In Nevada, what is Considered a “Deadly Weapon”?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Nov 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

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While guns and knives may be the first thing we think of when we think of “deadly weapons,” the kinds of objects that can get you charged and convicted for assault with a deadly weapon or that can result in more serious charges for other crimes in Las Vegas Nevada go far beyond those two items.

Assault with a deadly weapon in Las Vegas is an assault "made with the use of a deadly weapon or the present ability to use a deadly weapon." But committing any crime with the use of a deadly weapon can subject you to enhanced penalties under Nevada law.

NRS 193.165 provides that:

“any person who uses a firearm or other deadly weapon or a weapon containing or capable of emitting tear gas, whether or not its possession is permitted…, in the commission of a crime shall, in addition to the term of imprisonment prescribed by statute for the crime, be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 20 years.”

A “deadly weapon” for purposes of these additional penalties is defined as

  • any instrument which, if used in the ordinary manner contemplated by its design and construction, will or is likely to cause substantial bodily harm or death;
  • any weapon, device, instrument, material or substance which, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing substantial bodily harm or death;
  • a trap or spring gun (NRS 202.255)
  • specified dangerous or deadly weapons on school grounds or at child care facilities (NRS 202.265)

Under that second definition, almost anything can theoretically be a “deadly weapon” if it is capable of being used in a way that could cause “substantial bodily harm.” A broken bottle, a frying pan, a chair, a pot of boiling water, a car – all of these are capable of inflicting the kind of serious injuries contemplated in the definition.

If you are facing any Las Vegas criminal charges involving the use, threatened use, or attempted use of a deadly weapon, the consequences could be severe. Please call our experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys today to discuss your situation. (Also refer to our article on how to get your gun rights restored 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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