Under Nevada law, specifically NRS 207.260, it is a crime for a person to have unlawful contact with a child or person with mental illness.
Society has a duty to protect its most vulnerable. Children and persons with severe mental illnesses are among the most vulnerable in society. Most states have enacted some sort of statute to criminalize illegal contact with these individuals for their own protection.
NRS 207.260 applies to the following groups of people:
It is illegal to direct your action toward, or engage with, these two groups in a way that would reasonably cause them to feel:
This statute is intended to curb behavior such as a grown adult threatening to physically attack a child.
Certain activities are exempt from this statute. If the action being engaged in is constitutionally protected it is generally exempt. This would include:
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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 government 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 unlawful contact with a child or person with mental illness:
The crime of unlawful contact with a child or person with mental illness is a gross misdemeanor if it is the defendant’s first conviction of the crime. As such, upon the first conviction for unlawful contact with a child or person with mental illness a person can face, a person can face:
Subsequent convictions for unlawful contact with a child or person with mental illness, are considered class B felonies. Upon a second or more conviction of unlawful contact with a child or person with mental illness a person faces:
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Furthermore, the child or person with mental illness may have a valid civil claim against the person convicted of the crime. The statute allows the child or person with mental illness to take any possible legal remedies available to them which, depending on the circumstances, could include a large civil settlement.
If you have been charged with allegedly coming in contact with a child or person with a mental disability in an appropriate manner, retaining skilled legal counsel is extremely important due to the severity of the charges. Contact our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys for a free, confidential consultation.