Property Crimes Attorney in Las Vegas
Property crimes occur more than any other type of crime in Las Vegas. Some of Nevada’s most commonly prosecuted property crimes include arson, trespassing, theft, burglary, and more. If you’re facing these types of charges, you’re going to need a highly skilled and effective attorney in your corner.
If you’ve been charged with a property crime in Las Vegas, you could be facing fines, probation, or even time in jail. Working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer dramatically increases the likelihood of the least amount of punishment (potentially dismissed or decreased charges).
At the Vegas Lawyers, we understand how devastating a property crime conviction can be. We fight for your freedom and rights because we care about what happens to you and your family.
What Is A Property Crime?
Property crimes include offenses related to the damage or theft of another person’s money, property, or some other benefit.
Property crimes don’t involve the use of force or threats of force. That’s why burglary is considered a property crime in Nevada, but robbery is not.
Some of the property crimes that occur most frequently in Las Vegas include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Criminal Trespassing
- Graffiti & Defacing Property
- Toxic Dumping
- Larceny & Grand Larceny
- Theft & Burglary
- Identity Theft
What Are Some Of The Most Common Property Crimes In Las Vegas?
Each year, there are more than 38,000 property crimes committed in Las Vegas. The crimes against property that occur most often in Clark County include property theft, motor vehicle theft, larceny, and burglary. However, there are countless others.
Under NRS 207.200, an individual can be charged with criminal trespassing in Nevada if they unlawfully enter the land or building of another person (without permission) to:
- Vex or annoy the property owner
- Commit a crime
- Intentionally go onto or remain on a property after being warned to leave
Criminal trespassing is a misdemeanor offense in Nevada punishable by up to 6 months in jail, probation, and fines up to $1,000. It’s important to note that there are also civil trespassing laws (NRS 41.515).
That means that individuals who trespass in Las Vegas (even in Casinos) can be charged criminally and face civil liabilities.
Otherwise known as “malicious mischief,” vandalism (NRS 206.310) occurs when an individual intentionally destroys or damages another person’s property. NRS 206.310 broadly covers all acts of vandalism not addressed by other criminal codes.
Common examples of vandalism in Las Vegas include:
- Chopping trees without permission
- Tire slashing or key scratching someone else’s car
- “Egging” someone’s car or house
Penalties for vandalism which result in less than $25 in damage include a misdemeanor charge and up to $500 in fines.
However, the higher the cost of the property destruction, the greater the penalty. Individuals who cause more than $5,000 in damages face a category C felony, 1 – 5 years imprisonment, and up to $10,000 in fines.
Under NRS 206.330, it is illegal to spray paint or otherwise “tag” someone else’s property without their permission. Law enforcement can charge an individual with graffiti charges in Las Vegas even if they are only carrying graffiti materials (and intend to vandalize a property).
The penalties for unlawful graffiti in Nevada generally include a misdemeanor charge, a $250 assessment fee, up to $1,000 in fines, mandatory community service, and a potential license suspension.
However, penalties can be harsher (up to a category E felony) depending on the location of the graffiti and how much damage it causes. A judge can also impose more strict punishments for gang members convicted of graffiti crimes.
Toxic Dumping & Littering
It is illegal to dump garbage on public or private property. Nevada criminal codes address littering penalties and charges based on the type of garbage and the circumstances of the case. Most littering laws are legislated at the local level, not by the state.
However, local and state littering laws offer almost the same penalties. Learn about the most commonly cited and prosecuted littering offenses below.
- Littering in Las Vegas: According to Municipal Code 9.12.180, littering in Las Vegas can lead to a misdemeanor offense, up to six months in jail, and fines up to $500.
- Throwing lit cigarettes from a moving vehicle: NRS 475.030 makes it illegal to throw a burning cigarette (or similar) from a moving vehicle. Penalties include up to six months in jail and fines up to $1,000.
- Public Highway littering: Under NRS 202.185, it is illegal to dump garbage on or near a public highway. Penalties include up to 1 year in jail and $2,000 in fines.
- Dumping Hazardous Materials: Under NRS 444.630, it is illegal to dump toxic sewage (i.e., human waste, sludge, etc.) in Nevada. First-time offenders face misdemeanor charges, up to six months in jail, and community service. However, subsequent offenses can incur harsher penalties.
Larceny, Grand Larceny & Grand Theft
Nevada criminal codes define larceny (theft) as intentionally taking someone else’s property without permission or lawful authority. Individuals can be charged with petit larceny (petty theft) or grand larceny, depending on the value and type of property stolen.
Penalties for larceny charges in Las Vegas include but are not limited to:
- Petty Theft: Under NRS 205.540, individuals who steal property valued at less than $1,200 are guilty of petit larceny. Penalties include misdemeanor charges, victim restitution payments, up to 6 months and jail, and/or up to $1,000 in fines.
