In Nevada, every person has certain property rights including the right to quiet enjoyment of their property. Individuals also have the right to be protected from bother and risk in public and private spaces. There are laws protecting property rights, including laws that criminalize certain behavior that interfere with the ability or others to enjoy private and public spaces. There are also laws against behaviors that interfere with the order and economy of the state.
Some of the laws that aim to prevent behavior that interferes with basic property rights, state order, the economy of the state, or the right of people to be safe in public and private spaces, are found within Chapter 202 of Title 15.
Chapter 202 is the part of the penal code in Nevada that defines and imposes penalties for crimes against public health and safety. Chapter 202 is divided into different subcategories of offenses against public safety, and one of those subcategories relates to public nuisances. These laws against public nuisance aim to penalize conduct that interferes with public order, the economy, or the right of the public to enjoy shared spaces and private properties.
If you have been accused of violating the laws related to public nuisances that are found within Chapter 202 of Title 15, you should reach out to an experienced Vegas criminal defense lawyer to get help. LV Criminal Defense can provide aggressive representation as you navigate the criminal justice system with the goal of helping you to resolve the case against you quickly and in a manner most likely to result in a favorable outcome. To find out more about how our firm can help after you’ve been accused of public nuisance offenses, give us a call today.
The subsection of Nevada law that deals with public nuisances include Nevada Revised Statute section 202.450 through Nevada Revised Statute section 202.480. N.R.S. 202.450 sets forth the definitions applicable throughout the statutes on public nuisances. N.R.S. 202.460 makes clear that a defendant can still be legally responsible for public nuisances even if there is unequal damage. N.R.S. 202.470 explains the offense of maintaining or permitting a nuisance and establishes a penalty. Finally, N.R.S. 202.480 details the process for abatement of a nuisance and the civil penalty that could be imposed.
According to N.R.S. 202.450, many different types of behaviors can be considered a public nuisance. The broad definition of public nuisance includes:
• Unlicensed gambling
• Conducting swindling games
• Fighting between animals or birds
• Dog races being conducted as a gaming activity
• Intoxicating liquors being kept for unlawful use, sale or distribution.
• Keeping, manufacturing, or giving away controlled substances or keeping, manufacturing, or giving away substances used to make controlled substances.
• Maintaining locations where members of a criminal gang regularly engage in criminal conduct.
• Acts that annoy, injure, or endanger the health or safety of any considerable number of people.
• Actions that offend public decency.
• Actions that interfere with, defoul, obstruct or render dangerous for passage any lakes, rivers, bays, streams, canals, ditches, public parks, public squares, alleys, bridges, or other navigable areas.
• Acts that render any considerable number of people insecure in life or in the use of a property.
The actual penalties for public nuisance are defined in N.R.S. 202.470. This statute indicates that if any person commits or maintains a public nuisance for which no other specific punishment is prescribed, the person can be charged with and convicted of a misdemeanor offense. The statute specifies that this penalty applies only in circumstances where no other punishment is specified. This provision is in place because certain behaviors that could be classified as a public nuisance could also be unlawful under other statutes that dictate harsher penalties.
N.R.S. 202.470 also indicates that if a defendant could be found guilty of a misdemeanor offense for public nuisance for willfully omitting or refusing to perform any legal duty related to the removal of a public nuisance.
Finally, the statute specifies that a defendant could be found guilty of a misdemeanor offense for public nuisance if that defendant allows to be used any building, boat, or portion, therefore, that is under his ownership or control with the knowledge that the building, boat, or portion of the building or boat is intended to be used to commit a public nuisance or to maintain a public nuisance.
N.R.S. 202.460 within the public nuisance subsection makes clear that a public nuisance can still occur even if there is unequal damage, while N.R.S. 202.480 makes clear that the court or magistrate that is hearing a case related to a violation of public nuisance laws can order that the defendant abate the nuisance in addition to imposing criminal penalties including a fine or other punishment.
If ordered, the defendant must begin abatement of the public nuisance within three days of the court order and the abatement must be completed within the time that has been specified by the court. If the defendant fails to abate the nuisance in response to the order, a responsible agency can assume responsibility for abatement and charge the costs to the defendant.
The court or magistrate also has the authority, under N.R.S. 202.460, to order that the defendant pay a civil penalty of between $500 and $5,000.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
A Vegas criminal defense attorney at LV Criminal Defense can provide representation to a defendant who has been accused of a public nuisance. Out legal team can provide you with help in fighting charges that you caused a nuisance or allowed a nuisance to be caused, and can work with you to develop a legal strategy aimed at reducing possible consequences or avoiding penalties.
To find out more about how our firm can help when you’ve been accused of a public nuisance offense or when you have been accused of any crime considered a violation of public health and safety, give us a call today.