Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer In Las Vegas
In Nevada, individuals charged with sex crimes face the possibility of harsh criminal consequences like imprisonment, fines, restitution, probation, and a felony criminal record. Additionally, convicted sex crime offenders must also contend with the social stigma, difficulties getting a job, housing discrimination, strained relationships, and an almost certain registration as a sex crime offender in Nevada.
For these reasons, it’s essential for defendants facing charges for alleged sexual assault, rape, sex trafficking or any other type of sex crime to consult with a proven sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible. Working with a reputable and experienced attorney drastically improves your chances of decreased charges, case dismissal, or receiving the least amount of punishment possible.
If you’re facing sex crime charges in Las Vegas, you need an excellent lawyer. This is definitely one area of the justice system where you don’t want to gamble with the wrong choice of attorney. At The Vegas Lawyers (“TVL”), we have a team of highly experienced attorneys and paralegals that can’t help you. Call us today at (702) 707-7000 for a free and confidential consultation.
Sex crime offenses encompass many types of crimes in Nevada. Generally, the following types of criminal charges are considered sex crimes in Las Vegas:
- Sexual Assualt / Rape – An individual penetrates another person’s body without consent.
- Date rape – A sexual assault during a date is a crime.
- Statutory Rape – Sexual intercourse with a minor under the age of consent in Nevada (16 years old). An individual can face statutory rape charges even if the underage victim consents to sex.
- Sexual Battery – The willful and unlawful use of force or violence for sexual purposes.
- Prostitution – Many people ask, “Is prostitution legal in Las Vegas, Nevada?” The answer to that question is “no.” Prostitution is only legal in certain areas in Nevada and under specific conditions.
- Pandering – Otherwise known as “pimping.”
- Sex Trafficking – Persuading an adult or child to engage in illegal prostitution in Nevada. An individual could be charged with sex trafficking even if the act didn’t involve the use of force.
- Child Molestation – Also known as child sexual abuse, child molestation can include many types of sex crimes committed against a minor in Las Vegas.
- Child Pornography – Possessing, advertising, viewing, or using a child in the production of pornographic material is a felony offense.
● Incest – Incest is a very serious charge in Nevada. Individuals who are related (closer than “second cousins”) are prohibited from marrying or having sexual intercourse.
- Lewd Behavior With a Minor – Knowingly touching a child under the age of consent in a sexual manner with the intent to arouse oneself or the child sexually.
● Indecent Exposure – In many cases, individuals charged with open and gross lewdness are also charged with indecent exposure (NRS 201.220). Indecent exposure includes exposing private areas (i.e., genitals) in a public place or in a place that’s open to public view. If convicted of indecent exposure, you must register on the Nevada Sex Offender List with a Tier 1 designation.
- Sex Crimes Committed on the Internet – Using the internet to commit sex crimes (i.e., child pornography, sextortion, online sex solicitation, etc.) can lead to state and federal charges.
- Sodomy – Nevada law, NRS 201.190, makes it illegal to have oral or anal sex in a public space. Adults who are convicted of this crime face class D felony charges
- Open and Gross Lewdness – Engaging in sexual activity in a public place or sexually touching another person without permission.
- Failure to Register as a Sex Offender – Individuals ordered to register as sex offenders (typically within 2-days) but don’t, face felony charges in Nevada.
If you’ve been charged with a sex crime in Nevada, it’s in your best interest to consult with an attorney as quickly as possible. The prosecution takes these types of cases very seriously. So should you. Get the best lawyer you can afford.
Nevada’s sex crime laws are extensive. The sex crimes listed above are among the most common. However, there are many other sex crimes to be aware of including, but not limited to, the following:
- NRS 200.030 – Murder in the commission of a rape
- NRS 201.455 – Beastiality
- NRS 200.310 – Kidnapping for sexual reasons
- NRS 200.485 – Battery Domestic Violence
- NRS 201.205 – Intentional transmission of HIV
- NRS 200.405 – Administration of drugs to aid the commission of a felony (i.e., rape)
- NRS 179D.113 – Failure to Register as a sex offender
Other Sex Crimes
Prostitution & Solicitation
In some regions of Nevada, prostitution is legal. However, that’s not the case for Clark County. Under Nevada law, prostitution and solicitation of sexual services are illegal in Las Vegas.
NRS 201.354 defines prostitution as any act that involves “trading” resources for sexual acts like penetrative sex, oral sex, sexual touching, etc. A person who only offers or agrees to “prostitute” themself (but doesn’t commit the act) can still be convicted of soliciting sexual services.
Generally, the punishment for prostitution and solicitation is the same. However, if the defendant is the customer, they may face harsher penalties. That’s especially true for repeat offenders.