- Grand Larceny: Under NRS 205.220, an individual can face grand larceny charges if the stolen property is valued at more than $1,200. Individuals charged with grand larceny in Las Vegas face a category D – B (depending on the value of the stolen property) felony, extensive prison time, and more.
It’s important to note that stealing a car is not grand larceny. It is considered grand theft auto (NRS 205.228 grand larceny of a motor vehicle). In most cases, car theft is a category C felony. However, subsequent offenses could lead to category B felony charges.
Under NRS 205.060, burglary (breaking and entering) is a felony offense (category E – B, depending on the circumstances). It involves breaking into a property or vehicle with the intention of committing another crime like larceny, assault, battery, and others.
Individuals charged with burglary in Las Vegas face 1 – 10 years imprisonment (potentially more), fines, and probation.
It’s important to understand that burglary is considered a property crime because it does not involve the use of force or threats to steal something of value.
Robbery, on the other hand, is a violent crime due to the nature of the offense. For that reason, the penalties for robbery are typically harsher than penalties for burglary.
Embezzlement is similar to larceny except for one thing. To qualify as “embezzlement,” the defendant must steal money (or other benefits) from another person who entrusted them with the money.
For example, a cashier stealing money from the cash register of her employer can be charged with embezzlement. Similarly, a bookkeeper who creates phony invoices can also be charged with embezzlement, including fraud and other charges.
Embezzling less than $1,200 incurs a misdemeanor charge. However, individuals who embezzle more than $1,200 face felony charges.
If it is a misdemeanor conviction, penalties include 0 – 180 days in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and restitution payments. Individuals convicted of felony embezzlement face anywhere from 1 – 20 years in prison, fines, and restitution payments.
Fraud is the act of intentionally deceiving someone or a company in order to obtain money or other types of benefits. A few of the most commonly prosecuted types of fraud in Las Vegas include:
Since fraud is addressed across multiple statutes, the penalties depend on the charge, the individual defrauded, the amount defrauded, and many other factors. In many cases, fraud is a felony offense that can carry extensive penalties.
Furthermore, individuals who commit acts of fraud risk potential federal investigations, charges, and penalties.
Extortion (NRS 205.320), otherwise known as “blackmail,” is the act of intentionally threatening bodily injury, property damage, or character defamation to gain monetary benefit or influence.
Individuals charged with extortion in Las Vegas face category B felony charges, 1 – 10 years imprisonment, and up to $10,000 in fines. However, the penalties and charges can vary depending on the type of extortion committed and whether it is a federal offense.
“Willfully and maliciously” setting property ablaze is considered arson (NRS 205.025) in Nevada. Like the medical designations for burn severity, Nevada arson laws offer four degrees of arson charges – each with different requirements and penalties. Learn more below.
- First-degree arson: Setting buildings or vehicle with people inside on fire
- Second-degree arson: Setting a fire in an abandoned building
- Third-degree arson: Burning empty vehicles or crops
- Fourth-degree arson: Any type of arson not addressed in the previous categories
Arson penalties in Nevada depend on the degree charged and many other factors. Individuals convicted of Arson in Las Vegas face a felony offense, 1 – 15 years imprisonment, $5,000 – $15,000 in fines, and restitution payments.
Property Crime & Immigration Status In Nevada
First-time offenders of lesser property crimes like petty theft are not as likely to face deportation proceedings as those who commit more serious crimes. However, any unlawful conduct can lead to deportation or other consequences that affect a person’s immigration status.
If you’re an immigrant who’s been charged with a property crime in Las Vegas, it’s in your best interest to consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney who has in-depth immigration experience. Contact us today to learn how we can help.
Defenses To Property Crimes In Las Vegas
There are thousands of property crime accusations each year in Las Vegas. However, just because you’re accused doesn’t mean an automatic conviction. Sometimes property crime charges are brought due to false allegations, accidents, misunderstandings, mistaken identity, etc. When that’s the case, a skilled criminal defense attorney can investigate, identify key witnesses, uncover corroborating evidence, etc. and mount a solid defense on your behalf.
Furthermore, an experienced lawyer knows how to spot police errors, lack of evidence, and other flaws in the investigative process – all of which can potentially lead to decreased or dismissed charges.
The defense strategy that works best depends on the circumstances of your case. Working with a seasoned attorney can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful defense.
Charged With A Property Crime In Las Vegas Such As Burglary Or Trespassing? Contact Us Today
Are you facing charges for committing a trespass, burglary or some other property crime? We understand charges of this kind can add tremendous stress to your life. Given the penalties associated with such crimes, it’s important to take them seriously and get yourself the best possible legal representation.
If you’ve been charged with a property crime, representing yourself or being underrepresented by an inexperienced attorney can be catastrophic. Don’t risk your future when you don’t have to. Your liberty depends upon making the right choice.