Under the now repealed NRS § 201.205, deliberately giving someone else HIV was a serious felony. Now under NRS § 441A.180, deliberately giving someone else any communicable disease (including HIV) is only a misdemeanor, carrying up to six months in jail and/or $1,000 in fines.
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.
1. Is it a Nevada crime to transmit HIV?
Transmitting any communicable disease such as HIV can be a Nevada crime depending on the circumstances of the case. Specifically, Nevada law prohibits:
- conducting yourself in any manner that has a high probability of transmitting your communicable disease to another person, such as sharing needles;
- engaging in any occupation in which there is a high probability that your communicable disease will be transmitted to other persons, such as prostitution; or
- intentionally transmitting your communicable disease to another person, such as by having sex with someone after lying about being disease-free.
Note that failing to use condoms is not in and of itself proof that you intended to transmit HIV or other disease. Though the court can take it into consideration when weighing the evidence.1
2. How do I fight the charges?
Potential defenses to Nevada charges of transmitting HIV include:
- Lack of knowledge. If you did not know (or had no reason to know) that you were HIV positive, then you cannot be convicted for transmission of the disease. For example, if you received a false negative on an HIV test, that could be proof that you had no knowledge you were infected.
- Lack of intent or risky behavior. You committed no crime if you did not intentionally transmit or engage in reckless behavior that risked transmitting the disease. For example, if you are 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 are 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.2
3. What are the penalties for intentionally transmitting HIV in Nevada?
Violating NRS 441A.180 is a misdemeanor carrying
- up to six months in jail and/or
- up to $1,000 in fines.3
Under the now repealed NRS 201.205, intentional HIV transmission was prosecuted as a category B felony, carrying:
- 2 to 10 years in Nevada State Prison, and/or
- up to $10,000 in fines.
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 about whether we can get your charges reduced or even thrown out. We can also take your case all the way to trial and fight zealously for a “not guilty” verdict.
Go back to our Nevada sex crimes page.