What is the Crime of “Vagrancy” in Reno, Nevada?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Apr 03, 2016 | 0 Comments

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You can be convicted of being a vagrant in Reno, Nevada. But what constitutes “vagrancy” may include things that don't initially come to mind when you hear that word.

The dictionary defines “vagrant” as a “person without a settled home or regular work who wanders from place to place and lives by begging.”

Under Nevada law, however, the crime of vagrancy in Reno includes a number of specific acts well beyond wandering and begging. Under NRS 207.030, if you engage in any of the following acts, you can be charged with criminal vagrancy:

  • Offer or agree to engage in or engage in lewd or dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to the public or exposed to public view;
  • Offer or agree to engage in, engage in or aid and abet any act of prostitution;
  • Be a pimp, panderer or procurer or live in or about houses of prostitution;
  • Seek admission to a house upon frivolous pretexts for no other apparent motive than to see who may be therein, or to gain an insight of the premises;
  • Keep a place where lost or stolen property is concealed;
  • Loiter in or about any toilet open to the public for the purpose of engaging in or soliciting any lewd or lascivious or any unlawful act; or
  • Lodge in any building, structure or place, whether public or private:
    • Where a notice of default and election to sell has been recorded, unless the person is the owner, tenant or entitled to the possession or control thereof;
    • Which has been placed on a registry of vacant, abandoned or foreclosed property by a local government, unless the person is the owner, tenant or entitled to the possession or control thereof; or
    • Without the permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession or in control thereof.

Violations of NRS 207.030 in Reno are prosecuted as Nevada misdemeanors. The punishment will depend on whether it is a first or subsequent offense, but can include up to six months in the Washoe County Jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

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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