to persuade, lure or transport the person with mental illness away from his or her home or from any location known to any person legally responsible for the person with mental illness to a place other than where the person with mental illness is located:

          (a) For any purpose that a reasonable person under the circumstances would know would endanger the health, safety or welfare of the person with mental illness;

          (b) Without the express consent of the person legally responsible for the person with mental illness; and

          (c) With the intent to avoid the consent of the person legally responsible for the person with mental illness.

          3. The provisions of this section do not apply if the contact or communication is made or attempted with the intent to prevent imminent bodily, emotional or psychological harm to the child, person believed to be a child or person with mental illness.

          4. A person who violates or attempts to violate the provisions of this section through the use of a computer, system or network:

          (a) With the intent to engage in sexual conduct with the child, person believed to be a child or person with mental illness or to cause the child, person believed to be a child or person with mental illness to engage in sexual conduct, is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 10 years and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $10,000;

          (b) By providing the child, person believed to be a child or person with mental illness with material that is harmful to minors or requesting the child, person believed to be a child or person with mental illness to provide the person with material that is harmful to minors, is guilty of a category C felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130; or

          (c) If paragraph (a) or (b) does not apply, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

          5. A person who violates or attempts to violate the provisions of this section in a manner other than through the use of a computer, system or network:

          (a) With the intent to engage in sexual conduct with the child, person believed to be a child or person with mental illness or to cause the child, person believed to be a child or person with mental illness to engage in sexual conduct, is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 2 years and a maximum term of not more than 15 years and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $10,000;

          (b) By providing the child, person believed to be a child or person with mental illness with material that is harmful to minors or requesting the child, person believed to be a child or person with mental illness to provide the person with material that is harmful to minors, is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 6 years and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $10,000; or

          (c) If paragraph (a) or (b) does not apply, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

          6. As used in this section:

          (a) “Computer” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 205.4735.

          (b) “Harmful to minors” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 201.257.

          (c) “Material” means anything that is capable of being used or adapted to arouse interest, whether through the medium of reading, observation, sound or in any other manner.

          (d) “Network” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 205.4745.

          (e) “Person with mental illness” means a person who has any mental dysfunction leading to impaired ability to maintain himself or herself and to function effectively in his or her life situation without external support.

          (f) “Sexual conduct” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 201.520.

          (g) “System” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 205.476.

    See, e.g., Katelyn Newberg, "Man accused of inappropriate contact with Las Vegas student", Las Vegas Review-Journal (March 9, 2019).

  2. Id.; NRS 201.257 “Harmful to minors” defined. “Harmful to minors” means that quality of any description or representation, whether constituting all or a part of the material considered, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sado-masochistic abuse which predominantly appeals to the prurient, shameful or morbid interest of minors, is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable material for minors, and is without serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
  3. Id.
  4. NRS 179.255.
  5. NRS 179.245.

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