Under NRS 201.205, deliberately giving someone else HIV carries extremely harsh punishments in Nevada including high fines and incarceration. And once you’re in prison, you may receive lesser health care than you would out of custody.
For many years our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers have successfully negotiated and litigated serious cases in our clients’ favor. To learn more about the Nevada crime of intentional transmission of the AIDS virus including the law, defenses, and penalties, keep reading . . . .
The legal definition of “intentional transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)” in Las Vegas, Nevada, makes it a crime for “a person who, after testing positive in a test approved by the State Board of Health for exposure to HIV and receiving actual notice of that fact, intentionally, knowingly or willfully engages in conduct in a manner that is intended or likely to transmit the disease to another person.”
In other words, it’s illegal for a person who knows he/she has HIV to then purposely act in a way that would probably infect someone else with it. Typical behaviors that would make an HIV-positive person liable for this crime would be sharing needles or having sex.
The prosecution has to prove several “elements of the crime” – and each of them beyond a reasonable doubt – before they can secure a conviction for intentional HIV transmission in Nevada. Because NRS 201.205 is such a specific crime, your attorney has several opportunities to argue that your case falls outside its scope. Typical defenses include:
- Lack of knowledge. If you didn’t know (or had no reason to know) that you were HIV positive, then you can’t be convicted for intentional transmission of the disease. If your attorney can show that you were never tested or notified, then the case should be dismissed.
- No intentional transmission. You committed no crime if you didn’t intentionally engage in an activity where transmitting your HIV infection was likely. For example, if you’re accused of spreading HIV through sex, the charge should be dropped if your attorney can show that you used a condom or that your viral load was undetectable.
- Consent. Even if you did intentionally have sex or share needles with someone HIV negative, you’re not liable as long as that person knew you had HIV, knew that you could spread it to them, and consented to sharing needles or having sex.
Intentional HIV transmission is prosecuted as a category B felony in Las Vegas. The sentence for a category B felony in Las Vegas includes:
- 2 to 10 years in Nevada State Prison, and/or
- up to $10,000 in fines
Note that a Nevada judge may impose this same penalty for a prostitute who was convicted of soliciting sex after having tested positive for HIV. (NRS 201.358)
Arrested for a crime? Call us. . . .
If you’ve been charged with intentional transmission of HIV in Nevada, call our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers. We can meet with you for free about whether we can get your charges reduced or even thrown out. And know that we can also take your case all the way to trial and fight zealously for a “not guilty” verdict. If you got charged in California, please visit our page on Health & Safety Code 120291 – intentional transmission of HIV or AIDS and Health & Safety Code 120290 – willful exposure to an infectious disease.
Go back to our Nevada sex crimes page.