Willful Blindness (N.R.S. 179.11635) Explained by a Nevada Defense Attorney Nicholas Wooldridge
In the state of Nevada, there are certain situations in which property may be forfeited. In order to make certain that an individual’s property is not forfeited without due process or is not taken without justification or cause, Nevada sets rules for the forfeiture of property. It is imperative for anyone who has been accused of wrongdoing to understand what these rules are and how they apply in a particular situation.
LV Criminal Defense can provide assistance in understanding Nevada laws on forfeiture and in asserting your rights to your property when the state attempts to require you to forfeit it. Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers know the ins-and-outs of both criminal forfeiture laws and civil forfeiture laws.
We fight for you to avoid conviction so you can keep your property, and we will respond aggressively to help you protect your money and assets if the state is claiming that forfeiture is appropriate. To find out more, give us a call.
Our legal team can answer your questions, work to help you earn an acquittal, and advocate for you in any situation where forfeiture is a possibility. This can include situations where you are accused of willful blindness.
The Impact of Willful Blindness Under Nevada’s Forfeiture Laws
Nevada law sets forth the rules for when property could potentially be subject to forfeiture because of the connection between that property and criminal activities. One important provision of laws on forfeiture in Nevada is found in N.R.S. 179.1164.
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This statute explains the kinds of property subject to seizure and forfeiture including money, property or assets that were acquired in connection with, or are attributed to, the commission of a felony or the attempted commission of a felony criminal offense. However, this statute also sets forth some exceptions.
For example, in Subsection 2 of N.R.S. 179.1164, the statute essentially says that property can’t be forfeited as a result of an act or omission that was committed without the knowledge or consent of a person who has a valid interest in that property.
N.R.S. 179.121 also establishes the rule that property can be subject to forfeiture if it was used in the commission of certain offenses or the attempt to commit certain offenses. Again, however, there is an exception: property cannot be seized if it was used to commit a crime without the knowledge or consent of a person with a valid interest in the property.
This protects innocent people from loss of property. For example, if a husband used his wife’s computer, without her knowledge or consent, to download child pornography, the law would not require the wife to permanently forfeit her computer.
Both N.R.S. 179.1164 and N.R.S. 179.121 do make clear, though, that the property owner must not have been “willfully blind,” in order for the property to be protected from forfeiture.
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Definition of Willful Blindness
Willful blindness is defined in N.R.S. 179.11635. It is defined as the “intentional disregard of objective facts” that would prompt a reasonable person to conclude property was derived from a crime or used to commit a crime.
This means you cannot intentionally ignore all of the signs that your property is being used to break the law and still be protected from having to forfeit that property.
How Las Vegas Defense Attorneys Can Help If You’re Accused of Willful Blindness
Being accused of willful blindness could mean that property is at risk. You want to keep your money and assets safe and the best way to do this is to work with Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers who know the ins-and-outs of the forfeiture rules.
To find out more about how experienced attorneys can assist you, call LV Criminal Defense today. Our legal team has helped many people to successfully fight not only forfeiture, but also conviction of serious criminal offenses. We help you to keep your property, your freedom, and your clean criminal record.