Increased Penalties for Crimes Involving a Weapon in Nevada
Carrying a weapon while committing another crime of almost any type in Las Vegas can result in additional penalties, including long jail times and expensive fines.
Weapons violations are often felonies, which means that your ability to get a job in the future, lawfully carry a weapon, or maintain your legal immigration status in the United States can be jeopardized.
Competent and qualified legal counsel in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the best way to establish a defense strategy to protect your rights and reduce enhanced penalties for crimes involving a weapon in Nevada.
Nevada Laws for Firearm Enhancements (NRS 193.165)
Las Vegas law provides stiffer penalties for crimes committed with the use of a weapon. In addition to the prison time, fines, and other penalties for a certain crime, Nevada judges will provide for additional punishment if a weapon was involved in the commission of a crime.
What is a deadly weapon in Nevada?
Nevada defines a deadly weapon as “a 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.”
Who can receive an enhanced sentence due to the involvement of a weapon in a crime?
An unarmed defendant who commits a crime with someone he or she knows is carrying a weapon can receive increased penalties, even though he is not carrying a weapon himself. Brooks v. State (2008).
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A person cannot “use” a deadly weapon to commit the crime of conspiracy because the Nevada courts define “use” to mean “to put into action or service” or “carry out a purpose by means of” a weapon. Moore v. State (2001).
How is a weapon enhancement determined?
When a judge decides to increase the punishment for a crime because a weapon was involved, the following factors will be considered:
- The facts and circumstances of the crime;
- The defendant’s criminal history;
- The victim’s suffering; and
- Any other factors, including mitigating factors, that should be considered.
The judge must consider each of these before providing an additional sentence related to the use of a firearm.
How much prison time results from the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime?
A judge may double the sentence for the underlying crime if a weapon is used. For example, a first time burglary offense is usually punishable as a Category B felony, with prison time of 1 to 10 years, and $10,000 in fines.
If the same first time burglary offense is committed by a person carrying a gun, the sentence can be doubled.
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The prison time for a weapon enhancement penalty is served consecutively. In the example above, this means that the sentence for the burglary will be served first, and after the prison time is complete, the clock will start running on prison time for the weapon enhancement.
No probation for certain crimes in Las Vegas, Nevada
In addition to enhanced penalties for carrying a weapon while committing a crime, there are certain Nevada crimes that a defendant cannot get probation for if a weapon is involved. Those are:
If you are arrested for committing a crime while in possession of a firearm, a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer experienced in handling cases with weapon enhancements can work to reduce the sentence against you.