Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Nevada DUI Laws to learn more.
At what point is helping a fugitive illegal in Nevada?
Hiding a fugitive from the police is illegal in Nevada if you know the person has escaped jail, prison, or police custody. If you are truly unaware that the person is on the run, you should not face charges for concealing them.1
Example: After escaping from a prison bus, Jim runs into a motel and asks for a room. Since the motel clerk has no idea that Jim is wanted by police, he is committing no crime by renting him a room.
What are the penalties for concealing a fugitive in Nevada?
Your punishment for knowingly hiding people who escaped from custody in Nevada depends on the crime(s) they were arrested for, charged with, or convicted of.
Concealing a gross misdemeanor-level fugitive is a gross misdemeanor, carrying up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $2,000.
Concealing a misdemeanor-level fugitive is a misdemeanor, carrying up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1,000.2
Is being an accessory different from concealing a fugitive?
Acting as an “accessory after the fact” is a broader crime than concealing a fugitive in Nevada. Being an accessory is trying to keep a criminal from being brought to justice by either:
destroying or hiding material evidence of their crime; or
harboring or concealing them, whether or not they are on the run from police.3
Example: Harry shows up at his friend Tom’s door and confesses to burgling a store. Tom agrees to hide the stolen goods until the coast clears. Here, Tom would face accessory charges because he is hiding evidence of a crime, not Harry himself.
The penalties for being an accessory are the same – or similar – to concealing a fugitive.4
If the fugitive is escaping arrest or incarceration for a felony, hiding them carries a fine and/or up to five years in Federal Prison. If the crime is a non-felony, hiding them carries a fine and/or up to one year in prison.5 Finally, hiding a fugitive who escapedFederal Prison carries up to 3 years in prison.6
As with Nevada law, federal law requires that you know the person is a fugitive in order for you to be criminally responsible for hiding them:
Example: Audrey escapes from prison in San Francisco and flees to Las Vegas, where she hides in her friend Greg’s casita. The U.S. Marshals Service tracks down Audrey and arrests both Audrey as well as Greg for concealing Audrey. Though since Greg had no knowledge that Audrey was hiding in his casita, the U.S. Attorney’s Office eventually drops the charges against Greg.
How do I fight Nevada charges for hiding fugitives?
From our experience with clients charged with hiding fugitives in Nevada, our attorneys rely on three primary defenses to get prosecutors to drop or reduce these cases to a lesser offense:
You were unaware that the person you were helping was a fugitive.
Nothing you did was “concealing or harboring.”
Someone falsely accused you.
The D.A. bears the high burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As long as we can show the state’s evidence is too holey to sustain guilt, the judge should dismiss the charges.
NRS 212.130 – Concealing escaped prisoner (“A person who knowingly conceals, or harbors for the purpose of concealment, a prisoner who has escaped or is escaping from custody shall be punished, according to the charge or conviction or sentence upon which the prisoner was held[.]”)
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, 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.