NRS 207.270 – Penalties Associated with Loitering about School or a Public Place Where Children Congregate

According to NRS 207.270, it is a crime to loiter around a school or a public place where children congregate. All states have statutes in place to protect children. This state is one of the mechanisms the Nevada uses to achieve that goal. This page will explain what the crime of loitering near a school or public place where children congregate is, how to defend against this charge, and the potential penalties one might face if convicted of the crime.

Loitering near a school or a public place where children congregate as a crime

In Nevada, it is a crime for any person who has no legitimate reason to be around children to loiter in an area when children are often present.

The statute uses the term anyone who does not have a “legitimate reason to supervise children”. This would generally mean that you are not staff, a parent, or someone the parent authorized to pick up the child. The statute also  requires that the person loitering have “no legitimate reason to be at leisure” in the area. So, for example, children congregate near city parks, but if a person were just walking on a trail in a public park, they would have legitimate reason to be at leisure and would be guilty of the crime.

This statute is fairly straight forward. If you have no business with the children in the area, you cannot loiter in the area where the children are. The general purpose of this statute is to make sure that sexual predators and other individuals with criminal sexual histories are not near children. While, say, a 15-year-old who goes to high school next to a middle school, could theoretically be charged with this crime if he loitered in the area, he is extremely unlikely it would occur. The 15-year-old high school student is the who this statute is geared toward. Instead the statute is intended to deter registered sex offenders from loitering in areas where children are.

Defenses to a charge of loitering near a school a public place where children congregate

If you or a loved one have been charged with this crime in Nevada it is important to remember that the burden is proof is upon the State of Nevada to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you have committed the crime. Most crimes have defenses that can be raised to refute the state’s argument. An experienced attorney may raise the following defenses against a charge of loitering about school or public place where children congregate:

  • You must have actually been loitering to be charged with the crime. If you were only in the area for a few minutes, it is not loitering.
  • Legitimate reason for leisure. If you can show that you were in the area for a valid reason, such as going for a walk, that may show that you had a right to be in the area and that you were not loitering.
  • If you are authorized from say, a parent of one of the children, to pick up their child from the school you have a legitimate business in the area and the charge will not stand.

Potential Penalty for Committing loitering about a school or public place where children congregate under NRS 207.270

The crime of loitering about a school or public place where children congregate is a misdemeanor crime. As such, if convicted, a person can face:

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Charged with Violating NRS 207.270? Speak to a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have been charged with loitering about school  in Nevada, contact our team of skilled and respected Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys today to schedule a free case review. We may be able to persuade the prosecution to reduce the charges or to drop them altogether so your record stays clean.