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What is the difference between residential and commercial burglary in Nevada?
In Nevada, residential burglary is entering a home with the intent to commit a crime inside. Commercial burglary is entering a business with the intent to commit a crime inside. Residential burglary carries up to 10 years in prison while commercial burglary carries up to five years. But if the burglar had a deadly weapon, then both residential and commercial burglary carry up to 15 years in prison.
What is burglary in Nevada?
Burglary (NRS 205.060) is the entry into a structure with the intent to commit any of the following criminal offenses while inside:
Note that it is not necessary that the defendant actually commit one of the above crimes. Merely having the intent to commit the crime while the defendant is entering the structure qualifies as burglary.
Also note that breaking and entering is not an element of burglary. People can still be convicted of burglary if they sneaked in through an open door or window.2
What is residential burglary?
Residential burglary is burglary that occurs in a dwelling. A dwelling means any of the following locations where a person has a home or is temporarily residing:
motor home, or
A person can get convicted of residential burglary even if he/she enters the dwelling while it is unoccupied and no one is there.3
What is commercial burglary?
Commercial burglary is burglary that occurs in a business structure. A business structure means any structure, building, or office complex where the primary purpose is to carry out a business for an educational, industrial, benevolent, social or political purpose. It does not matter whether the business is for-profit or non-profit.
As with residential burglary, commercial burglary can be committed even if no one is inside at the time when the burglar enters.4
Burglary with a deadly weapon always carries two to 15 years in prison.
What are the penalties?
If the defendant had a gun or deadly weapon at the time, burglary is prosecuted in Nevada as a category B felony. The setting does not matter. The punishment is:
2 to 15 years in prison, and
Up to $10,000 in fines (at the judge’s discretion)
Without a deadly weapon, residential burglary is also a category B felony. But the sentence is lower: 1 to 10 years in prison. The court may grant probation and a suspended sentence if the defendant has no prior unlawful entry or burglary offenses and if there are mitigating circumstances. (An example of a mitigating circumstances is that the defendant confessed right away.)
Without a deadly weapon, commercial burglary is a category C felony. The sentence is 1 to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines (at the judge’s discretion).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, 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.