Our Las Vegas juvenile crimes lawyers fight to get our young clients’ delinquency and criminal charges substantially lessened or dismissed so their record remains clear. We craft each defense strategy with the long view in mind so that our clients’ cases have little-to-no effect on their future educational and employment opportunities.
Here are five key things to know about juvenile laws in Nevada:
- Juvenile Court has jurisdiction over cases where minors under 18 are suspected of criminal activity.
- In certain serious cases, minors can be tried (“certified”) as adults in criminal court.
- Typical juvenile penalties include community service, a driver’s license suspension, and counseling. In serious cases, the judge may order detention.
- Most juvenile crime records are automatically sealed when the child turns 21 years old.
- Similar to adults facing charges, juveniles have the right to a defense attorney. The court will appoint one if they or their family cannot afford private counsel.
Below our Las Vegas juvenile crimes lawyers answer frequently-asked-questions about Nevada delinquency laws and court processes:
- 1. Why hire Las Vegas Defense Group?
- 2. What is juvenile court in Las Vegas, Nevada?
- 3. Can children be charged as adults?
- 4. Do children have a right to an attorney?
- 5. How does the juvenile court process work?
- 6. What are the penalties?
- 7. What are the juvenile jails in Nevada?
- 8. Can juvenile records be sealed?
- 9. What if my child is on parole or probation in Nevada and we move to another state?
1. Why hire Las Vegas Defense Group?
When it comes to representing young people facing juvenile charges, Las Vegas Defense Group stands out as a trusted ally and advocate. We understand the unique challenges that arise in juvenile cases, and we are committed to providing comprehensive legal support tailored to the needs of our young clients.
Our team of experienced attorneys possesses a deep understanding of the juvenile justice system, its intricacies, and the potential consequences that can affect a young person’s future. We approach each case with compassion, recognizing that kids make mistakes and deserve a chance at redemption.
Our firm’s track record of success in juvenile defense speaks to our expertise and dedication. We work tirelessly to protect our clients’ rights, striving for outcomes that minimize the long-term impact of these charges. By choosing our firm, you can trust that you will have a skilled legal team on your side, fiercely advocating for the best interests and the bright future of your child.
2. What is juvenile court in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Juvenile court in Nevada is like a criminal court for children who allegedly violated the law while under 18 years old. Though instead of charging the kids with crimes, juvenile court alleges them of being either
- “delinquent” or
- “in need of supervision.”
Juvenile court judges are more concerned with rehabilitation than punishment.1
3. Can children be charged as adults?
With narrow exceptions, juveniles at 16 or 17 will be certified as adults in criminal court if they were accused of:
Otherwise, the juvenile court has the discretion to transfer cases to criminal court if:
- The child was at least 14 at the time of the alleged offense, and
- The offense would have been a felony had an adult committed it
Minors aged 13, 14 or 15 who are charged with murder or attempted murder may also be certified as an adult.2
4. Do children have a right to an attorney?
Yes. Minors with cases in Nevada juvenile court have the right to a juvenile crimes lawyer. The court will provide a public defender for children who cannot afford private counsel.3
4.1. What rights do parents have in juvenile court?
Parents and guardians of a child in juvenile court in Nevada may have an attorney at all stages of the case. The court also may provide parents a public defender.4
Juvenile court must also keep parents or guardians notified in writing of any case proceedings following the initial detention hearing.5
Note that employers are not allowed to fire employees for having to miss work to go to juvenile court.6
5. How does the juvenile court process work?
5.1. Initial detention
A police officer or probation officer may take a minor into custody if there is probable cause that the minor:
- broke the law, or
- is a child in need of supervision
If the officer chooses not to release the minor, they go to juvenile court.7 Then the judge decides whether to continue detaining the child, or release them with or without conditions.8
After the child is apprehended, the district attorney (prosecutor) decides whether to file a petition in juvenile court alleging the child of either:
- delinquency, or
- being in need of supervision.9
If there is no plead deal, the court will set a hearing similar to a bench trial.10
Informal supervision is where juvenile offenders in Nevada agree to submit to probation for up to 180 days. If they follow the rules of probation and avoid getting into further trouble, the charges get dismissed.
If the court denies informal supervision, it can put the child under more formal court supervision.11
6. What are the penalties?
Typical penalties for a finding of delinquency may include:
- fines or community service,
- detention, usually for up to nine (9) months,
- a drug alcohol evaluation,
- driver’s license suspension, and/or
Note that minors adjudged delinquent of a sexually motivated act are placed under probation or parole for at least three (3) years.12
7. What are the juvenile jails in Nevada?
Summit View Youth Center (SVYC) in Las Vegas is Nevada’s single maximum-security juvenile jail. The other facilities are “staff-secured,” which means there is no perimeter fence:
- Caliente Youth Center (CYC) near Panaca
- Nevada Youth Training Center (NYTC) near Elko
- Spring Mountain Youth Camp near Las Vegas
- China Springs Youth Camp in Douglas County
The Western Nevada Regional Youth Center in Lyon County is specifically for juveniles with substance abuse issues.13
Nevada juveniles doing well in detention may be eligible for early release through Youth Parole Bureau and a dismissal of the charges.14
8. Can juvenile records be sealed?
All juvenile crime records are automatically sealed when the child turns 21 with one exception: Felony sex offenses that involved force or threats of force. Though when the child turns 30, they may petition the court to seal sex offense records.
Juvenile offenders under 21 may ask the court to seal records before turning 21 as long as three (3) years passed since the case was adjudicated.15
9. What if my child is on parole or probation in Nevada and we move to another state?
Under the Interstate Compact for Juveniles (ICJ), all states agree to track young offenders from other states. So the new state will take over Nevada’s role to supervise the child’s parole and probation.
Note that under the ICJ, states are obligated to return runaways and escaped juvenile delinquents to their home state.16
- NRS 62A.030; NRS 62H.140; NRS 62A.070; NRS 62A.040. See also AB 193 (2023)(re. custodial interrogations).
- NRS 62B.390; NRS 176.017; AB 218 (2017). See also Zalyaul v. State (2022) 138 Nev. Adv. Op. 74. Note that when adults get convicted of an offense that they committed when they were under 18, the court can reduce the mandatory minimum period of incarceration by up to 35 percent if the court determines that it is warranted given the person’s age and their prospects for rehabilitation.
- NRS 62D.100.
- NRS 62D.100.
- NRS 62B.130.
- NRS 62D.130.
- NRS 62C.010 – NRS 62D.075. In Las Vegas specifically, juveniles are detained at the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center pending further proceedings. If the court releases the child pending the outcome of the case, the child may have to submit to the Detention Review and Release Program (DRRP): This is where the child wears a GPS monitoring bracelet and is subject to random checks at their residence, school, or place of employment.
- NRS 62C.030. In Nevada, minors must be detained for at least 12 hours if they are alleged of committing either: Domestic violence crimes, or Protection order violations
- Same. NRS 62C.100.
- Same. NRS 62D.500. (If the child is found delinquent at trial beyond a reasonable doubt, they can appeal to the Nevada Court of Appeals.)
- NRS 62C.200 – NRS 62C.240. AB 148 (2023).
- NRS 62E. SB 415 (2023)(re. probation).
- Juvenile Justice Services.
- Youth Parole Bureau.
- NRS 62H.
- NRS 62I.