In this section, our attorneys explain Nevada’s criminal laws and legal concepts, A to Z
Sexual Assault » Statute of Limitations for Sexual Assault
Nevada has a twenty (20) year statute of limitations for sexual assault (NRS 200.366) criminal prosecutions. But if the purported victim of the rape files a police report within 20 years of the alleged rape, then there are no criminal statutes of limitations — the D.A. can press charges anytime.1
And as of 2019, there is no time limit for prosecutors to bring sexual assault cases when the identity of the person accused of committing the crime is established by DNA evidence.2
Sexual assault (a.k.a. rape) is defined under Nevada law as having penetrative sex without the other person’s consent. After murder, it is the most serious crime in Nevada.
NRS 200.366 prohibits all types of non-consensual penetrative sexual activity, such as:
Note that non-consensual sexual touching that involves no penetration — like groping — is prosecuted not as rape but rather as the Nevada crime of open and gross lewdness (NRS 201.210). And if there is no penetration – and the other person is under 16 – the perpetrator may instead face charges for the Nevada crime of lewdness with a minor (NRS 201.230).
Yes. A person indicates a lack of consent to sex not only by saying no or shaking one’s head no. Not giving consent is presumed when the person is too intoxicated or incapacitated to willingly give consent in the first place. This typically happens with the person is either:
Rape is charged the same way no matter whether the people involved are strangers or in a relationship. Rape can even occur between spouses, though arguably it is not criminal in Nevada for one spouse to have non-consensual sex with the other as long as it is unforced (such as if the other spouse is asleep). Learn more about spousal rape.4
Other potential defenses to rape charges that a criminal defense attorney can raise include that the defendant was falsely accused, or that no sexual penetration occurred.
The crime of sexual assault is a category A felony under Nevada state law. The penalties turn on the victim’s age, whether the victim was injured, and the defendant’s criminal history:
Age of victim in Nevada sexual assault case
Penalties for Nevada sexual assault conviction
|16 years of age or older||
|Under 16, and the defendant has no prior conviction(s) of sexual assault or a sexual offense against a child||
|Under 16, and the defendant has a prior conviction(s) of sexual assault or a sexual offense against a child||
In addition, convicted defendants must register as sex offenders.5
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, Court TV, 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.
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The firm of Las Vegas Defense Group recently won a resounding victory in a high-profile sexual assault case involving a former Nye County Sheriff’s deputy. Charges for the Nevada crime of sexual assault and the Nevada crime of kidnapping were dismissed before trial, and a jury thereafter fully acquitted the defendant on charges of sexual ...
Beginning January 1, 2017, California has several new laws affecting people charged with sexual assault. The new laws have been inspired by high-profile cases such as the allegations against entertainer Bill Cosby and the light sentence handed down to convicted Stanford swimmer Brock Turner. The first important change is the complete elimination of any statute of limitations ...
Earlier this year, a California rape case attracted nationwide attention. A Stanford University athlete, Brock Turner, was convicted of sexually assaulting an intoxicated unconscious woman–and sentenced to probation with only six months in jail. Advocates for sexual assault victims were enraged by the light sentence given to a privileged defendant. Public outrage over the Brock ...