The Las Vegas, Nevada crime of invasion of the home is forcibly entering a dwelling without permission of the lawful occupant or owner. It makes no difference whether there are people physically present in the dwelling at the time of the alleged intrusion.
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What is the legal definition of home invasion in Las Vegas?
- 2. Can I go to jail?
- 3. How do I fight the charges?
- 4. Las Vegas home invasion statistics
- Additional reading
1. What is the legal definition of home invasion in Las Vegas?
The Nevada crime of invasion of the home has three elements:
- You forcibly enter the structure;
- The structure is a dwelling;
- You have no permission from the homeowner or lawful occupant to enter the premises.1
Note that the residents do not need to be present in order for an intrusion to qualify as an invasion of the home.
Also, breaking into a business or an abandoned property does not qualify as a home invasion because those properties are not “dwellings.”2
1.1. Home Invasion vs. Burglary
Home invasion and burglary are separate crimes in Nevada. Unlike with invasion of the home:
- burglary may occur in any building or vehicle whether it is a dwelling or not;
- you may be convicted of burglary even if there was no “breaking and entering;” and
- you are not guilty of burglary unless you intended to commit a felony, larceny, assault or battery, or obtaining money by false pretenses inside the structure when you entered it.3
1.2. Home Invasion vs. Robbery
Home invasion is also very different from robbery. Unlike invasion of the home, robbery requires that a victim be present and that something gets stolen by force or threats.
Therefore if you break into a home while no one is there and steal a stereo, you may be guilty of home invasion but not robbery because no one was there. (Certainly, you could also be prosecuted for larceny for taking the stereo.)4
2. Can I go to jail?
Invasion of the home is prosecuted in Nevada as a category B felony in Nevada, carrying:
- One to ten (1 – 10) years in prison, and
- up to $10,000 in fines (at the judge’s discretion)5
Though if you possessed a gun or lethal weapon at any time during the alleged home invasion, the sentence is increased to:
- Two to fifteen (2 – 15) years in prison, and
- up to $10,000 in fines (at the judge’s discretion)6
Note that a judge may not grant probation if you have previously been convicted of home invasion or of burglary.7
Sexually-motivated home invasion also carries lifetime supervision under NRS 176.0931. Though it may be possible to get off lifetime supervision after 10 years.
2.1. Plea bargains
- up to 6 months in jail, and/or
- up to $1,000 in fines8
3. How do I fight the charges?
NRS 205.067 is a very specific offense that applies in narrow circumstances. Therefore, a home invasion charge lends itself to very particular defenses such as:
- You had permission to enter. As long as the owner or lawful occupant allowed you in, no home invasion could occur.
- There was no forcible entry. Entering a dwelling with no “act of physical force resulting in damage to the structure” does not qualify as an NRS 205.067 violation, even if you enter without permission.
- The structure was not a dwelling. If for example the location was an office building, storage unit, or dog shed, NRS 205.067 charges do not apply.
Note that it is not a defense that nobody was present in the dwelling at the time of the alleged entry.
4. Las Vegas home invasion statistics
Las Vegas sees about 18,402 property crimes each year, including an average of
- 10,646 burglaries and
- 5,459 violent home break-ins every year.
For every 1,000 inhabitants, there is an average of 28.25 property crimes and 8.63 violent break-ins. The average burglary rate is about 638.7 to 727.8 for a population of 100,000.
Las Vegas’s property crime rate exceeds the national average by 29%, and the overall crime rate exceeds the national average by 33%. One database puts Las Vegas’s crime index at a 12, signifying that Las Vegas is less safe than 88% of other cities.9
For the most current Las Vegas crime statistics, go to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Statistics site.
For more information, see our related articles on:
- Unlawful reentry (NRS 205.082)
- Housebreaking (NRS 205.0813)
- Unlawful occupancy/squatting (NRS 205.0817)
- What’s the difference between home invasion and burglary in Nevada?
- Is housebreaking different from squatting under Nevada law?
- NRS 205.067. A “dwelling” means any structure, building, house, room, apartment, tenement, tent, conveyance, vessel, boat, vehicle, house trailer, travel trailer, motor home or railroad car, including, without limitation, any part thereof that is divided into a separately occupied unit in which any person lives or which is customarily used by a person for overnight accommodations, regardless of whether the person is inside at the time of the offense.
- NRS 205.060; see Rodriguez v. State, 117 Nev. 800, 32 P.3d 773 (2001) (“[C]onsidering the specific facts of this case, the aggravators of home invasion and burglary are duplicative and cannot be used as separate aggravating circumstances; accordingly, we conclude that the aggravating circumstance of home invasion is invalid.”).
- NRS 200.380.
- NRS 205.067.
- NRS 193.165.
- NRS 205.067.
- NRS 207.200.
- Compiled from Neighborhood Scout and Area Vibes.