Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV as it is commonly called, remains a serious illness despite many substantial advances in the treatment of this virus. Because of the fact that HIV is still incurable, although it is manageable, Nevada law aims to protect people from developing HIV and the state has taken steps to try to reduce the risk of exposure.
One of the steps that was taken in the state of Nevada is the passage of a criminal law that makes it a serious offense to intentionally transmit HIV to another person. The crime of intentionally transmitting HIV is considered to be a crime against public decency and good morals and the definition of the offense is found within a special subsection of Chapter 201 of Title 15. Chapter 201 details all of the different conduct that is considered unlawful because it is a crime against decency and morality. Title 15 is Nevada’s criminal code identifying crimes and punishments.
If you have been accused of intentionally transmitting HIV to another person, it is important to understand what a prosecutor must prove in order to secure a conviction and it is also important to understand what potential penalties you could face for this offense. You should reach out to a Vegas defense attorney to seek help in evaluating the prosecutor’s case against you and fighting the serious charges that you are facing.
LV Criminal Defense has provided representation to many defendants who have been accused of various crimes against public decency and morals in Chapter 201 of Title 15. We understand Nevada’s criminal code very well, we know the tactics prosecutors take to try to secure conviction, and we can put our extensive legal experience to work to help you fight the charges you are facing. You should give us a call as soon as you come under investigation or are accused of violating the law so we can begin immediately in advising you on the development of a sound legal strategy.
The Nevada law that prohibits the intentional transmission of human immunodeficiency virus is found in Nevada Revised Statute section 201.205. This statute sets forth the elements of the crime, affirmative defenses that a defendant can raise to try to avoid conviction, and potential penalties that could be imposed upon a defendant if convicted of a criminal offense.
According to the relevant statute, any person who has been tested positive for exposure to HIV and who is provided with actual notice of that fact could potentially be charged with the crime of intentionally transmitting HIV if that individual engages in certain behaviors. The positive test must have been obtained using an HIV test that has been approved by the State Board of Health.
If an individual has received actual notice of his exposure to HIV, that individual could be charged under N.R.S. 201.205 if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or willfully engages in any conduct that is likely to transmit the disease to another person or that is intended to transmit the disease to another person. Engaging in sexual intercourse without protection or sharing needles with someone could each be considered types of conduct that could suggest intentional, willful, or knowing conduct likely to transmit HIV to another person.
An individual who intentionally, willfully, or knowingly engages in conduct intended to or likely to transmit HIV to another person would be convicted of a category B felony if convicted of the offense under N.R.S. 201.205. The punishment for the offense includes a minimum term of incarceration of two years and a maximum term of incarceration of up to 10 years. The defendant could also be fined up to $10,000 in addition to the term of incarceration.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
However, N.R.S. 201.205 also sets forth some affirmative defenses that a defendant could present in order to avoid being convicted of this offense. An affirmative defense means that the defendant has the burden of proving that the defense justifies his or her conduct. While a prosecutor has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction, the burden of proof shifts to a defendant who has raised an affirmative defense.
In this case, the affirmative defense that would allow a defendant to avoid conviction would require that the defendant prove that the person who the defendant exposed to HIV as a result of prohibited conduct was aware of the fact that the defendant was infected with HIV, knew that the conduct would result in exposure, and consented to engage in the conduct anyway even knowing the risks. For example, if a defendant told a romantic partner that he or she was infected and the romantic partner knowingly chose to engage in unprotected intercourse with an awareness of the risk of infection, the defendant could raise an affirmative defense and could avoid conviction if he could prove that the exposed romantic partner knowingly consented.
Defending yourself against accusations that you exposed someone to HIV can be complicated, and the stakes are high because of the potential for a felony conviction and a lengthy period of imprisonment. LV Criminal Defense can help you to determine how best to respond to charges if you have been accused of a violation of the law prohibiting intentionally exposing someone to HIV.
Our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team has extensive experience providing representation to defendants and we can help you to both present a defense in court or to negotiate a plea agreement to try to reduce penalties if you wish to plead guilty to the offense you’ve been accused of committing. To find out more about how a Vegas defense lawyer at our firm can assist you in fighting for your future when you have been accused of violating Nevada Revised Statue section 201.205, give us a call today.