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What are the penalties for truancy in Nevada?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Nov 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

Pupils who habitually miss school face fines, community service, and driver's license suspensions in Nevada:

Being a child "in need of supervision" due to Habitual Truancy

Juvenile delinquency and DMV penalties

First time

  • Up to $100 in fines (plus a $10 administrative assessment);* or
  • 8 to 16 hours of community service (done at school, if possible)

And if the child is 14 or older:

  • A driver's license suspension of 30 days to 6 months; or
  • A 30-day delay to get apply for a license

*Juvie Court may suspend the fine if the child attends school for 60 consecutive school days.

Second or subsequent time

  • Up to $200 in fines (plus a $10 administrative assessment); and/or
  • Up to 10 hours of community service (done at school, if possible)

And if the child is 14 or older:

  • A driver's license suspension of 60 days to 1 year; or
  • A 60-day delay to apply for a license1

What is truancy in Nevada?

A child age seven to 18 who misses at least one period of school is truant.2 A habitual truant is a child who has been:

  • Truant at least three times in a school year; or
  • Truant once after having been a habitual truant in the preceding school year3   

Truancy applies only to unexcused absences. Parents can contact the school explaining that the child is sick.

Note that peace officers can apprehend truant children without a warrant. During school hours, the child can be delivered to a school officer. After hours, the child will be taken home.4 

What happens if a child is a habitual truant?

The Nevada school will either:

  1. Report the pupil to an attendance officer, school police officer, or local police for investigation;
  2. Refer to the pupil to the advisory board to review school attendance; or
  3. Refer the pupil for administrative sanctions5 

The school advisory board may hold a hearing on the matter. These hearings must be closed to the public. Pupils who do not attend may face administrative sanctions.

Parents or guardians can also appeal the results of these hearings. The school's board of trustees must hold an appeal hearing with 30 days. 

The advisory board will explore ways to help the pupil attend school by using publicly available services. Pupils who do not agree to participate can be sanctioned.6

Can a truant child's parents be punished?

Yes. Nevada schools notify parents when their child is truant. Parents (or guardians) who fail to prevent further truancy face misdemeanor charges. Penalties include:

  • Up to 6 months in jail, and/or
  • Up to $1,000 in fines7

It is also a misdemeanor for parents (or guardians) to give false statements concerning their child's attendance. The punishment is:

  • Up to 6 months in jail, and/or
  • Up to $1,000 in fines8

Note that any adult also faces misdemeanor charges for abetting truancy. An example is an employer hiring a child to work during school hours. The sentence is:

  • Up to 6 months in jail, and/or
  • Up to $1,000 in fines9

School boards can also investigate the parents and guardians of truant pupils. And the boards can report them to the authorities.10


Legal References

  1. NRS 62E.430.
  2. NRS 392.130.
  3. NRS 392.140.
  4. NRS 392.160.
  5. NRS 392.144.
  6. NRS 392.147.
  7. NRS 392.210.
  8. NRS 392.215.
  9. NRS 392.220.
  10. NRS 392.170; NRS 392.180; NRS 392.190;NRS 392.200.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

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, Court TV, 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.

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