What are the Penalties for Vandalizing a Mosque in Las Vegas?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Feb 09, 2016 | 0 Comments

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, and elsewhere, there has been an uptick in crimes against Muslim-Americans, including vandalism of mosques. If you vandalize or damage a mosque in Las Vegas or disrupt worship being conducted within a mosque, you can face serious criminal penalties.

NRS 206.125

NRS 206.125 makes in a crime to:

  • knowingly vandalize, place graffiti on, deface or otherwise damage:
    • any church, synagogue or other building, structure or place used for religious worship or another religious purpose;
    • any school, educational facility, transportation facility, public transportation vehicle or community center;
    • the grounds adjacent to, and owned or rented by, any institution, facility, building, structure or place described above in paragraph; or
    • any personal property contained in any institution, facility, building, structure or place described in paragraph (a), (b) or (c),

Penalties for Vandalizing or Damaging a Mosque Under NRS 206.125

A violation of NRS 206.125 is a Nevada gross misdemeanor. In addition to having to pay restitution for the damage, a person convicted under this statue faces the following penalties:

  • for the first offense, a fine of not less than $400 but not more than $1,000, and 100 hours of community service
  • for the second offense, a fine of not less than $750, but not more than $1,000, and 200 hours of community service
  • for a third or subsequent offense, a fine of $1,000, and 200 hours of community service.

NRS 201.270

The disruption of any worship occurring inside a Las Vegas mosque is also a crime. Under NRS 201.270, it is a Nevada misdemeanor to “willfully disturb, interrupt or disquiet any assemblage or congregation of people met for religious worship”:

  • by noisy, rude or indecent behavior, profane discourse, either within the place where such meeting is held, or so near it as to disturb the order and solemnity of the meeting;
  • by exhibiting shows or plays, or promoting any racing of animals, or gaming of any description, or engaging in any boisterous or noisy amusement;
  • by disturbing in any manner, without authority of law within 1 mile thereof, free passage along a highway to the place of such meeting, or by maliciously cutting or otherwise injuring or disturbing a conveyance or other property belonging to any person in attendance upon such meeting; or by menacing, threatening or assaulting any person therein.

The maximum punishment a Clark County judge may order for most misdemeanors in Las Vegas, including a violation of NRS 201.270, is up to $1,000 in fines and/or up to six months in jail. 

If you have been charged with vandalizing a mosque in Las Vegas or disrupting services being conducted in a mosque, please give one of our experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys a call today. (Also see our article on graffiti and vandalism laws in Nevada.)


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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