NRS 205.486 – Unlawful Use of Encryption

If you or a loved one is convicted of trying to use encryption to commit any type of legal offense, you could be found guilty of a gross misdemeanor. It is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas as soon as possible.

Statute Prohibiting Use of Encryption to Break the Law

NRS Section 205.486 states that a person cannot willfully use or try to use encryption – either directly or indirectly to do the following:

  • Commit, facilitate or promote any type of criminal offense;
  • Aid, encourage or assist any person to commit a crime;
  • Conceal the act of any crime;
  • Hide or protect the identity of anyone who has committed a crime;
  • Delay or hinder the due process and administration of law.

The statute states that a person who violates any of the above provisions is guilty of a gross misdemeanor, unless the illegal encryption was done to commit a crime where there is a greater penalty according to the Nevada statute. If the illegal encryption was used to commit a crime where there is a greater penalty, the convicted person will be punished as that statute states for that crime.

Also, a person who commits a criminal offense that is separate from any criminal defense could be prosecuted and convicted according to this section, whether or not the individual was prosecuted or convicted for another crime arising from the same violations of this statute.

How Serious is a Conviction for Violating NRS 205.486?

Being convicted of NRS 205.486 is serious. It means you will have a gross misdemeanor offense on your record. This offense can be punished by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 monetary fine.

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Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.


Unlawful use of encryption in Nevada is a form of cybercrime, and if you are charged with this crime, you will need a strong criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas. In addition to committing crimes with the aid of encryption, cybercrimes in this state with serious penalties include:

  • Putting a virus into a computer system
  • Accessing a home or business network without authorization
  • Stealing services from an Internet provider
  • Using, damaging, modifying, copying, disclosing or stealing software or data
  • Hinder the Internet connection of another person

How a Las Vegas Cybercrime Attorney Can Help

The modern technological world has allowed for many types of computer crime to blossom, including the unlawful use of encryption. Nevada law enforcement has responded to the threat of cybercrime with punishments that range from restrictions on using computers, to heavy fines to long jail sentences. If you are facing an accusation of a cybercrime, you will need a strong criminal defense.

If you are convicted of this serious crime, you will have a permanent gross misdemeanor on your record. This fact means you could have serious trouble securing employment, renting a home or apartment, or getting a college loan.

Note that most criminal records in Nevada cannot be expunged. However, many misdemeanor offenses in this state can be sealed. That said, there are substantial waiting periods involved. Most misdemeanor convictions can be sealed two years after your release or your completion of parole or probation. But there is a seven-year waiting period for gross misdemeanors. That is a very long time to have this serious crime on your record. That is why it is so important to have a good criminal defense attorney in your corner right from the start if you are charged with the unlawful use of encryption.

Please contact our law firm today for a free case review so we can build the strongest defense possible for you.

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When I initially met with Mr. Wooldridge, he took the opportunity to sit and go over my problem with me. He described details in my case which he found disturbing and explained why he I should have him on my side.

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