Nevada law imposes harsh punishments for crimes against persons. Chapter 200 of Title 15, which is Nevada’s criminal code, sets forth the definitions of crimes against persons and establishes penalties for defendants convicted of harming others.
There are many different kinds of conduct that are made unlawful within Chapter 200, including homicide offenses, causing bodily harm, and mayhem. Mayhem has a specific legal definition that is found within Nevada Revised Statute section 200.280 and there are additional rules related to when prosecutors can bring charges of mayhem and what prosecutors must prove.
Within Chapter 200, different kinds of crimes against the person are organized into different subcategories. Mayhem is a separate subcategory containing three statutes: N.R.S. 200.280, N.R.S. 200.290, and N.R.S. 200.300. If you are accused of mayhem, it is important to understand what each of these three different laws could mean to your case.
Because the law related to mayhem can be complicated and because the penalties are very harsh if you are convicted of mayhem, you should reach out to a Vegas criminal attorney as soon as you have been accused of mayhem.
LV Criminal Defense has aggressively represented defendants accused of crimes against persons and we can put our extensive legal experience to work to assist you in fighting mayhem charges. You should give us a call as soon as possible when you are facing charges within the criminal justice system so we can start working with you to put together the right legal strategy for protecting your future.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
The offense of mayhem is defined in Nevada Revised Statute section 200.280. According to N.R.S. 200.2380, mayhem occurs when a defendant unlawfully deprives a human being of a part of his body. It also occurs if a defendant disfigures a part of a victim’s body or renders a part of a victim’s body useless.
The statute gives some specific examples of behavior that would be considered mayhem. Those examples include disabling the tongue, cutting out the tongue, taking someone’s eye out, slitting the nose, slitting the ear, slitting the limp, disabling a limb, or disabling the member of another.
The crime of mayhem is considered to be a Category B felony, according to N.R.S. 200.280. The penalties for the offense are defined within the relevant statute. These penalties include a minimum of two years imprisonment. Because there is a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment imposed by the statute, a defendant who has been convicted of mayhem will generally need to serve at least this two year period of time incarcerated. The judge does not have leeway in sentencing, as would potentially be available for crimes where there is no mandatory minimum penalty imposed.
The maximum penalty for mayhem is up to 10 years of imprisonment. However, while this is the maximum penalty for mayhem, if a defendant is charged with additional offenses accompanying the mayhem charge, such as an attempted homicide offense, the defendant could face additional penalties associated with any of the other charges against him.
And, in addition to a prison sentence for mayhem, a defendant who is convicted of mayhem could be required to pay a maximum fine of $10,000.
There are also two other statutes within the mayhem section of Chapter 200.
The first, Chapter 200.290 makes clear that the method by which the injury or harm was imposed by the defendant upon the victim is not a factor in determining whether a defendant committed mayhem. In other words, it does not matter how the defendant caused disfigurement, loss of use of a body part, or loss of a body part — the only thing that a prosecutor must prove is that the defendant did cause this loss of use. Neither the material nor the method of inflicting the mayhem impacts whether or not a defendant will be convicted.
The other, N.R.S. 200.300 indicates that if a defendant has been charged with mayhem and it is determined that the victim will not suffer permanent disfigurement, will not experience a permanent loss of use or reduction in use of body parts, or will not experience any other permanent injury, then the defendant cannot be convicted of mayhem. However, the defendant can be convicted of any degree of assault.
This means that even if a prosecutor is not able to prove that you caused permanent injury when you were charged with committing mayhem, you could still be convicted of a crime during the trial and you could still face serious penalties.
There are different degrees of assault, but any conviction for assault could potentially lead to incarceration. You want to ensure that you fully understand the rules for assault offenses in Nevada when you are working with your attorney to develop a legal strategy with the goal of avoiding conviction for any crime after a mayhem charge.
If you have been accused of mayhem, you need to reach out to LV Criminal Defense. We can work with you to determine if your conduct is actually considered mayhem and can help you to determine if you are likely to get the best outcome from trying to fight for acquittal or trying to plead guilty to a lesser offense, such as an assault charge that would result in far less severe consequences.
The best course of action for responding to a mayhem charge will vary depending upon the nature of your alleged conduct and the extent of the evidence that the prosecutor has against you, as well as whether there are defenses available to you. You should give us a call today to find out more about the ways in which Vegas defense attorneys at our firm can help you to respond assertively to mayhem charges to protect your future.