Penalties For Purchasing The Services Provided By A Prostitute:
Is prostitution legal in Nevada? In some parts, yes. However, prostitution is absolutely illegal in Las Vegas. Generally, individuals convicted of prostitution in Nevada face the following penalties:
- Misdemeanor offense
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Possibility of jail time (maximum six months) or community service hours
Pimping, Pandering & Sex Trafficking
According to NRS 201.320, anyone who knowingly accepts funds resulting from prostitution is guilty of “pimping.” While prostitution is usually a misdemeanor charge, pimping is an automatic felony. Individuals convicted of pimping in Las Vegas face up to 5 years in prison and heavy fines.
Pandering (NRS 201.300) is similar to pimping but not the same thing. Pandering is the act of persuading someone (without violence or force) to prostitute him or herself. In most cases, pandering is punished more harshly than pimping. However, many defendants face both charges at the same time.
Sex trafficking is physically forcing (or threatening) someone into prostitution or marriage. The penalties for sex trafficking are usually harsher than penalties for pandering or pimping. That’s especially true if a minor is involved.
As defined by NRS 207.190, coercion makes it illegal to use violence, intimidation, or deprivation to pressure someone into doing something they are not legally obligated to do.
Examples of sexual coercion include, but are not limited to:
- Giving someone drugs or alcohol to lower their inhibitions and take advantage of them sexually
- Emotional blackmail
- Threats of harm or violence if they do not comply with sexual demands
If physical force is used or threatened to force someone to do something of a sexual nature that they don’t want to do, the penalties are much harsher.
Peeping, Spying, Peering Into A Dwelling
Just because the door or window is open, doesn’t mean that it’s lawful to “peep” inside. According to NRS 200.603, a person is guilty of peeping, spying, or peering into a dwelling in Nevada if they:
● Knowingly enter the property/premises owned or leased by another person while intending to conceal themself secretly. At the same time, they peer, peep, or spy through windows, doors, or other openings of a building used for dwelling purposes.
● The consequences for peeping range from a misdemeanor to felony conviction, depending on the circumstances.
Capturing Images Of The Private Areas Of Another Person
According to NRS 200.604, you can be charged with the sex crime of capturing an image of the “private areas” of another person without their consent (so long as they have a reasonable expectation of privacy).
Also, it’s illegal to share or post “revenge porn” in Nevada. Revenge porn is the act of disseminating intimate photos/videos of someone online in an attempt to cause embarrassment or to harass the victim.
That includes distributing, disclosing, displaying, transmitting, or publishing any sensitive pictures/videos without consent or knowledge.
Harassment & Stalking
Harassment and stalking are not necessarily sex crimes but they often are crimes that arise out of a sexual or romantic relationship.
According to NRS 200.571, a person is guilty of harassment if they:
- Knowingly threaten a person (or anyone else) with physical injury or property damage
- Physically (or threaten to) confine or restrain the person they threaten
- Do any act with the intention causing of physical or mental harm to the person they threatened
In addition, the person receiving the threats must have a reasonable fear (via words or actions) that the threats are valid.
A person can be convicted of stalking in Nevada (NRS 200.575) if they “maliciously engage” in conduct that would cause a reasonable person to feel:
- Terrorized or frightened
- Intimidated or harassed
- Fearful for the immediate safety of family or household members
Stalking is generally a misdemeanor offense in Nevada. However, aggravated stalking can lead to a felony conviction and up to 15 years in prison.
What Role Does Consent Play In Sex Crimes?
Generally, crimes like sexual assault (i.e., rape) are considered criminal if the victim does not consent to the behavior or is not capable of consent at the time of the encounter (i.e., drugged, drunk, passed out, mentally disabled, etc.). However, other types of sex crimes are criminal offenses regardless of consent. They include the following:
- Child pornography
- Child molestation
- Statutory rape
- Certain internet sex crimes
- Lewd behavior with a minor
- Teacher sex crimes with a minor
Proving or disproving that both parties consented to sexual activity can be a challenging task, and it often requires more proof than saying “they said yes” With that in mind, if you’ve been charged with a sex crime but only engaged in the act because you received consent, it’s in your best interest to immediately consult with a skilled sex crimes attorney to discuss your case.
A conviction for internet sex crimes like child pornography (viewing, producing, distributing, or promoting) or “revenge porn” can lead to serious penalties. Generally, individuals convicted of internet sex crimes in Las Vegas, Nevada, face the following consequences:
- Category C Felony – Mandatory imprisonment (1 – 5 years) and fines up to $10K
- Category B Felony – Mandatory imprisonment (1 – 15 years) and fines up to $15K
- Category A Felony – Mandatory imprisonment (10 years to life) and fines up to $100K
Additionally, a person convicted of an internet sex crime must register as a sex offender. The penalties for internet sex crimes can lead to lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, and reverberating consequences in every area of a person’s life.
