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 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.
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.)