NRS 202.595 - Nevada "Reckless Endangerment" Laws

NRS 202.595 is the Nevada law which makes it a crime to recklessly endanger others' safety. The statute states:

[A] person who performs any act or neglects any duty imposed by law in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property shall be punished:

      1.  If the act or neglect does not result in the substantial bodily harm or death of a person, for a gross misdemeanor.

      2.  If the act or neglect results in the substantial bodily harm or death of a person, for a category C felony as provided in NRS 193.130.

On this page, our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers explain the Nevada crime of "reckless endangerment" under NRS 202.595 and how we may be able to fight these kinds of charges. 

man being arrested (NRS 202.595)
Reckless endangerment can be punished as a gross misdemeanor or a felony in Nevada under NRS 202.595.

Definition of reckless endangerment in Nevada under NRS 202.595

The legal definition of reckless endangerment in Nevada applies when someone allegedly "neglects any duty imposed by law in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property."  Common situations where people may find themselves arrested for reckless endangerment in Las Vegas include:

  • Setting off legal fireworks too close to other people or structures
  • Jaywalking on a particularly busy street
  • Not supervising a child at a playground

As you can see, this is a very broad crime that can implicate anyone for any action that a police officer suspects might have been done on purpose and might prove dangerous.  But because reckless endangerment in Las Vegas is so subjective, the prosecutors may be more amenable to plea bargaining the case.

Note that bicycling under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be a type of reckless endangerment. For more information about the Nevada crime of bicycling under the influence, see our article on the Nevada crime of bicycling under the influence. Reckless endangerment is also an offense that comes into play at special events with large crowds, such as EDC or Burning Man. See our article on Nevada Burning Man crimes.

Defenses to Nevada charges of reckless endangerment

If you've been charged with reckless endangerment in Nevada, remember that the court cannot convict you unless the prosecution proves you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  So if your attorney can convince the prosecutors that their evidence is too weak or insufficient to win at trial, your case may get dismissed completely or else lessened to a minor charge.  Some defenses your attorney might consider using in these kinds of cases include:

  • You didn't behave recklessly.  If the attorney can show you acted only negligently or by accident, a reckless conviction charge cannot stand.
  • You didn't pose any threat.  Perhaps the police officer overreacted to your behavior and unduly feared that your actions could result in harm.
  • Exculpatory evidence.  Perhaps there were eyewitnesses or a video-recording of your behavior that demonstrates your innocence
  • Mistaken identity.  Perhaps a crime did occur but the cop simply arrested the wrong person.

Penalties for reckless endangerment in Nevada under 202.595

The punishments a Clark County court may impose for a Las Vegas reckless endangerment conviction depend upon the severity of the incident.  As long as no one sustained substantial bodily harm in Nevada (NRS 0.060) or got killed from the alleged offense, reckless endangerment is treated as a gross misdemeanor carrying:

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

But if the incident allegedly did result in someone dying or getting seriously hurt, then reckless endangerment in Nevada is considered a category C felony carrying:

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

Depending on the case, the prosecutor may be willing to plea bargain a reckless endangerment charge down to just a minor misdemeanor such as jaywalking in Nevada (NRS 484B.287) or breaching the peace in Nevada (NRS 203.010).  Breaching the peace in Nevada carries a lesser sentence of:

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

We're here to help YOU . . . .

No matter what kind of criminal case you're facing in Nevada, it may be possible for us to persuade the state to lower your charges to something more minor or to dismiss them altogether.  Call our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free consultation today.

Also see our article on failure to register a drone.

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