Defendants convicted of violating Nevada’s sex crime laws must adhere to the state’s sex offender registration requirements, in addition to the criminal penalties imposed. Crimes that typically require sex offender registration include the following:
- Lewdness involving a child
- Child pornography
- Child molestation
- Sexual Assualt and Rape
- Sexual battery
- Sex trafficking
The Nevada Sex Offender Registry contains the name, address and occupation of sex offenders in the state. That means that an individual’s history of sex crimes may be accessible to employers, landlords, colleges/universities, and other public entities. However, it’s important to note that not all convicted sex offenders are visible on the publicly available Sex Offender’s Registry.
Nevada Sex Offender Registry Tier Levels Explained
Generally, every person convicted of a sex crime is assessed by a court-approved mental health practitioner to determine their risk of committing another sex-related crime. Once the assessment is complete, the mental health professional assigns offenders to a sex offender tier.
- No-Risk (Tier Zero) – Mostly reserved for individuals convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor sex crimes.
- Low-Risk (Tier One) – Sex offenders who are assessed to have a possibility of re-offending or to be a danger to the public.
- Moderate-Risk (Tier Two) – Individuals who mental health experts assess have a high probability of re-offending and pose a threat to the public’s safety.
- High-Risk (Tier Three) – Sex offenders who pose the highest risk of re-offending and are considered a threat to the safety of the general public.
Nevada Sex Offender Registration Requirements
It’s important to note that Las Vegas sex offenders must register on the list if ordered to do so. Otherwise, they face further criminal penalties. Further, all registered sex offenders must adhere to Las Vegas sex offender laws by meeting the Nevada sex offender registration requirements, including the following:
- Annual registration requirements including updated pictures and fingerprints
- Inform the registry of any changes to their name, address, job, or education status within two days
- Adhere to the Nevada Sex Offender Registration Requirements indefinitely while they still reside in Nevada
Tier Level Two and Three Las Vegas sex offenders must remain registered for life. Individuals registered as Tier Level Zero or One may be eligible for removal after 15 years if they meet all requirements, don’t re-offend, and are not convicted of other offenses that pose a threat to the safety of others. However, they must petition the courts for removal from the registry.
Sexual assault is sexual assault, regardless of marital status. According to NRS 200.373, a person can be charged with spousal rape if they force their partner into sexual acts via physical force or threat of force. The laws for sexual assault and spousal assault are almost the same.
Probation For Nevada Sex Crimes
Depending on the nature of the offense and many other factors, sex crimes probation (in lieu of all or some jail time) may be available for certain first-time sex crime offenders. A proven sex crimes lawyer can tell you if your offense is eligible for probation and what steps you need to take in order to avoid jail or prison.
However, it’s important to note that some sex crimes are not eligible for probation, and that’s especially true for repeat offenders. That means that if you’re convicted of certain sex crimes, you may have to complete your jail sentence in its entirety before you can be released from custody.
The sex crimes limitation period for the most serious sex-related offenses (i.e., sexual assault) is 20 years. If the crime is not reported within 20 years, it can’t be prosecuted. However, if the sex crime involved a minor, the law allows for much more time to report. Generally, the longer it takes to report a sex crime, the more likely the evidence will deteriorate.
Every individual charged with a sex crime is not convicted. There are many viable defenses against sex crimes, depending on the facts of your case. Generally, the most common sex crimes defenses used in Nevada include the following:
- False allegations
- Perjury committed by a witness
- Lack of credible evidence
- Law enforcement misconduct
- Misconduct by the prosecution
- Faulty DNA tests and rape kits
If you’ve been charged with a sex crime, the attorneys at The Vegas Lawyers are here to help mount solid sex crimes defenses to clear your name. Depending on the details of your case and the credibility of the evidence against you, we may be able to help you secure reduced or dismissed charges for a sex crime offense in Nevada.
Sex crimes are serious offenses that can lead to a lifetime of problems, including prison, fines, restitution payments to the victim, and sex offender registration. In many cases, working with an experienced sex crimes lawyer offers you the best chance at a favorable outcome in your case.
If you’re facing sex crime charges in Nevada, don’t risk your future by attempting to handle it alone or with a mediocre lawyer. You need the best. Contact The Vegas Lawyers today at (702) 707-7000 for a free consultation with a proven sex crimes lawyer in Nevada.