Nevada law strictly prohibits behaviors that are considered to be stalking or harassment. Both stalking and harassment are addressed in Chapter 200 of Title 15. Title 15 is Nevada’s penal code that defines crimes and punishments, and Chapter 200 is one of the most serious chapters of Title 15 because it is the chapter where crimes against persons are defined.
Within Chapter 200 are different subcategories for different kinds of crimes against persons. Harassment and stalking is one such subcategory. There are definitions of both harassment and stalking crimes found within this subcategory, and there are also rules and requirements put in place regarding protective orders aimed at restricting the conduct of accused defendants.
Because a simple accusation of harassment and stalking can affect your life even before conviction, especially if a temporary or extended protective order is issued by the court, it is important that you make smart, informed choices when responding to harassment and stalking charges. To determine how best to proceed to try to ensure your case goes as smoothly as possible and ends in acquittal or with minimal penalties, you should reach out as soon as possible to a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer.
LV Criminal Defense is here to help, Our firm has provided representation to many defendants accused of crimes against persons in Chapter 200, including offenses related to harassment and stalking. These crimes are taken seriously and penalties can be harsh, so we will put our knowledge to work and give your case the attention it deserves as you fight to avoid conviction for an offense that could derail your life. To find out more about how our firm can help you to fight serious charges, give us a call today.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
Nevada laws on harassment and stalking are found within Nevada Revised Statute section 200.571 through Nevada Revised Statute section 200.601. Collectively, these statutes make up the harassment and stalking subsection of Chapter 200.
The first statute, N.R.S. 200.571, defines the offense of harassment and sets forth specific penalties for defendants accused of harassment. A defendant can be found guilty of harassment for acting without legal authority to knowingly threaten to do any of the following:
• Cause bodily injury in the future, either to the person who is being threatened or to any other person
• Cause physical damage to someone else’s property.
• Subject the threatened person, or any other person, to physical confinement.
• Subject the threatened person, or any other person, to unlawful restraint.
• Any act that is intended to cause substantial harm to the threatened person in regards to his or her physical health, mental health, or safety.
• Any act intended to cause substantial harm to any other person in regards to physical health, mental healthy or safety.
A prosecutor not only must prove that an accused harasser made threats of bodily injury, property damage, unlawful restraint or other harm. The prosecutor must also prove that, as a result of the defendant’s words or conduct, the person who was being threatened actually experienced a reasonable fear of the threat being carried out by the defendant. The words or conduct of the defendant can both be considered in determining if the defendant placed the victim in reasonable fear that any of the threats which are being made will be carried out.
Penalties for harassment vary depending upon whether the defendant who is convicted has any prior offenses. If a defendant is convicted of a first offense for harassment, the crime is considered to be a misdemeanor offense. If the defendant has a history of similar crimes, any second or subsequent conviction for harassment will be considered a gross misdemeanor.
In addition to the jail time a defendant could be faced with if convicted. N.R.S. 200.571 preserves the rights of victims to seek other legal remedies available. This means even if a defendant is prosecuted for harassment, the victim who was harassed could still pursue other appropriate legal remedies.
Stalking is also defined in Nevada Revised Statute section 200.575. According to this definition set forth by Nevada law, stalking includes:
• Any person without lawful authority
• Willfully or maliciously engaging in a course of conduct that would cause reasonable people to feel harassed, frightened, terrorized, intimidated, or concerned about the impact on immediate family members.
In order to secure a conviction for stalking, the prosecutor must also prove that the defendant’s conduct actually caused the victim to be fearful or hurt in some way, including feeling terrorized or concerned about the immediate safety of a family or household member.
If convicted, a defendant could be charged with s misdemeanor for a first offense and for a gross misdemeanor for subsequent offenses. However, if stalking involves aggravating factors such as threatening death and putting the victim in reasonable fear of death or substantial bodily harm, the defendant can be charged with a Category B felony in connection with the stalking offense. This could result in a minimum penalty of two years of incarceration and a maximum of 15 years of imprisonment as well as a $5,000 fine.
There are also other statutes within the stalking and harassment subcategory, including information on transmitting information to law enforcement and providing information and protection to victims.
LV Criminal Defense can help defendants accused of stalking and harassment. We can provide you with insight into how the law works, what a prosecutor must prove to secure a conviction, and what potential penalties you may face. We can also assist you in finding ways to fight the charges so you can get help reducing the likelihood of conviction or lessening the penalties that you could face if found guilty.
You should reach out to a Nevada defense lawyer at our firm as soon as possible if you have been accused of stalking or harassment so give us a call today to find. Out what our legal team can do for you.